musician.educator.musicologist

on A Bike Project

Added on by Taylor Smith.

We currently own two cars—well, the bank owns them for another year or two—but had only one for quite a while. We moved into our current house almost exactly seven years ago. We had only one car, then.

As we were looking for a house, the feasibility of commuting to work on a bike was one of the things we tried to keep in mind. This wouldn’t be a deal breaker, per se, but it was on our list of things to consider. Our house is about eight miles from my office, which is obviously very bikable (though there is a sizable hill between here and there, so it isn’t as easy as it sounds). It took me a while before I actually started riding to work after we moved, though I did eventually do it as my normal way of getting to/from work (and other places).

But, as the kids grew, their various activities and commitments made the one-car thing pretty challenging. Thus, we bought a second car (another Prius!) a year and a half ago.

I swore up and down that the new car would not mean that I would stop riding my bike. Alas, while I didn’t stop riding to work entirely, my rides became much fewer and farther between. I used to ride to work three or four days a week, I have since been riding once or twice a month, at best. I came up with all sorts of excuses, most of which seemed perfectly legit. They probably were legit, but they were excuses that I would have dealt with when we had only one car.

I like riding a bike. One time, when I was 17 or 18, I got on my bike and rode toward the mountains. My plan was to turn around after about an hour or whenever I just felt tired enough that I needed to turn around. I ended up riding all the way to Idyllwild, a distance of 22 miles each way, with an ascent of 4,000+ feet—not too shabby for not even really planning on doing this when I left my house. I rode around on a mountain bike in the hills south of Hemet a lot when I was a teenager. I tried to keep up with mountain biking when we lived right near some nice trails in Rancho San Diego, and I always had a good time when I went for rides.

Anyway, our congregation at church is organizing in a service project wherein we are providing recent Sudanese and Iraqi refugees (those that Donald Trump and his cronies couldn’t stop) with bicycles. These folks need help with transportation to their jobs (’cause, you know, they are secret-terrorist leeches that only pretend to have jobs), and bikes can be really helpful. You, and I, and so many others have old, halfway-functioning bikes just lying around, and these people (un-extreme-vetted “Radical Islamic Extremists”) could benefit so much from them. I am excited about this project.

Just for kicks, here are some photos of my bikes. Some lucky probably-really-a-terrorist will be getting, after I give it a little TLC. (My commuter bike is still in really great shape, and I do ride it often enough that I am keeping it around. The mountain bike has only been ridden once in the three years just hanging in my garage; this is a perfect candidate for donation.)

I am planning on riding a lot more from this point forward. Please keep me accountable.

 Old Blue

Old Blue

 Main Wheels

Main Wheels