Community Cycles then Off to Denver: Day 29
05/18 (Day 29)
I woke up and got busy, preparing myself for a morning in Boulder and a 30-mile ride to Denver. I weighed and assessed my trash created since Salt Lake City 11 days back and found that I had created .9 pounds (14.5 ounces). That is less than 1/10th of a pound per day. The waste consisted of receipts, a box, a few pieces of food packaging. Of all that 95% was recyclable. At this point on Day 29 I have created a total of 3.8 pounds of waste and have been able to recycle 95% of it leaving me with just a couple ounces of actual trash to carry across the country.
Rich gave me a tour of some of the biking highlights of Boulder on the way to Community Cycles including the bike park and part of the 700 miles of bicycles trails that exist in Boulder. Boulder is considered a Platinum level biking city and there are only three other cities of this ranking in the USA. It truly is one of the best cities in the USA for cyclists. Then it was off to Community Cycles for a tour off the shop and some education about the incredible things they are doing. The one that impresses me most is the Earn-A-Bike Program. If you volunteer for 15 hours in the shop you get to build yourself a bike for free. During that 15 hours you are learning valuable information and practicing bike repair and maintenance. I don’t know what’s better all the free knowledge and skills or the free bike! Anyone is welcome to participate and they also focus on some specific areas of people. For example they have this program for people in jail so that when they are released they will have a means of transportation to help them find a job and navigate the city.
I was also impressed by their wide array of used bike parts. They have the most extensive collection of used bike parts I have ever seen and they can proudly boast that the bikes they sell and give to volunteers are made from 95% post consumer bike parts. Think about that, they are making bikes almost completely out of parts from old bikes. Now that is eco friendly and sustainable. For $40 you can get a membership to Community Cycles and have access to their shop and tools to come in and work on your own bike. This method of sharing is another great example of sustainability. If 100’s of people can use the same wrench then only 1 has to be produced. This saves resources, energy, space and time. Community Cycles walks the walk and I could write book about the amazing things they are doing for the Boulder community but these are a few of the things that excite me the most about this excellent community cycling hub. Find out more at www.communitycycles.org and like their Facebook page here: Community Cycles.
AT 11:00 Rich, Ryan, Brent and I were off to the Boulder Farmers Market, which is the largest in the state of Colorado. This was my first market since I left San Francisco and I was able to eat local organic food until my heart was content. I picked up arugula wheat berries, apple cider, jarred fruits, granola, veggies from last season, ice cream, peach jam and honey but there was so much more to be offered. The five pounds of wheat berries will be a live saver as I’ll be able to sprout those over the next month for a high-energy food.
Ryan Van Duzer, local bike celebrity, showed me around the market and gave me a good view of what Boulder is all about. He is an adventurer like me and lives life that is truly good for the planet. He has never owned a car, is a vegetarian, and has bike across the country four times. He’s raised over $10,000 for Community Cycles as part of his fun loving epic journeys. He is a pedal powered stud that lives by his word.
A company that I was absolutely impressed with at the market was MM Local Foods. MM Local partners with local organic family farmers to can and preserve produce at the height of ripeness. This provides local farms with another source of revenue and ensures thousands of pounds of produce gets used and doesn’t go to waste. It’s real, local food that tastes like it’s supposed to, so Coloradans can all eat local and delicious, all year round. The lid even has a sticker that shows where the produce came from. They use very simple preservation methods, which means no added ingredients, just the nutrients that we need.
From the market I was off to Denver. It was a 30-mile bike ride that was quite miserable. The arugula I ate was so spicy it was causing my stomach to churn and the roads had some very expected hills to climb. Once in the suburbs of Denver the roads were in horrible shape with huge holes and very narrow shoulders making it hard to dodge the bumps and holes. On top of the exhaust from cars whizzing by over a half dozen fire trucks and ambulances blared by, deafening my sensitive ears throughout the hour of biking through the suburbs. Just 1.8 miles from Adams house I got a flat tire, which really added insult to injury. I wanted so badly to be on his couch relaxing but instead found myself on the side of a busy road failing at changing my tire. I was so frustrated and overwhelmed that I just couldn’t successfully do anything. I went the wrong direction both before and after I got the flat tire but eventually I was back on my bike and made it to Adams abode before nightfall. Adam Houzner is someone that I have the utmost respect for and I got to know him well two years ago when I dropped him off at the Pacific Crest Trail where he hiked 2,663 miles from Mexico to Canada over 5 months with Forest Jenkins. He is a true man of the wild and if there were anyone I would want to be stuck in the woods with it would be him and Forest.