It is May at last and that means Mother’s Day; those appealing-to-the-eye April-showers-induced-May flowers, inspiring canvas paintings and prompting springtime picture taking; and, lest I forget, to that list add National Bike Month.
Considering that last item, what with winter in cold storage (for at least a half a year), much milder and more pleasant temperatures and weather conditions and all abounding, and summer-related heat not yet making front-page news, taking time to take the bike for a spin may be just what the doctor orders.
Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places or I’m not looking hard enough, but in my neck of the woods – Fresno, California – I’m not seeing much bicycling activity, in fact, no more than what typically occurs for this area. Maybe now that it’s National Bike Month, in this regard I will begin to see change.
A couple of places I would imagine there being much better results is in the central coast region of California – specifically San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Wow! The mere mention of this brings back memories.
When I was living in SLO town attending college back in the ‘70s, bicycles were everywhere matched, of course, by the plethora of riding activity. There were the casual riders as well as the serious devotees. Many times pedal-pushing enthusiasts would make their way through town during the portions of long-distance Highway 1 (otherwise known as PCH – the acronym for Pacific Coast Highway) bike outings that resulted in them being in town, myself catching a glimpse of quite a few but yet a fraction of the total, not to mention the scores of the occasional and regular bicycle riders, like myself, riding in, out of and all around town. To be real, the area is highly conducive to this sort of thing.
The exercise benefit from such was good and caused was little if any negative impact on air, land and water – a laudable second benefit.
And, I would be remiss if I did not mention a 100-mile (century) ride I participated in during my college days in that area. The trip started from and ended in Santa Maria, a town located about 30 miles south of SLO. What I remember seeing was field upon field of blooming flowers near a place known as Lompoc in addition to having the privilege of seeing some of the most spectacular scenery on this, the west side of the Mississippi – the river, that is. Which only added to the experience overall. And, although not directly connected with the organization itself, on occasion I toured the area with members of the local bicycling club.
Where people cycle, whatever the location, it is heartening to know that because of this, fewer harmful emissions are entering our air compared to what would be the case had the people alone or paired up (on tandem bikes) on these two-wheeled people-moving machines, been out and about driving vehicles that pollute – these being gross polluters or otherwise.
If there is something to not like about bikes, I am hard-pressed to think of what that could be.
Oh, and to reiterate once more, May is National Bike Month.
– Alan Kandel