Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
My friend Dan posted this picture to his Facebook account and I immediately asked him if I could use it for my blog. It would be fun to make this "Every Bike Has a Story" a regular feature here, but let's see how it evolves. This is a photo of Dan's father-in-law's bike, taken in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
"[This photo] was taken 5 years ago (perhaps to the day - we were here for Santiago's 1st birthday, and he turns 6 a week from today). I think the bike has since been stolen. If not, it's at least been retired. Don Raul, then 80, used to ride it each day to the market, but the family convinced him to stop after a parked car door opened into him one day and sent him sprawling. He's recuperating from a broken hip right now after falling off a ladder in April (he's a tough 85-year-old), so his cycling days are behind him. The bottles are gone now, too -- my in-laws then had a tiendita in the house, but they've closed it."
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
The past week has been incredibly rainy and Sunday started out grey and foreboding. Thankfully, the sun broke through about 3:00 pm, just as we were rushing around, getting numerous quesadillas cooked, bakfiets decorations painted, and boys ready. We were most happy to have two cargo bikes as we loaded all our gear.
When the show ended, we easily stashed all our gear back into the cargo bikes, not-so-easily rounded up three spent little boys, and off we pedaled home-- feeling rather smug, I might add, watching all the other families dealing with hauling their gear over their shoulders, through the crowds, to their parked cars.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
And to get you in the mood:
Touring by bike is different from touring by car — you see more, for sure, but in a deeply sensory way, you experience more. There was nothing on this route that was especially earth-shattering — and yet from the vantage point of our bikes, it all was. The perfectly rolled hay. The acres of sunflowers. The stone walls. The sweet farmhouses. We passed our first farm, and remarked to each other how happy Provençal cows looked up close, well-fed and well-tended. We stopped to inspect our first olive grove. We pedaled past a lavender field, and soaked in the sweet aroma. We biked through Graveson and Maillane, two small Provençal towns, taking pictures of churches and cemeteries, where we read the inscriptions and wondered about lives lived. She had brought some cheese, and as we passed a farm with pear trees, she jumped off her bike, and grabbed two pears. That was lunch. Within an hour on the bike, the travails of Avignon were forgotten. We were happy again.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Highlights for me:
President Obama has talked about his desire to wean Americans off automobiles.
What we’ve talked about is getting to a concept that we call livable communities, where people don’t have to get in a car every day. You can use light rail, you can use buses, you can use walking paths, you can use your bike.
But if Americans increasingly get around by rail, bus and bicycle, as you’ve planned, who will be buying cars in the future?
I think everybody will have an automobile. I think it’s amazing in America when you drive around and look at new homes that are being built, there are three-car garages. I don’t think you’re going to see families with three cars. I think you’re going to see families with one car, possibly two.
We're not carfree in our home. We're the one-car family model and I would like to believe that we can call ourselves a 'car-light' family now. However, looking around the web, we know he is wrong on the "everybody will have an automobile" line.