Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Magnificent Obsessions: "Life is like a ten speed bicycle..."

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. - Charles M. Schultz
As often as I can I walk home from work. Usually with an mp3 player blasting music of any and all types - heavy metal included. Occasionally I consider getting myself a bike and sparing some wear and tear on my shoes. The idea quickly goes away for two reasons. One is that I'm barely awake in the morning so I'm not sure I would be aware enough to avoid the idiotic drivers on the road. Second - I do like to lose myself in audiobooks, audiodramas, or music for ninety minutes during my walks home. A bike would get me home too quickly.

If I ever do seriously think of buying a bike I'll do a lot of my research for buying using Ken Kifer's Bike Pages. I stumbled across Ken's website with a link to his article on Cycling Cadence and Bicycle Gearing. Math, physics, and the quest for the easiest ride up the hills. What's not to like? The entire website is full of useful articles. From tips on touring to how to perform basic repairs. From traffic safety to humour. Ken was passionate about bicycles and the bicycle lifestyle.

Yes... was. Ken was killed in 2003 by a drunk driver in pickup truck who hit him while he was riding his bicycle. The website is being kept online because of how much it meant to Ken. Ken's website covers more than just bikes. He was passionate about many things and he poured his energy into his website. There isn't a more fitting tribute than just leaving his website running for people like me to come across. Ken certainly used most of his gears.

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