A Discussion – Bicycle Commuting

Yesterday I drove 50 miles to the car dealership to drop off my car for service. Rather than having my wife follow me in her car I decided to make a day of it and ride my road bike over our mountain passes to get home. I’ve never been afraid to use the bicycle as a means of transportation; bicycle commuting is my most common way to get to work. With fuel prices and the resulting pollution, riding a bicycle is much more friendly on both environment and wallet.

High Mountain Pass at 9000′

The ride home started off pleasant, as all rides do but I needed to climb 5700′ vertical over 43 miles. The pitch basically ramps up steeper and steeper as the day wore on, the cool air turning warm with sun and elevation thinning the available oxygen…

Seriously, elevation gain

Although I was home by noon, I was useless in regards to getting on with my day. The commute took 4 hours, the climbing unrelenting. But I made it home. Get this, I rode an 2001 steel Bianchi to do the job. Think of it this way, instead of using the bike for fitness and recreation, why is it not used more often as a primary means of mobility?

Bicycles can be more for just the occasional business professional or everyday college student. Bicycles should possibly be used every time we go out to dinner, the movies, shopping.. sure, it takes more time and more planning, but you end up with just the essentials when shopping, a bigger day floating the river, and a nice way to get home after sitting in a theatre for too long in one uncomfortable chair.

You and I might say that a lot of folks do this. Well it isn’t enough. Imagine having to go into the city with your bike from your rural home. It could be a long way off. You make a day of it. In Europe there are trains to help people move about in this way. Between Heber City and Salt Lake City, Utah, there are no such options. So.. We ride our bikes over mountain passes?

I don’t know the answer here. But I’d like to think that it’s possible, with proper planning to be able to do bigger and badder things in the name of simple economy and saving the world from the effects of all types of pollution. We might spend more time shopping local, buying much less of the things we don’t need, living healthier lives with our bodies in motion, and other things.

We could spend more time breathing the air rather than polluting it. Anyhow, check out The League of American Bicyclists page. It may help you out.

Paris Agreement

We the American People of the United States stand a little disfigured and disenfranchised. The man who somehow became our president has pulled us out of the Paris Agreement. I, for one, am signing several petitions a day.

So I’m adding one here:

This goes beyond riding bikes, fixing problems in the shop, and eating yummy food. We have a president running our country who is in so deep with big business that he’s doing all he can to dismiss any science, any effort, any funding that might hinder the profitability of his cronies. Oil and coal seem to be his favorite. He says it’s for maintaining those jobs but clean and renewable energies already employ more people than the dirty, non-renewables.

He doesn’t seem to give a damn about the environment and if he came in to have his bike worked on he’d leave with a wrench stuck in his face. He is intentionally trying to debunk science about climate change. He’s put a big oil guy, Scott Pruitt, as director of the EPA. He wants to mine the resources found in our national monuments and parks. But the thing is, the information is already available and you can’t just shut this down and blind the people from what’s happening. So please, do your part.

The list of anti-environmental policy is terribly long. Please sign this petition from Moveon.org. And others. And make calls to your representatives. Do something. Also, ride bikes more.