July 23, 2022

I just purchased my third mountain bike in less than a year.  Having just gotten into the sport, understanding what bike works for me has been a learning curve.  Fortunately, my first two bikes were used and not that expensive.  I bought them both at Community Bikes in Santa Rosa.

A non-profit cooperative, Community Bikes accepts donations of used bikes and then refurbishes them for sale.  The cooperative’s mission is to promote bikes as an environmentally alternative to cars.  The store also offers low-cost bike repairs as well as classes on bike repair.

My latest bike was purchased new, at Awesome Bikes, a little store in Rohnert Park.  It’s run by a young husband and wife team.  It was impressive to see the wife, while quite pregnant, getting her hands dirty doing mechanical work.  The service was extremely accommodating and friendly. 

Riding a mountain bike in recreational areas is kind of like walking a dog in a park. It’s similar, because your bike, like your dog, attracts others and ignites conversation.  People compare bikes just like they compare dogs.  There is no limit to the quality and price of mountain bikes, nor to the sport’s clothing and gear.  My own bike is under $1000, and thus not that impressive.  Still, it serves its purpose and it is a delightful step up from my previous used models.  A good (or better) bike definitely makes the sport much more enjoyable.

Terrible heat is now raging all over the US and Europe.  Still, Joe Manchin and 50 Republicans are standing in the way of any hope for attacking climate change.  I am grateful as I have a cool, quiet place to live.  Grateful that I have ready access to the coast.  I’m grateful for a lot of things and I realize that satisfaction in life, especially during these tumultuous times, essentially comes down to access to resources.  I’ve been blessed, but not-so others.  People need basic recourses.  But people do not need $5000 + mountain bikes.  They may want them, but they don’t need them.

What else is new?  I just finished binging on the Hulu series American Rust.  The series didn’t get great reviews but I loved it.  I loved how this crime drama meticulously illustrates the terrible poverty that is devastating rural American.  The film also showed the cruel travesty of our prison system.  Maybe the series was too realistic for some, who may just want to be entertained.  I like realism and films that reflect the lives of real people.  American Rust does all that and I look forward to the second season.

Published by susancasslangmailcom

Susan Casslan is a writer and a nurse. Her writing touches on spirituality and issues pertaining to social justice. Casslan lived for a decade in the San Francisco Inner Mission District, and she was greatly inspired by the Latinx culture of that neighborhood. The Inner Mission emerges in her books Conversations with Richard Purcell: The Adventures and Reflections of a Renegade San Francisco Priest and That Which Wavers with the Night, as well as in her chapbook 24th Street and Other Poems. Additionally, Casslan’s nonfiction articles have appeared in El Tecolote, an Inner Mission newspaper.

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