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Nice column



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 28th 08, 01:20 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
Eric Vey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 399
Default Nice column

http://www.post-trib.com/news/davich...davich.article

Kevin Crawford has been bicycling to work, the gym, the post office, the
grocery store, you name it.

So, is Crawford one of those pedal-pushing populists who's always
peddling the global and environmental benefits of biking? Not really.

He simply had a minor epiphany a couple years ago about our society's
addiction to gasoline, and nine months ago his lifestyle began a
rebirth. At that time he consciously began weaning himself from his
daily dependence on gas.

"I believe the end of our drive-everywhere car-obsessed culture is
nearing its end," he told me.

"I just don't see how anyone would think that carrying on the way we
have been -- essentially a farce of limitless consumption in a finite
world -- is wise," he said.

Yet instead of merely telling us about his views, like so many of us do
with our opinions, diatribes and crusades, he's showing us the positive
aspects of bicycling through example.

Don't be misled. He's not an overly athletic guy. He hasn't been biking
for very long. He's never biked more than 20 miles. And his bike, a 1999
Mongoose SX 4.3 (if that means anything to you), is several years old
and running these days on only one speed.

In other words, he's just an ordinary guy doing an extraordinary thing
in our society. Which is why I'm more than happy to donate this column
today as his makeshift soapbox.

"You only need to look as far as our parking lots to see how severely
our country has been compromised for cars at the expense of everything
else," he told me.

"Almost everywhere you go in America today, the message is clear -- at
least 200 percent accommodation for cars, and less than 2 percent
accommodation for anything else.

"Those who have ravaged our landscape this way ought to be ashamed."

OK, so Crawford is now showing and telling us, but he has a valid point.
And one that we will have to face sooner or later. He's facing it now.

"Our cities should be made on the human scale, not the car scale. Those
who have been to cities with more walkable, compact, mixed-use
development, such as Paris, France, know the value and the beauty of
development that hasn't completely catered to the personal automobile."

"Here in this country," Crawford aptly points out, "every quart of milk
suggests making a trip with the Chevy Suburban. It's not healthy, it's
not responsible, and it's most certainly not sustainable."

Crawford has discovered the more he bikes, the easier it is, like with
most exercising. But biking more has also done wonders for his emotional
well-being, too.

"I feel better than ever," he said.

He's saving money on gas and vehicle maintenance, instead using it for
biking equipment, such as studded tires, winter wear and night lights.

"I buy stuff that is made in the U.S. as much as possible," said
Crawford, who works in the 160-inch plate mill at Arcelormittal. "I
figure I can use my bike for about 75 percent of my daily errands and
commutes."

And he's proving it.

Before I left Crawford at Classic Bodyworks that night, I asked him what
his biggest obstacle has been since he started biking everywhere.

The cold? The road? The longer hours? Bicycle breakdowns? Night-time
riding? Nope. Nope. Nope.

"It's all the vehicles," he said. "They think they own the roads and
they don't."
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  #2  
Old March 29th 08, 08:48 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
[email protected][_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Nice column

I emailed Post-Tribune telling them I really enjoyed the article, and
requesting Kevin Crawford's contact info.

Here's their response:

"The beginning of my column, posted on the Bicycle site, was omitted
online from our newspaper's site.
Can one of you please post it on that bicycle site, for accuracy?

It's 8:40 p.m. and Kevin Crawford looks like a mission-minded ninja as
he rides his bicycle through downtown Portage. On this 26-degree
night, the mild-mannered novice bicyclist sports a black face mask,
jacket, gloves, and windproof pants. Only a bright headlight and
flashing rear red light shine through the night's darkness. Crawford
is biking to Classic Bodyworks Gym for a workout after putting in an
11-hour work day at Mittal Steel's Burns Harbor plant. Impressed? I
am. But get this. Crawford also biked to work that day, as he often
does these days, a 14-mile round-trip commute as his gas-guzzling Ford
Ranger remains parked at his Portage home. Even in the winter. Even
if there's snow on the ground. Even he has to wake up a little earlier
and bundle up a little tighter to do it. So, is Crawford one of those
pedal-pushing populists who's always peddling the global and
environmental benefits of biking? Not really. He simply had a minor
epiphany a couple years ago about our society's addiction to gasoline,
and nine months ago his lifestyle began a rebirth. At that time he
consciously began weaning himself from his daily dependence on gas.


