Seeing that big honkin' graphic on my previous post about Car Free Day got me to thinkin' — and not just about the fact they should have hyphenated "Car-free Day" for cryin' out loud. As a guy who worships some bikes as hedonistic joys and others as reliable, alternative transportation, I'll never fault the people who are out there making sweet machines like the full-suspension hottie I bought last winter, but those who make bikes to change the world deserve a special kind of respect. Joe Breeze is one of those people. If you missed Bicycling Magazine's feature on him two years ago, do yourself a favor and read it now. You've just gotta like a guy who can look at a bicycle and see a way of making lives better. And if you haven't checked out his commuter bikes, take a look at them on his website. It's a damn sorry statement about American society that I see a shitload of H2 gas hogs on the road and very few Breezer bikes. (Of course, I live in Alaska, a place where a real man drives a V-8 truck only until he can afford a V-10 or V-12, which will tow his snowmobiles and ATVs so much better.) Hell, you could buy a Breezer for what it would cost to keep one of those urban assault vehicles fueled up for a month or two.
For another example of how a bike ride can be more than just a bike ride, check out this column from Heather Lende, a cyclist and newspaper columnist from the little town of Haines in Southeast Alaska. (The Anchorage Daily News site will make you register to read it, but it's free.) Heather went under the wheels of a truck during a ride last April and recently got back on a bike for the first time. Just goes to show ya that distance and speed aren't the things that really matter.
Thanks for droppin' in.