In my last post, I alluded to the fact that I’m no longer working and bike commuting in Tucson — although I still have plenty more to say about that.
But now I’m back in Flagstaff, Arizona with a new job, and a new bike commute.
This new commute is only about 2.6 miles if I take the short way — mostly using bike lanes. A slightly longer way allows me to avoid traffic almost entirely — I cross two busy roads without actually having to ride on them. But the rest of the ride is a combination of sleepy neighborhood streets, some single track, dirt roads, and unpaved urban trails. I only wish it were longer. (Ask me if I still feel that way during the winter.)
For example, this little stretch about half a mile from my house. If you look closely, you can see my bike at the right end of the rainbow.
It couldn’t be more different from my commutes in Tucson, where I spent three months away from my home and family while slumming with three different gracious friends, none of whom lived closer than 10 miles from Bike Shop Hub.
This new job in Flagstaff changes my relationship with this blog, and with the regular readers of this blog. I will still be writing about bike commuting here, but only about once per week. I’ll probably have to stop calling myself the “editor” of this blog — like that that was ever a big deal.
Somebody at the Trust asked me whether I thought working in environmental conservation could ever live up to having been a big shot bike blogger and advocate, as well as a cycling industry marketing hack.
I replied by saying that one of the annoying things about bike advocacy is the obsession with urbanism — the efficiency of cities, the awesomeness of bike infrastructure, the movement to reclaim city streets usurped and made deadly by motor vehicles. All that stuff is true and important. But cities also can cultivate an alienation from nature — even cities with great cycling infrastructure. I’ve heard stories of city kids who don’t know that food comes from dirt; adults who have never been camping. I look forward to keeping one foot in the urban-obsessed world of bike advocacy, and another foot in the wilderness.
I thought that was a good answer.
I will still contribute to the Commute by Bike Twitter feed too, but I won’t be the only one. More details on that as they become available.
It’s been a fun ride.
Ted Johnson lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is the Communications Director for Grand Canyon Trust. Follow his hardly-ever-about-bikes blogging at Half-Hearted Fanatic, and his barely-ever-about-anything tweets on Twitter.