Healthy images of our City: Sustainable mobility with Gil Peñalosa

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  –Albert Einstein, quoted in “The Artist’s Way”

Join AARP New Mexico Wednesday, August 14 for an evening with Gil Peñalosa.  Engage your imagination in creating more verdant and healthy places to live, today and for future generations. Gil specializes in creating vibrant and healthy cities in a world that works for all.

https://www.gpenalosa.ca — Gil Peñalosa’s website
“Sidewalks are the most important infrastructure in any city, as walking is about more than just walking”. –Gil Peñalosa on sustainable mobility

https://local.aarp.org/nm/ — AARP New Mexico, this event’s host
“AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.”

http://www.abqciqlovia.org — Albuquerque’s Open Streets festival is Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
For more information check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/abqciqlovia

These NM Kids are ready to ride!

Grants, NM hosted a bike rodeo, safety and education course this summer!

It was made possible by Bike Santa Fe, New Mexico Brain Injury Advisory Council, LOOK FOR ME, Albuquerque Parks and Recreation, Future Foundations Family Center, Grants Public Schools, Cibola General Hospital, and Mt Taylor Dental, and dedicated community organizers!

More photos on https://www.facebook.com/CycleCibola/

To keep the body in good health is a duty. . . . Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  –Buddha, quoted in “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron

Slow Roll 505

I am large.  I contain multitudes.  –Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself” in Leaves of Grass

There’s a new bicycling event in Albuquerque called “Slow Roll 505”.  I participated in the June 10th ride around the Barelas neighborhood and had such a good time!  It is relaxing and open to all.  The next ride is July 22 in Wells Park/Sawmill/Old Town. Fun! https://www.slowroll505.com

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The event is designed to get the community out cycling on our neighborhood streets.  Albuquerque Police escorted us and controlled traffic through intersections to let the ride pass by.  The response was pretty phenomenal.  Traffic slowed down and people were curious and receptive.  Lots of waves and smiles were shared as we cycled.

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We went over Bridge Street, which is usually filled cars.  I would never have imagined an experience like this were possible but it really is special when you invite people out to see their city from the perspective of a bicycle.  Living with a light footprint enlarges the sense of spaces around us and all the friendly people on bicycles sure did light up our city.  I was asked to help be a traffic guard and they gave me this bright green vest to wear.  I was shy at first controlling intersections but found the rest of the traveling public had a great attitude.  A driver leaned out of his window and said, hey, what is this ride?  I said Slow Roll 505.  He said if he would have known he would have joined us on his bicycle.  Maybe I’ll see him again on his bicycle on the next Slow Roll 505 July 22.  Sweet.

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Check out the schedule and awesome image gallery on the promoter’s website.  They are starting out small this year.  Next year they plan to have rides every week. https://www.slowroll505.com

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The organizers. Photo from their website https://www.slowroll505.com

Cycling as medicine

I was riding with Zach up Gutierrez Canyon and he said, “If cycling was a pill, everybody would be taking it.”  That’s a neat saying, but after pondering it for a while, I thought cycling is way more fun than taking a pill or vitamin. The benefits of cycling are proven medically effective, and the evidence keeps mounting.

The Specialized Foundation uses cycling as a tool for children to achieve academic, health and social success through their Riding for Focus program.  The Foundation partners with Stanford University to better understand the effects of cycling on the learning process in children.  It’s pretty incredible to see the positive results of cycling becoming more visible.

Play is a huge part of learning!  Cycling play promotes mental health and overall wellbeing.  As a team sport, it builds social connections and a sense of belonging.  When we do high intensity intervals on the bike, the mind focuses on exercise and nothing else.  The goal-oriented part of the brain gets more oxygen causing a focus-shift away from the other parts that might be stressed.  This exercise-focused goal-orientation leads to mental relaxation.  The following study by Global Cycling Network goes into the details more.  Basically the same kind of exercise doctors prescribe for heart patients is also good for our heads, and more.

The bottom line is the value produced by cycling is so positively impactful, we’ll have to create a new economic model to measure it.  The rewards to the individual and society are only just beginning to be understood.  The bicycle is releasing so much human potential!  Kudos to everyone making an effort to harness it more, including the people riding bicycles.

