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Minneapolis, Minn. — Minneapolis resident Gary Hoover commutes on a bicycle -- actually a tricyle. The self-employed handyman is a common sight on south Minneapolis streets. He's the bearded fellow pedaling a bright red, custom-made cargo three wheeler.
The Hoover family gave up their car several years ago. They rely almost exclusively on cycling to get around.
However, the Hoover's aren't, "eco-fundamentalists," as Gary puts it. They ride the bus, sometimes take a taxi and have borrowed a car for longer trips. Their world changed again recently when after years of cycling, his wife bought a hybrid car. Relying only a bike, Gary says, has its limits especially for people with aging joints.
Hoover says cycling to work helps him connect with his neighbors. His trike was made by a Montana company and Hoover says it draws a crowd. Drivers stare. Pedestrians wave and say hello. Kids, Hoover says, sometimes join along behind him on their bikes for a few blocks.
Hoover cites the three, "F"s , to explain his cycling devotion -- fun, fitness and finances. His other goal, he says, is to encourage others to cycle for trips under five miles.
Select the audio link to hear Dan Olson's interview.