There aren’t a lot of bicyclists left on the roads and trails of Indianapolis and central Indiana as November ends and December begins. We’ll see if that’s the case in Utah in a few days.
In spite of epic rainfall from early Friday through early Sunday, I was able to get in three relatively long rides this weekend, well over 100 miles in total. I didn’t pass a single cyclist. That’s a shame. It has been mild and even if it wasn’t, the really bitter arctic air is still weeks away. There are far worse times of year to ride than December in this part of the world.
I’ve started reading The Big Roads by Earl Swift. It’s the fascinating story of how America’s network of interstate highways came to be.
This might seem an odd read for a vehicular cyclist like me but it really isn’t. The Big Roads shows very clearly the ephemeral nature of transportation infrastructure. While it is easy to look back in hindsight and see how these superhighways drove the development of postwar, suburban America, it is sometimes not so easy to understand that they were an effect as much as a cause. The juxtaposition of a growing auto industry with cheap oil created demand that these roads fulfilled. They were perfect for the times that spawned them, just as multimodal transportation including bicycles is perfect for the (still) new millennium. Everything is temporary. Our time has arrived.
I have a number of exciting meetings scheduled in Utah later this week including one with Bike Utah in Salt Lake City. I’m also meeting with some innovative entrepreneurs at Hack Ogden and Beehive Startups. I will be curious to see if bicycling/multimodal transportation is on their radar. I also hope to have the chance to sit down with elected officials in both Ogden and Salt Lake City. More soon.