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” –H.G. Wells

Further reading:
Kids are getting on bikes sooner and having more fun: https://bikeinitiative.org/2017/08/25/cycling-for-kids-strider-bikes-and-specialized-foundation/
Cycling as a national investment: https://bikeyogiblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/the-bicycle-is-americas-vehicle/
The Specialized Foundation: https://www.specializedfoundation.org

Cycling connects us with nature, too, which is good medicine

Bike-In Coffee hosts Semper Porro cycling team

Our motto at Old Town Farm is pedalers welcome.  We would like for that to be the motto of every city in America.  –Lanny and Linda, owners of Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm

On Saturday, April 27, two great things come together.  One of the top bicycle racing teams in America in 2019, Semper Porro, will be at Albuquerque’s Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm to connect with the broader community from 10am-12noon.  Join in the celebration of cycling fun!  Semper Porro will discuss how their mission of athlete development translates into helping people reach their fullest capabilities in life through healthy living, process excellence and community building.

Semper Porro Elite Road Bicycle Racing Team

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019 10am-12noon
Where: Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm ( http://oldtownfarm.com/bike-in-coffee/ )
What: Community gathering with cycling demonstrations, w/ optional ride at 12noon

More About Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm:  Bike In Coffee caters to cyclists, serving food and coffee from 9am-2pm every Saturday and Sunday on their glorious farm in the heart of Albuquerque with easy access off the Bosque Multi-Use Path.  The property has been farmed for at least 500 years, and the current owners have adapted it from a horse farm 35 years ago to the changing urban context, so people can connect with nature and one another through relaxation and sharing food and cycling culture, and enjoying everything that’s beautiful about Albuquerque, NM.

More About Semper Porro:  An elite road bicycle racing team with roots in the Southwest U.S., Semper Porro is Latin for “always forward”.  The Semper Porro team is in Albuquerque training for the Tour of the Gila bicycle race in Silver City, NM May 1-5. They’ve had an amazing season thus far, including winning the Redlands Classic while competing with many of America’s top cycling athletes. Semper Porro’s mission connects cycle sport to the highest ideals and values in life and uses processes that are universally applicable to building successful careers, relationships, reaching life goals and helping individuals and communities flourish.

References and further reading / viewing:

Hear Old Town Farm’s vision for New Mexico and Albuquerque as America’s leader in cycling:

Watch Semper Porro at Redlands:

The Tour of the Gila draws professional and amateur teams from across America to New Mexico for the some of the finest bicycling roads in the world with clear air, high altitude, and spectacular landscapes, great food and culture and an awe-inspiring atmosphere.  Cycling in New Mexico has deep roots and is an integral part of our communities.
https://tourofthegila.com

Semper Porro media:
https://www.facebook.com/semperporrotraining
https://www.instagram.com/semper.porro/
https://semperporro.com

Bike-IN landscapes: Bikepacking NM and the wild US

“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Unique in the New Mexico 2019 legislative session is House Memorial 10, which recognizes the contributions of bikepacking for outdoor recreation.  Bikepacking is a combination of camping and cycling, akin to backpacking, but gear is mounted on one’s bicycle instead of carried on one’s back! Outside Magazine covers the genesis of this grassroots, community-driven movement in New Mexico, which was born out of residents’ interest of getting to know this place better, and enjoying the abundant natural assets of quiet, dark night skies, and wonderful landscapes.  Bikepacking creates unlimited, sustainable travel opportunities while supporting local communities and small scale enterprises, and keeping nature intact.  It encourages us to slow down and take in the treasures of the places we inhabit, all while improving mental and physical health and well-being.

photos from day rides. With bikepacking those envoys of beauty, the stars, string our days together

Bikepacking speaks to the most important issues of our times.  You don’t need expensive equipment to enjoy it, so it’s affordable and accessible.  Think of the health boom bikepacking creates!  A health boom could expand indefinitely and include all people, residents and visitors, natives and newcomers.  A health boom has no down side. Bikepacking preserves natural habitats and biodiversity, and utilizes the existing network of trails, dirt roads and paved connecting roads from population centers.  Through bikepacking adventure, we learn to take better care and pay attention to all we have, including our subsistence infrastructure.

Bikepacking contributes to health, economy, and communities all in one activity, and seems to honor the essence of things.  It contributes to the upbuildling of human lives and community and the conservation of nature for future generations, while increasing the capacity today for appreciating the life we are living.  Bikepacking is not an extractive activity, rather it is regenerative.  We can also train for it right here in the villages, towns, cities and countryside where we reside.  Cycling has many practical uses, and is beautiful poetry, too.

