Well, the "No Processed Food Diet" is going well. I call it "diet" not in the sense that I wanted to make the change specifically to lose weight but instead to improve the health of my family. I've lost a little weight and I think the further I can stay from processed food the closer I'll remain to what is a natural ideal weight for me. I joke about falling off the wagon, and there are days like yesterday when I feel like I'm just chasing along behind as the wagon rolls on toward the sunset, but overall I'm sticking to it and I feel much more energetic and my mind seems to be somewhat clearer. The few pounds I've dropped is a plus.
Yesterday I read the first of a Grist series by Elly Blue entitled: How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it)
I know it is really a two pronged issue, but I'd like to see more focus on how utility cycling is a boon to the economy and less about tourism. The problem with cyclo-centric tourism is that people will drive 500 miles with their mountain bikes hitched up to an SUV to ride 20 miles on the bike. Most of the spending on a trip of that nature is still going to be primarily auto-centric. In that sense there is no more economic benefit over taking a trip to go hiking, or climbing or paddling somewhere. UNLESS you’re doing a bike trip from your front door your cycling is most likely only contributing to the economy of the automobile.
I think Ms. Blue has taken the utilitarian attack, and I hope she continues to develop it. I'm not saying cycling tourism isn't important. I think it is, especially in areas where cycling isn't mainstream or widely accepted like my hometown. I think the more cyclists you bring into an overwhelmingly non-cycling population the greater the chance that you will convert the locals, or that the cyclists will become locals and entwine with the community fabric.
Sometimes a recreational path installed to bring in dollars ends up being a huge asset for the community as it provides a way for people to cross distances on foot and by wheel apart from the roads. I say sometimes, I can’t think of an instance where this isn't the case. Someone argue with me on this one. You may win. I haven’t deeply researched my claim.
Elly Blue's article has also inspired me to reopen a topic I started writing on many, many months ago. Myrinda Ray Siciliani Dixon posts in the comments section: "why don't these articles ever suggest what I should do with the kids though?"
So I'm now working on my own piece/series about how to travel with kids by bike. Keep your eyes peeled. I'm probably going to post it over on the Bike Arvada blog, but I'll cross post here, or at least provide a link and explain what's going on.
Boone is seven now and we've been riding with him since he was at least two years old, maybe a little younger. And going beyond that, I used to ride in a bike seat behind my mom as she rode all around the rural county where I grew up. That was in the late '70s even. We've always found ways to carry the kids with us and to incorporate cycling into our family activities and I think I am, at least a little bit, qualified to speak on the subject.
Until next time: RIDE YOUR BIKE!