For those of you that missed it, 2013 was Salt Lake City’s Year of the Bike. Personally, a claim like that brings to mind the far reaching social and infrastructural changes required to undermine urban motorized transportation, make cycling the primary mode of personal transportation, and take a big step towards ending the air pollution or “inversion” that has become a near constant threat to the health of SLC’s Residents. Laws prohibiting single occupancy vehicles, expanded bike lanes and trails, economic incentives for cycling… Basically shutting down all vehicular traffic inside city limits except for trucks, buses and trains is pretty much what I have in mind when I think of a city giving over an entire year for the advocacy and awareness of bicycling. Claiming anything as “Year of” should mean it’s influence is far greater than any other social or political force. Think, Year of the Axe Murdering Homeless Man, or, Year of the West Valley City Gonorrhea Infection. Although those might be titles you’d affix after the point, they pretty well capture what has happened. So looking back on the last year, it’s hard to notice any real changes in Salt Lake’s transportation hierarchy. Although I’m not a resident of SLC, and my time spent there usually amounts to a few weeks in the spring and fall, from my perch atop Little Cottonwood Canyon it’s easy to look down and see the murky, poisonous soup, and know damn well that it’s not a bunch of cyclists that’ve caused it. But while SLC didn’t under go any major cycling-themed transformations, they’ve still managed to put together a few initiatives worth mentioning. Also, in honor and celebration of the year gone by, I’ve dumped a bunch of pictures and captions in the following post that wrap up our bike-powered adventures in and around SLC this fall.
Although we’d been counting on going to Zion for a while, our plans seemed to be constantly revising, when, how, time, money, these variables were in constant flux as we tried to move our lives from Washington to Utah and maintain some sense of organization. Although we planned on bicycling from SLC to Zion for a week of climbing, we ended up renting a car due to the constraints of time and weather, but more to the point, due to our overriding passion to spend all of our available time climbing. This isn’t a journal about our stalwart decision to boycott oil, it is about the creativity and flexibility to pursue your passions and goals while making an effort to curb your consumption of carbon. That said, if you don’t own a car, some time’s you’ll end up renting one. The Corolla that got us to Zion did over 35 miles a gallon, pretty sweet compared to some of the inefficient cars I’ve been forced to own over the years. Although I was a little bummed we didn’t get to go on a longer bike tour, the week was awesome and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Click below if you want to see some great pictures and a bit of a write up about our week. Continue reading →
For the past week fires have raged in Eastern Washington. The “Wenatchee complex” as it is known, is contributing to hazardous and unhealthy air quality in Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Another fire on Mt. Cashmere in the Icicle canyon has lead to road and trailhead closures. For Liz and I, this has meant a second look at our objectives and goals for these last few weeks of our stay here in Leavenworth. Continue reading →
Last week we wanted to “take it easy”, which more often than not means that instead of a big trip we end up having some very long and hard days. This was no exception. No car, no problem. Continue reading →