|Tired of the snow? It's almost gone!|
IceBike (and Walk) to Work
Friday, March 20th
East Hartford at Maddie's from 7:00AM to 8:30AM
Hartford at Ashley's from 7:00AM to 8:30AM
Just show up!
Those that are new, or returning, to cycling should take time to learn about safe riding, and how to operate around car drivers who are feeling careless and randy as the Spring approaches. I highly recommend taking the Traffic Skills 101 course that will be offered on Sunday, April 12th in Hartford. Half of bike crashes are "bike alone" - your skills can be improved. Half of crashes with cars are "cyclist at fault," which can be improved significantly once a cyclist is trained in vehicular cycling. You have direct control over 75% of crash causes, and you will learn how to indirectly manage the vehicles around you for the remaining 25%. It is an amazingly powerful course.
Traffic Skills 101
Sunday, April 12th
Hartford, CT @ Thomas W. Raftery
And now for the kicker. As of March 20th, I'll no longer be working at the engineering company across the river. For better or worse, I've chosen to chase a dream of doing more community focused work. As the youth coordinator for the Center for Latino Progress I'll be running their Escalera college prep and leadership program for high school juniors. This is where my bicycle becomes critical. Going from an engineering to non-profit pay grade is a significant change. Not owning a car eliminates a huge expense. I don't see how folks working for $20,000 or $30,000 a year can manage owning and maintaining a car. It doesn't make sense.
I'm excited for the opportunity to make a difference in Hartford. In addition to the societal benefits of the program, the tighter finances will push me to utilize cooperative resources that are just starting to operate in Hartford. I recently posted offers and requests to the Hartford Hour Exchange, and just this morning banked three hours of bike maintenance. In the time bank model, I can trade those three banked hours for three hours of help or service from another member. Quite a novel and beautiful arrangement. In addition to the Hour Exchange, I'll be more actively using FreeCycle to continue using goods handed off by others. I recommend West Hartford FreeCycle, as well off folks give away amazing stuff.
You have now reached the social and political commentary portion of the blog post. When I stepped away from my well compensated engineering position and into a life of more fulfillment, I didn't realize that it would be in the same week that United Technologies announced that it is abandoning their Hartford offices, moving 175 employees out to the Farmington suburban campus. It was also the week that the Hartford Courant reported that UTC's ex-CEO received a $184,000,000 (so many zeros) separation package. How does one human justify making 1000X times the salary of a full time minimum wage employee in their company? So much disgust fills my heart. Not sure what to do with it. Any suggestions? I think I need to go ride my bike to re-find my happy place.
|Sometimes one feels like a cranky bear.|