Taking photos brought a sense of normalcy to living in a war zone. During my long commute across dusty and bumpy Kabul, I saw fathers take care of their daughters, kids throw paper airplanes off of mountains, and lots of bikes.
The Tushar Mountains Challenge is a 42.3 mile out-and-back ride that starts in the southwestern Utah city of Beaver. The ride climbs into the high mountains east of the city, to the end of the paved highway, and then turns around for the return descent. The elevation ranges from 5,940 feet at the start of the ride to 10,010 feet near the turnaround point. The 20-plus miles of sustained climbing make this a challenging outing.
Just before leaving for our journey, someone asks why we are doing this ride. I begin to describe New Mexico’s brightly colored rocks, cultural mix, and geology but quickly realize that they are asking more broadly. Why bike tour and perhaps then, why this route? I do not have an easy answer. I think about it again days later, after flying to Albuquerque, reconstructing my Surly at Geoff’s, and getting a couple days into the ride.
On October 4th and 5th Bike Utah, thanks to generous support from QBP, lead a group of 15 Utahns on a site visit to Minneapolis, MN to learn how to improve Utah’s active transportation infrastructure. Minneapolis currently ranks as the #1 biking city in the US by Bicycle Magazine and Minnesota is ranked #2 on the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly States ranking, Utah is ranked 13th.
I am seeing more cyclists using headlamps (the proper name for a front light), but I am still seeing a lot of riders without lights or inadequate lights. You wouldn’t drive a car without lights so why do so with a bike? The most common “explanation” I hear is that lights are “too expensive”. Have you checked out hospital rates lately? With new lights from long-time providers of bike lights, NiteRider and Light & Motion, expense shouldn’t be an excuse. Prices have dropped for high-lumen lights by more than 60%.