Jerry Davich
Metro Columnist
Post-Tribune Newspaper of Northwest Indiana
(219) 648-3107
Email:
Blog: http://blogs.post-trib.com/davich/"



On Mar 28, 7:20 am, Eric Vey wrote:
http://www.post-trib.com/news/davich...davich.article

Kevin Crawfordhas been bicycling to work, the gym, the post office, the
grocery store, you name it.

So, is Crawford one of those pedal-pushing populists who's always
peddling the global and environmental benefits of biking? Not really.

He simply had a minor epiphany a couple years ago about our society's
addiction to gasoline, and nine months ago his lifestyle began a
rebirth. At that time he consciously began weaning himself from his
daily dependence on gas.

"I believe the end of our drive-everywhere car-obsessed culture is
nearing its end," he told me.

"I just don't see how anyone would think that carrying on the way we
have been -- essentially a farce of limitless consumption in a finite
world -- is wise," he said.

Yet instead of merely telling us about his views, like so many of us do
with our opinions, diatribes and crusades, he's showing us the positive
aspects of bicycling through example.

Don't be misled. He's not an overly athletic guy. He hasn't been biking
for very long. He's never biked more than 20 miles. And his bike, a 1999
Mongoose SX 4.3 (if that means anything to you), is several years old
and running these days on only one speed.

In other words, he's just an ordinary guy doing an extraordinary thing
in our society. Which is why I'm more than happy to donate this column
today as his makeshift soapbox.

"You only need to look as far as our parking lots to see how severely
our country has been compromised for cars at the expense of everything
else," he told me.

"Almost everywhere you go in America today, the message is clear -- at
least 200 percent accommodation for cars, and less than 2 percent
accommodation for anything else.

"Those who have ravaged our landscape this way ought to be ashamed."

OK, so Crawford is now showing and telling us, but he has a valid point.
And one that we will have to face sooner or later. He's facing it now.

"Our cities should be made on the human scale, not the car scale. Those
who have been to cities with more walkable, compact, mixed-use
development, such as Paris, France, know the value and the beauty of
development that hasn't completely catered to the personal automobile."

"Here in this country," Crawford aptly points out, "every quart of milk
suggests making a trip with the Chevy Suburban. It's not healthy, it's
not responsible, and it's most certainly not sustainable."

Crawford has discovered the more he bikes, the easier it is, like with
most exercising. But biking more has also done wonders for his emotional
well-being, too.

"I feel better than ever," he said.

He's saving money on gas and vehicle maintenance, instead using it for
biking equipment, such as studded tires, winter wear and night lights.

"I buy stuff that is made in the U.S. as much as possible," said
Crawford, who works in the 160-inch plate mill at Arcelormittal. "I
figure I can use my bike for about 75 percent of my daily errands and
commutes."

And he's proving it.

Before I left Crawford at Classic Bodyworks that night, I asked him what
his biggest obstacle has been since he started biking everywhere.

The cold? The road? The longer hours?Bicyclebreakdowns? Night-time
riding? Nope. Nope. Nope.

"It's all the vehicles," he said. "They think they own the roads and
they don't."


  #3  
Old March 30th 08, 09:42 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
[email protected][_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Nice column

Don't be misled. He's not an overly athletic guy. He hasn't been biking
or very long. He's never biked more than 20 miles. And his bike, a 1999
Mongoose SX 4.3 (if that means anything to you), is several years old
and running these days on only one speed.



Wow, this guy's a singlespeed commuter! Pretty cool

That said, I wonder how many cyclists in this group ARE singlespeed
bicycle commuters?

Any fixed-gear commuters?

Regards,
Cullen
 




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