Bikepacking brings people IN to the landscapes we call home and we see the world with new eyes from a bicycle.  We sharpen our ingenuity and hone our skills.  We learn to sense better when a rain storm is coming, to know when to pitch camp for the evening.  Truths flow out of the recesses of our consciousness in the backcountry, and we realize there is a tranquil sense of unity throughout nature, one that flows in us and through us and that we are a part of.  We meet people while bikepacking and build up the fabric of engaged, supportive community.  Biking in nature helps us appreciate things and know ourselves.

“The charming landscape which I saw this morning is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms.  Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape.  There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet.  This is the best part of these men’s farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title.”  RW Emerson, Nature

 

References and Resources:
House Memorial 10 recognizing the importance of bikepacking in New Mexico
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/memorials/house/HM010.pdf

Outside Magazine “New Mexico Wants to Make Bikepacking Mainstream”
https://www.outsideonline.com/2391248/legislators-trying-make-bikepacking-go-big

I’ve written about my cycling day trips.  I would like to try overnight trips by bikepacking.
https://bikeinitiative.org/2016/12/18/cycling-from-home/

A couple Team CSP-SBI New Mexico cycling ambassadors took a wild ride just yesterday
https://www.strava.com/activities/2205526850 “Cabezon loop extended aka luxury gravel”
https://www.strava.com/activities/2205408125 “Exploring that other side”

I could see some write-ups on bikepacking here, in the ‘slow travel’ section
https://www.theworldinstituteofslowness.com “the fastest way to a good life is to slow down”

Team CSP-SBI cycling ambassador clothing available online

Team CSP-SBI clothing is available online through March 6, 2019.  Items are priced at a 30% discount thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and partners.  We promote conservation, health and wellness, and quality of life in our communities by celebrating life through cycling and encouraging more people to enjoy the ride. People on other teams and from all across the community are welcome to join our inclusive network of ambassadors. Cycling creates an amazing life and builds healthy, connected, sustainable communities!

Online store [was open] through March 6: https://custom.zootsports.com/CSP2019
Latest shipping update (posted April 23): Clothing arrives at your shipping address April 29 or 30
Sizing chart: https://squadra.com/pages/sizing-charts
Fitting samples are available at the Trek Bicycle Superstore if you would like to try them for sizing.
Supporting SBI: Clothing sales cover costs only.  To financially support SBI’s work donate here

More on Team CSP-SBI apparel:  Mens and womens jerseys, shorts, vests and arm warmers are made by Squadra (“Team” in Italian) with the highest quality materials.  The form fit allows freedom of movement and won’t catch or snag on anything.  Air flows smoothly over the fabrics, increasing your overall efficiency.  Team CSP-SBI apparel is well-suited to make your commute safer and more comfortable, and equally at home on a weekend fun ride.  The fabric is soft to the touch, breathable, protective and durable.  The shorts have padding and make every seat first class.  Lycra supports your muscles and extends endurance.  If you’re new to technical cycling apparel, consider ordering a vest, a versatile item that can go over any type of clothing.  Jerseys and vests have rear pockets to conveniently carry food and goods.  Every aspect of Team CSP-SBI apparel by Squadra is designed to make you cycling experience smoother and more fun.

More on Team CSP-SBI:  In our fourth year, Team CSP-SBI cycling ambassadors brings the community together and creates a friendly cycling atmosphere.  We are a distributed network with representatives across the U.S. and around the world.  Ambassadors practice all kinds of cycling, from commuting to road to mountain biking, and are passionate about exploring the outdoors together.  Cycling is practical and affordable transportation that takes us where we want to go.  We cycle for enjoyment, to pursue our goals and dreams, and to bring about the changes we want to see in the world. Team CSP-SBI connects people to the cycling action and facilitates learning in a fun, inclusive and welcoming family-oriented environment.  Our logo are the American pronghorn, native to North America and the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere.

