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Doing good things

Two of my favorite bloggers (and bicycle people) posted inspiring entries recently.
Large Fella On A Bike has a great article about his run-in with an extremely rude driver who nearly killed him. His reaction is a fabulous example of an evolved response to a stressful situation. He thanks his daughter for the insight she provided into people's motivations for doing bad things. Awesome!

Kent Peterson's entry titled Get A Light! made me think twice about my own reaction to unlit cyclist encounters. I've been guilty of the same reaction he had more than once. My yearly Burning Man attendance creates the highest number of "Hey, Get a light darkwad!" comments. It's not very helpful, as it only serves as an outlet for my own frustration, and the people receiving the comments are no doubt not listening to the message behind the comment/insult.

I guess this means it's time to start carrying some spare cheapo blinkers around with me when I'm night riding to give away. Obviously more effective that yelling "Get A Light Darkwad!"

For the record, "Darkwad" is a term that started (as far as I know) at Burning Man to describe people who are traveling around Black Rock City sans lighting. In a city with nearly 40k bicyclists, riding unlit at night creates enormous potential for collision.

Most bicycle related fatalities occur at or after sunset, and of those, most involve unlit cyclists. Get two light sets: one for yourself and one for a friend or stranger.


12 Steps to Climate Change

Reposted from an email I received from Co-Op America, an organization I got turned on to by the folks over at Xtracycle.

Each of these steps would reduce carbon emissions by at least 1 billion tons per year by 2054. Implementing at least seven of them brings us to the scale necessary to meet the climate challenge, but we have to start now, and move quickly. We have a ten-year window in which we need to be well on the way to achieving these steps.

The good news is that we have the technology and know-how to accomplish all of these steps right now. The best news is that we don't just save the climate with these steps. They bring us real energy security, more jobs, a cleaner environment, real progress on the war against poverty, and a safer world. Let's get started today.
1. Increase fuel economy for the world's 2 billion cars from an average of 30 mpg to 60 mpg. (Current US averages are a woeful 22 mpg.)

2. Cut back on driving. Decrease car travel for 2 billion 30-mpg cars from 10,000 to 5,000 miles per year, through increased use of mass transit, telecommuting, and walking and biking.

3. Increase energy efficiency by one-quarter in existing buildings and appliances. Move to zero-emissions plans for new buildings.

4. Decrease tropical deforestation to zero, and double the rate of new tree plantings.

5. Stop soil erosion. Apply "conservation tillage" techniques to cropland at 10 times the current usage. Encourage local, organic agriculture.

6. Increase wind power. Add 3 million 1-megawatt windmills, 75 times the current capacity.

7. Push hard for solar power. Add 3,000 gigawatt-peak solar photovoltaic units, 1,000 times current capacity.

8. Increase efficiency of coal plants from an average of 32 percent efficiency to 60 percent, and shut down plants that don't meet the standard. No net new coal plants; for new plants built, an equal number should close.

9. Replace 1,400 gigawatts of coal with natural gas, a four-fold increase in natural gas usage over current levels — a short-term step until zero-emissions renewable technologies can replace natural gas.

10. Sequester carbon dioxide at existing coal plants. Sequestration involves storing carbon dioxide underground, an unproven technology that may, nonetheless, be better than nothing.

11. Develop zero-emissions vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles powered by renewable energy.

12. Develop biomass as a short-term replacement for fossil fuel until better carbon-free technologies are developed — but only biofuels made from waste, and made without displacing farmland and rainforests.

Co-Op America Email, 1/23/2007

You can visit the Co-Op America site HERE.


"Ride it to believe"

Todd over at Cleverchimp posted this old video of Kipchoge and Ross talking about and trying to sell the world on the Xtracycle in the very beginning, way back in 2000. A very inspiring video, to say the least. Check it out, and if you interested in riding one to see how it might apply to your life drop me comment. I live in Novato, California, but if you're within 50 miles, I'll come meet ya!

I feel bad not having posted in so long, but life has this insistent habit of getting in the way of regular blogging. 'Course, if I didn't have a life my blog might be fuller, but it would no doubt be less based on experience.


Raffle loser & NYE Resolutions

Well, I didn't win the Electra Amsterdam from the raffle, much to my dismay. I guess I needed to buy more raffle tickets: I bought 10! Still, I like the site, so I'm glad to support it. Did I really need another bike? No, but it's just so pretty, I couldn't help but enter the raffle...

In other news, I've survived the holidaze (obviously) and the new years was uneventful other than the fact that I had some sort of stomach bug and we didn't go out, which was a bummer, but was probably safer in the long run. Happy New Years to all of you!

Did you make any New Years Resolutions? I did!

1. Be more patient and forgiving and less snappy and critical of my wife and son.
2. Get back to 2005's commitment to travel 50% of my travel miles by bicycle, which leads to #3
3. Get down to 180 lbs again (shouldn't be a problem if #2 is being done!)
4. Immerse my self further in Zomadic so that I can make a greater contribution to the company and feel more satisfaction at the end of each work day.
5. Simplify my life by removing much of the "stuff" I have hanging around and completing the multitude of projects that I have already lying around uncompleted.

Feel free to check up on me and my resolutions... sometimes it's nice to have that kind of jolt ;)