loose threads

I’m having trouble figuring out what to write about these days. Of course, the fact that I feel so compelled to post something is troublesome enough. Why not just remain quiet? But the reason I’m having difficulty is three-fold: first, I’m not riding much on account of the weather and having nowhere I need to go (contrary to popular opinion, working from home definitely has its drawbacks); second, my head is locked into another major writing project which in turn leaves me with barely enough material and energy to make small talk, let alone to craft a post worth reading; and third, I feel like there are all these unfinished conversations lingering on my old blog, which is still being locked and detained by Google. All I want is to have my access restored long enough to import all my old posts to the new site, because it has occurred to me that the most frustrating thing about starting over like this is that there are so many loose threads that I cannot refer back to. Combined, these things have cost me a lot of momentum.

In bike-related news, our PALM application and registration fees are in the hands of the good folks at LMB, and a family-sized tent is on order. Lists of questions, lists of logistical matters to think about, and lists of things to pack are all underway. Our first real family adventure is on the horizon, even as the biggest snowfall of the season piles up outside my window.

Did anyone see this bit about the bicycle-powered washing machine? I was really hoping there would be at least a picture, perhaps even a video showing it in action. Alas, we must rely on our imaginations. Of late, I’m becoming increasingly interested in programs and initiatives that look to bicycles to help people and improve lives and circumstances in ways other than fitness and recreation. I’ve read about bike-sharing and bike recycling programs for the homeless. World Bicycle Relief led foremost by Trek and SRAM, and BikeTown Africa led foremost by Kona and Bicycling magazine, are two amazing programs that are actually helping people secure clean water , medicine, health care, and even income, thanks to bicycles. The bici cooperative, and the broader bike!bike! movement of which it’s a part, are focused on establishing community bike shops that help ordinary folks keep their bikes on the road in a spirit of cooperation and fair exchange. This is really great stuff. More and more of it seems to surface all the time. I get fired up reading about it. Among other things, efforts like these epitomize bicycling as the signature of a certain worldview. I find something tremendously rich in that.

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Follow up: Here’s a nice little piece in The Chicago Tribune on SRAM’s World Bicycle Relief published January 29. Fancy that.

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