Things never seem carefully planned, but instead just happen. Sometimes it feels like there is a movement that sweeps you up til you don’t really know where you are going and your best bet is to steer the general course and get swayed as you can. This is the story of bike touring; some people plan every day to a tee, but that is rare, because there are so many x-factors in cycle touring, from mechanicals to weather to sickness. Things just happen and the direction is the only thing that may be deliberate. And sometimes this is how life happens. [Read more]
As a child, I remember at an early age getting into bicycles. It’s true that it is a right of childhood to learn to ride a bike and zip it up and down the block. But I suppose mine might have been a little different, being the fact that my father was an avid cyclist, a brief Cat 5 racer and eventually falling into the category of cycle-tourist. I remember distinctly as a kid my interest was in mountain biking, road riding never interested me, and I was always confounded by my dad’s interest in this seemingly blase style of riding. What fun is it if you’re not going over tree roots and bopping over rocks. Maybe it had to do with being an angsty teenager, trying to fit in, but I never caught on to my dad’s obsession with bikes. It just never stuck… That is until I began living in Buffalo, NY and began using a bike as a commuter, as a means of getting somewhere. No longer was it about riding in circles for exercise (as most Americans view bicycles) but it was about getting somewhere. This was exactly what my dad loved about cycle touring, you go somewhere, you see something. He still shares stories with me, about touring the Midwest during a tornado, or conquering the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It seems every time I know every story of his, I find a new one, like today he shared a story of the moose tour ride he had in Maine, exploring the backwoods of Maine into Quebec. It’s a shame it took me so long to understand what he loved so much about cycling but now I’m hooked. [Read More]
Last week passing through the Planet of the Apes was a bumpy somewhat off road adventure that was a total blast. But I remember at the top when meeting those other cyclists, before I stopped I heard one of the guys on a mountain bike mention “The roadie is most likely going that way”, referring to me pointing down the mostly paved section that drops out to Highway 1. It was weird, because I feel like a huge anti-roadie, taking my bike everywhere, hopping curbs, riding in the rain, dirt, mud, but for whatever reason, most likely my thinner tires and drop bars had me mistaken for a roadie. So since then I’ve decided it’s time to get back on the trail I’ve been craving for; I saddled up and headed for the Ridge Trail in Redwood Regional Park. [Read more]
A four-year-old arrives at school and starts crying when she realizes her lunch is packed in a generic plastic bag, not the usual Disney Princess lunchbox she so loves. A friend tells her she won’t be able to sit at the princess lunch table—it’s only for girls with princess lunchboxes.
A fourth grader arrives home from school all excited. He has a Book It certificate from Pizza Hut because his mother signed the form showing that he met the reading-at-home goal his teacher set for him. He pleads with his mother to take him to Pizza Hut for dinner that night.
Sixth graders are assigned the task of writing to their principal about something important that they would like to see happen at their school. They decide to ask for school vending machines that sell snack foods and drinks.
As marketing to children intensifies, what can we do to minimize the damage? Keep reading.
I’ve been pretty bad about getting on the bike once again. It’s strange how once I get out of riding, it becomes very hard to motivate myself to get out, especially with the thought of doing a 5 hour+ ride. Then I think back to when I first starting riding the canals of Buffalo and how rewarding and enjoyable those rides were and I keep that in my mind to get me back out on the road. [Read more]