Climb to Kaiser is one week away from today. If all goes to plan, I’ll be on Big Creek Road climbing 2,000 feet in 4 miles before Huntington Lake and a short break. From there, it’s up to Kaiser Pass and its 9,700-foot summit, then a massive descent and flat passage through hell. The ride is an annual way to remind myself how lucky I am to pedal. To be in the mountains is to witness beauty, to share in the struggle. To come back to civilization is to have convenience. As we dig to make the goal to the top, we’re all insignificant on the mountain. The mountain doesn’t move for anyone. And each year, it seems bigger than we remembered it. Climbing high mountains on a bike is a high calling. I hear it in the distance. And I’m drawn to it.
If the city of Los Angeles, with its freeway hell as perhaps the most non-bicycle friendly place on the planet, can seriously consider a bicyclists’ bill of rights, then maybe there’s hope for the rest of the U.S. It doesn’t take $4.50-per-gallon gasoline for a movement to start.
I started increasing mileage in late spring and noticed many more bicycles on San Diego roads as professionals commuted on two wheels when gasoline spiked over $4.
Now not so many. Yes, it’s a bit colder. But this is Southern California, not Chicago.
I hope we don’t forget bicycles as a viable and healthy mode of transportation. The more bicycles on the road, the better the odds of cyclists being seen by motorists and respected.
Surviving an encounter with a motor vehicle is a blessing compared to involuntarily giving your family and friends a reason to install a roadside Ghost Bike memorial. My heart aches for anyone who has had to grieve over a loss this way.
A few hundred micro stitches and five shiny new fake teeth later, I’ve put my one and only crash behind me. I trust it’s the last. Be safe out there, and ride with a buddy when possible.
This bit of news in the Wall Street Journal shouldn’t distract smart people from creating a new and valuable energy economy for America. Crude oil at sub-$50 a barrel seemed impossible just a few months ago when hundreds of people at political rallies shouted “Drill, baby, drill!”
“Invent, baby, invent” sounds much better, doesn’t it?
So a few things happened along the way to fall 09:
- Lance Armstrong decided to get back into the pro peloton (awesome).
- We elected a U.S. President who wants to develop a new energy economy and get us off dependence on fossil fuels (even more awesome).
- Europe is setting a global example of how to leverage bicycles, improve health and reduce congestion and pollution (close to nirvana).
Who said things were getting stale?
The global financial markets were hammered, but that doesn’t mean we give up. No, we go forward.
This invention (saw today on Guy Kawasaki’s blog) gives new meaning to the word environmental.
A device that shoots out natural-ingredient bubbles with flower seeds as you peddle your townie bike? Great for women pedaling to the bakery. Lycra-clad guys on road bikes? Doubtful.