January 19

Time-poor as I am lately, I don't have a lot of words today.  I do have, though, a small interesting thing I learned, which I would have shared with my father, were he still here.   At first, I was thinking I would have shared it with him because it was exactly the kind of thing he would have loved.

And then I thought, that's ridiculous.  He used to circle back on his route home so as to have to do the biggest hills more than once.

But now I'm thinking again and although he was a dedicated cyclist himself, he was also an environmentalist. And a person fascinated by human ingenuity.  So I think maybe he would have loved it, afterall.  

Realistically, were he still alive, I probably would have emailed him the link. Well, realistically, I probably would have SMSed it, but since he died before any of us got iPhones, SMSing wasn't really a thing we did then, certainly not for sharing links. 

And, realistically, my comment with the link wouldn't have been "I thought this was cool and I thought you would think it was cool, too, so I'm sharing it because I love you."  It probably would have been something more snarky, something more like, "I might actually use my bike to get around if they'd install these on the big hills between me and everything I want to get to."

We might have had a bit of a conversation, then.  He might have told me that if I'd just try, I'd eventually be able to do hills, even relish them.  He might have guilted me about climate change and how could I say I cared if I wasn't willing to go through a little inconvenience to cut down on my car use?   And I might have defended myself, held myself up as an example of a "normal" person who wants to bike more but has a fear of traffic (he was all for dedicated bike lanes and off-street paths, so that wouldn't have been controversial) and a fear of hills. 

Or I might have started with that, explained that I was thinking about what stopped me from biking for actual transportation and realized it was pretty much those things, fear of cars and fear of hills, and that I idly wondered whether a thing like a ski lift could work for bikes.  And that Google and Wikipedia had led me to this video and I'd been so pleased to have had the idea and within minutes found that such a thing exists!  

From there, we might have speculated on why there's only one of these bicycle lifts in the world. Or maybe we would have thought about how it worked and how it could be improved.  Or which would be the best locations for such a thing in my hometown. 

You can have a lot of conversations with someone after they've died, except they all turn out to be conversations with yourself.