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flatlander:Bike to work, you betcha.

Austin Richardson
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The best thing about the ride is what you see in the gutters. Being a notorious trash digger, it’s in my nature to speculate as to the owners of found things. It’s a game that never gets old to me.

Even coins sometimes trigger the response, but put something like a Hello Kitty electric toothbrush in the gutter as I’m rolling by and that might fill my back processors with fodder for the rest of the day. Chewable chunks of bite-sized brain candy, light and airy or dark and imposing, it’s something to ponder on the road. All a ruse to keep the rhythm of heavy breaths coming, up and down.

Was the Hello Kitty electric toothbrush part of the contents of the shredded backpack next to the lone Teva flip-flop? Surely the broken green crayon was part of that exact parcel. Probably left on the roof somewhere at a gas station in Vail, thrown off on the overpass and run over several consecutive times in that same intersection. Contents splashing the pavement, eventually ground into the gutters. Delightful detritus.



Biking to work would be great if there were aid stations every day. The reason I mention this is because Eagle County has a “bike to work day” and thus my impetus to chug all the way.

Perhaps in a Utopian society, that would be a government incentive to alleviate some of society’s ills. Everyone knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.



Giving away even the worst food on the commuter’s trails would get folks on their bicycles even a little. It’s a net gain in my estimation, no matter how far someone rides.

Circa 1992, I bought my first bicycle. Up to then, I either didn’t ride bikes our got one as a gift. Funny, I still have that mountain bike. It’s dated, but quite functional. New wheels, tires, seat, seat post, handle-bars and a fancy “new” shock absorber on the front makes that sucker heavy.

The good part about that bike, and the reason I’ll probably never let go of it is because it’s paid for itself so many times over. There was a time when I rode my bike to my day job as a cook and night job as a janitor. We’ve seen some interesting times, my trusty old Cannondale and I.



I’ve also been “kissed” by a side mirror. Threw me into the ditch, where thankfully, there were no rocks. I ran out of batteries for my headlamp once in blood-chilling part of the country in Kansas. So dark, humid and noisy.

I’m not sure, but I think this bike has already been to “retro.” But make no mistake, it’ll be back in style again soon.

The real tip-off to my dated bike get-up is the helmet. It’s a 1990 Giro, green, fairly new despite it’s age. Having such a large noggin, helmets and hats look slightly goofy anyway. I’ve accepted that and moved on.

Might ride my bike to work more often, now. I miss the old days.

Contact Web Editor Austin Richardson at arichardson@cmnm.org or (970) 748-2911.

Vail Colorado


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