Saturday, February 18, 2012
It's been a long, fairly warm and dry winter, but at long last, snow has come back to Tehachistan. I've had my own long, slow recovery from the Ebola/Hunta/Andromeda Strain that has been corrupting my system, but I'm finally starting to get my strength back. Dreams of long rides and hikes and climbs are starting to feel like a possibility again. It's strange how when you're sick, it feels like you've always been sick. I've had a cough for two straight weeks and only now is it finally subsiding. It's good to be back. We get out, hike the local mountains and did our first ride together in weeks. We need to start doing a lot more of that so that by the time August rolls around we're a couple of pedaling machines. In June I have a fundraising adventure ride for the Wounded Warrior Project. Please, feel free to pitch in!
Once again, as we pedal and hike about our local area, I'm struck by how much we are the freaks, the odd balls. The overwhelming majority is in cars. Virtually no one does errands on bikes in this area. I can count the number of times I've seen someone at the grocery store with a bike on one hand. I think it will take astronomically high gas prices to change this behavior. That, of course, will mean a total change of the economy and our collective lifestyles. I truly wish I could jump forward a good two or three hundred years to see what the end of the petroleum age looks like. Certainly our lives will be lived much more locally unless some scientist truly cracks the fuel problem--hydrogen, perhaps? There's no way to tell. When my grandparents were born, internal combustion was just getting started. As children they would run out into the streets to see a plane fly overhead. When they died, we had been to the moon. What I find especially fascinating from a human-powered perspective is that the bicycle is still the most efficient means of transportation ever invented in terms of distance traveled for energy input. No other invention even comes close. Spread the gospel of the pedal and the chain!