The Wonder of “Useless” Bicycles

In a letter published by the Santa Fe Reporter last week, reader Richard Meltz (a motor scooter proponent) asserted that he “cannot fathom” why the use of bicycles continues to be promoted.

“If you live in Eldorado and need to show up in downtown Santa Fe neat and crisply dressed,” Meltz wrote, “a bicycle is useless.”


Last night, after I played a gig with Oakland’s David Gans at Mike’s Music Exchange in Eldorado, my partner Irene and I decided to spend the night at her parents’ house in Arroyo Hondo—not far from Eldorado—rather than interrupt our infant daughter’s sleep for a late-night drive back to our apartment off of Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. So, this morning I rode my bike—a heavy old Diamondback bought off Craigslist recently for $50—ten miles from Arroyo Hondo to the Reporter’s offices in downtown Santa Fe. With a dress shirt on, I pedaled north for a windy hour along the Rail Trail, frequented mostly by lizards and dung beetles in the early mornings, and arrived at work neat and crisply dressed, although my hair was minimally matted from wearing a helmet.

Not everyone enjoys that kind of exercise first thing in the morning (and some demand absolutely flawless hair) but, needless to say, my bicycle was not useless.

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