From my email:
Our partners in California, including the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the California Bicycle Coalition, are encouraging everyone who wants to improve cycling in the state to sign this petition to Governor Jerry Brown TODAY! The petition seeks improvements to a significant Active Transportation funding proposal by the Governor and deserves your attention.
As some of you might know I was recently banned by the International Blogging Committee for use of performance enhancing substances. For years I have denied use of said substances. Some of you may have seen me last week give an interview where I admitted to the charges and, more or less, begged to be reinstated as a blogger. Many of you, however, missed my interview because it aired opposite some old guy talking to Oprah about things we all already knew.
I’ll be the first to admit that this confession should have come sooner (let’s say sometime last week) but what they say is true, I have not only used caffeine and alcohol to fuel the content of this blog, but I was also part of a larger conspiracy to cover up the use of these substances by others on the internet. Today, I’m here to say what you already know but I’m here to say it out loud and with the cache of someone on the inside: If it weren’t for coffee and booze the internet would basically be a common room on campus at Brigham Young University.
That’s not what you people want.
They say that people vote with their wallets and it’s the same with the internet and, as long as videos by Hannah Hart remain popular, the International Blogging Community will never be cleaned up:
What I’m saying is that yes, I did cheat. Yes, I did use substance to unnaturally improve the quality of content on this site. Yes, I did deserve a lifetime ban. But you guys will not be rid of me that easily. I’m sorry I didn’t come clean sooner, but you guys forced me into it and, no matter what I say now, It’s not going to stop.
I got an email today from the League (the League of American Bicyclists). First of all, let’s talk about how awesome it is that they go by “the League.” It sounds like some sort of group of cycling superheroes that rides around town painting bike lanes, handing out bike lights and using force to keep cars out of the bike lane.
Ok, but this post wasn’t about an idea for a crappy bicycle centric comic book, it was about being thankful for cycling. The League, in the email mentioned above, asked me why I’m thankful for cycling? So, I’m going to spend a couple of posts attempting to address that question.
1. The wind in my hair and all that jazz.
Seriously. I spend 9 to 10 hours a day in a cubicle farm. Under fluorescent lighting. Surrounded by people who may or may not have washed their hands the last time they used the restroom. Lately, I’ve been riding “the short way” to work. That’s about 15 minutes. 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening. And sure, it’s cold, it tends to be dark going both ways this time of year, and road grime is only slightly more appealing than touching the door handle of the men’s restroom, but I’m outside.
That’s right, for at least 30 minutes a day, I’m outside. On my bike. It’s fantastic. So, I’m thankful for that.
Robert Marchand sets cycling record for the fastest 100 year old to cover 100 km at the outdoor Tete-d’Or Velodrome track in Lyon, France. With a goal of finishing in less than five hours Marchand beat achieved his goal at 4 hours 17 minutes and 27 seconds with an average speed of 23.31 km per hour.
I hope to be able to just ride when I hit that age.
There was this fear, in the back of my head, that purchasing a single speed bicycle marketed for “urban” riding would slowly turn me into a hipster. I didn’t think it would happen suddenly, I’m not crazy, but I could see the slippery slope there:
1. Put a fixed cog on the flip-flop hub.
2. Buy a flannel shirt
3. Buy a knit-cap
And we all know that going from a knit-cap to drinking a tallboy of PBR in the middle of the day is pretty much instantaneous.
How surprised do you think I was when I realized that, instead of a hipster, I’d become that old guy with panniers riding to work?
Being the old guy isn’t that bad. I’m not complaining. Even on my single speed I can keep up with a lot of the kids on their fancy carbon fiber bikes, at least for a little bit. Cars don’t seem to be as aggressive toward me (perhaps it’s because they feel sorry for me?).
I feel like I’ve entered a new stage of my development as a bike commuter. Instead of getting on my sleek, light, fragile carbon bike armed with nothing but a Chrome Citizen, I drop a bag or 2 onto my rear rack, grab hold of my mustache handlebars and spin into work.
Most mornings, I’ll even take the short route (mostly because I’m running late). And, when I see that hipster kid in the flannel shirt, I want to tell him to put on a helmet and make sure he stays off my lawn.