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Group: Phoenicians should park car, ride bikes

PHOENIX -- Many people find that driving to and from work is a hassle every day.

Members of the group Phoenix Spokes People think that drivers who clog up Valley freeways every morning "aren't stuck in traffic. They are the traffic."

The group has hundreds of members on its Facebook page who have decided to park their cars and peddle to work on their bikes. Karen Voyer-Caravona makes the two mile commute in Phoenix.

"It's not hard," she said. "Especially when you combine it with public transit, it really becomes easy. It's not just, 'Ugh, this hassle of having to get into my car.' I'm getting my exercise at the same time."

Lisa Parks is an interior designer who has to drive for her job but that may change.

"I'm actually considering changing my career so that I can work closer to where I live and get rid of a car and either take the light rail or take my bike everywhere."

Anna Worble totaled her car in a recent accident. Instead of buying a new one, she's decided to ride her bike. She said she's saving money and getting good exercise.

"When I'm biking everyday, I feel better, I look better, I'm stronger and I'm more flexible," she said.

The group wants the Phoenix City Council to find more money in the budget to improve bike lanes and bike paths in the city.

The group meets at 5 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month at Angel's Trumpet Ale House in downtown Phoenix.

"All are welcome. You don't have to own a bike," said Worble. "You just have to show up, and you have to give a damn."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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