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Showing posts from November, 2013

Cranksgiving: An Alleycat to Support the Santa Cruz Community

Today I participated in my first bike race, totaling 18 miles in 2.5 hours around Santa Cruz, Soquel, and Aptos. Unlike you might be imagining, there were no fans lining the streets, no blocked off or set course of direction, and most people who saw me pedaling up Soquel Avenue with a huge backpack probably had no idea I was racing from grocery store to grocery store, gathering food based on a list I'd been handed at noon. The ride was an alleycat ride called Cranksgiving , organized by Santa Cruz Bike Polo and Clutch Couriers. I had been invited by my friend and fellow bike generating enthusiast Jonny. He helps out with the Student Environmental Center's bike-powered energy generator at events, and he invited me to join his team a few weeks ago. All I knew was that I was supposed to show up with some money and that I would be racing around the Santa Cruz area picking up food that would be donated to families in need for the holidays. Jonny stoked for the race before

Look What Arrived in the Mail!

My life has been pretty bike-centric lately, with numerous bike rides around and down and up to campus each day/week and the biggest bummers in my day-to-day life being bike lights that don't work when you need them. I've been reading countless articles about transportation and bikes, and I'm working on a longer blog post about my transportation history that is proving more difficult to articulate clearly than I originally thought. Transportation is a complex topic, far more complex than you might think. In my stumblings through millions of open web browser tabs of bike articles and blogs, I came across a book titled Bikenomics by Elly Blue . It was posted on a blog called Taking the Lane , which I have since spent some time reading and have greatly enjoyed. Many of the larger issues like civil rights and women's rights that have been floating around in my mind lately as I bike and find obstacles to feeling safe on my bike are presented in clear, poignant ways on thi

UCSC Strike Leads to Philosophical Reflections on Automobile/Bus-Free Roadways

Imagine the UC Santa Cruz campus without cars or buses circling its horse-shoe shape. No cars driving up behind the sea of pedestrians on Steinhart Way, cramming people off the road or forcing people on bikes to give room to the large metal isolation machines (commonly known as cars) that keep people separate from their fellow slugs. Think of the roads that could become walkways and bikeways (as Steinhart really is and should be since only authorized vehicles are allowed through), people reclaiming space and not having to stop and let cars and buses pass when crossing guards are directing traffic. No bus pollution right in your lungs as you bike up Hagar behind a Metro or loop bus. Walking and dancing in the street, more people walking through forest paths instead of busing around campus, bikes zooming around instead of rusting in a sideyard. Healthier people, healthier air, more human powered transportation. Today, while biking through rain and fog up the bike path and around Por