About CSP and SBI: Team CSP-SBI is co-organized by two nonprofits, Conservation Science Partners and Southwest Bike Initiative.  CSP applies human ingenuity to the preservation of species, populations, and ecosystems using scientific principles, innovative approaches, and lasting partnerships with conservation practitioners. https://www.csp-inc.org
SBI provides sustainable transportation planning, design, and educational services to provide a safe and efficient transportation system for the traveling public.  We foster travel choices that provide opportunities for physical activity, contact with nature, and positive social engagements, while promoting economic development, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and elevating the quality of life in our communities. https://bikeinitiative.org

Information on clothing costs and donations: The prices in the store cover the cost of clothing only. If you would like to donate to SBI, please do so here. Our work is made possible through contributions of generous people like you.  https://bikeinitiative.org/make-a-donation/
For assistance or with any questions, please contact Mark Aasmundstad, the director and founder of Southwest Bike Initiative.  bikeyogi (@) gmail.com or 505-985-1169 (phone)
Thank you!

New Mexico a leader in great outdoors

If passed by legislators, the Outdoor Equity Fund would also be created–the only fund of its kind in the nation that would be designed to spur the development of New Mexico’s next generation of conservationists. –Angelica Rubio and Stephanie Garcia Richard, on the proposed Office of Outdoor Recreation, in “Op-Ed: Access to the Outdoors is a Basic Human Right

A group ride on the Paseo de la Mesa trail on Albuquerque’s West Side (author’s photo)

It’s been a busy year in New Mexico watching our newly elected officials take office.  Representative Angelica Rubio rode her bicycle 300 miles from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to kick off the legislative session!  The Legislature and Governor have been working in concert to introduce and discuss landmark legislation, including Senate Bill 462 to create the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division in the Economic Development Department.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham with New Mexico Zia symbol on jersey (from Governor’s facebook)

In addition to the proposed Outdoor Recreation office, there have been a series of bills and memorials designed to leverage our State’s bountiful natural beauty and resources.  House Memorial 10 recognizes the “importance of bikepacking to cultural resources, physical activities, conservation, and tourism”, while pointing out the importance of road and trail connectivity.  House Bill 192 creates a uniform rule for safe passing of bicyclists, while also protecting motorists by including guidelines for not passing slower traffic when there is oncoming traffic in the adjacent lane.  This is good for everyone, as it is widely acknowledged in the transportation profession that interventions protecting “the most vulnerable road users will benefit all road users” (National Transportation Safety Board SS1701, Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes).

Puerticito road off the Turquoise Trail, NM 14 (author’s photo)

There’s more good news!  New Mexico recently published its first Statewide Bicycle Plan, and House Bill 192 will boost its implementation process.  The NM Bike Plan “includes the goal of making bicycling a more comfortable and attractive mode of transportation”.  Creating educational campaigns with instructions for safe passing is an important part of the “implementation of driver education strategies as a means to improve bicyclists safety” (from NMDOT – Traffic Safety Divison, NMBOT Bill Analsyis, HB 192).  There are many organizations in New Mexico already teaching transportation safety.  By joining our efforts together and with a concerted focus on promoting access to our natural environment, things are looking up for using the simple bicycle as an accessible, economical, and super fun way of getting people outdoors!

A mural in Albuquerque, NM with my bike (author’s photo)

This is a good video by Austin’s PD with instructions on safe passing.  In New Mexico, the required minimum passing distance will be 5 feet, up from Austin’s 3 feet, providing even more protection

References and Resources:
The lead quote is from this article in Outside Online, a magazine based in Santa Fe
https://www.outsideonline.com/2389421/new-mexico-outdoor-equity-fund-op-ed-rubio-richard

Outdoor culture is good for our spirits, and putting our economies in synch with quality of life initiatives
https://headwaterseconomics.org/economic-development/trends-performance/recreation-counties-attract/

The National Park has a guidebook to develop bicycle and pedestrian access.  Webinars are available
https://www.nps.gov/subjects/transportation/bikeped.htm includes NPS Active Transportation Guidebook

Albuquerque Journal published a story on the Outdoor Recreation office proposal
https://www.abqjournal.com/1277104/governor-lawmakers-propose-new-office-to-promote-outdoors.html

This study by the National Transportation Safety Board is a pivotal reference for traffic safety for all https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Pages/SS1701.aspx

Albuquerque itself is a city with one of the best open space systems in the nation
https://www.kunm.org/post/using-historical-photos-explore-albuquerques-future

2018 NM Bike Plan http://dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/BPE/NM_Bike_Plan.pdf