I was running late for work this morning and I was intimidated by the prospect of riding up the Fourth Avenue Eastside hill. So I didn’t. I took a more winding gradual route. I rode up Eighth to Central and then up Central to Fourth. Then I only had a block to go. Some places you can take winding routes to lessen the impact of the big hills. Heading up to the Eastside, this is an option. Heading up to the Westside, this is not. That’s why we need the Trondheim bike lift to get up to the Westside. Digress.

I left my house about a minute before I was supposed to be at work and got there only six minutes late. I am continually surprised by how quickly I can get places by bus and bike. There is something in my head that tells me biking isn’t so much faster than walking to work and a lot slower than driving. Well, it takes me about fifteen minutes to walk and five minutes to drive, so biking really isn’t that bad, time wise. And truthfully, it wasn’t that much of a struggle, even on the Nishiki. 

But now the Nishiki is no longer my problem. Now my problem is the abandoned Trek Jake gave me. This evening I went up to Jake’s house to pick up the Trek. It has a flat tire, no brakes, and gummy handlebar grips, but it fits me! I’ll clean it up a bit tomorrow. 

The Trek was just one of seven bikes living in Jake’s garage while there are only four people living in his house. I was struck by the idea that around Olympia there must be so very many abandoned and neglected bikes. This seems like an untapped resource. A working bike for every person in the county? Intercity Transit doesn’t go to the smaller towns in the county except for Yelm. How are those people supposed to get around effectively without a car? Help them acquire a bike. Liberate the poor neglected bicycles from their dwelling places beneath piles of junk in garages and basements across this college town. Send them out into the countryside where they can feel useful again!

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