Category Archives: US

Ron Werner

Ron Werner is a photographer who captured day-to-day common activities in New York, specifically in City Island. His family arrived to the USA by running away the nazis from his mother Austria. He opened a gallery called Focal Point Gallery to show his works at the beginning and finally he opened it to other artists, not only from the photo field but also from other artistic areas. Focal Point Gallery has evolved from an extremely large space, in which he also lived there, to a smaller one with impressive windows throughout which he used his camera in an efficiently way. Among all his photos, people with bikes emerge as icons. He affirms that he takes photos of bikers because it gives back memories when he was a boy and enjoyed pedaling.

Dangerous by design: Paintless crosswalks

Seattle, and most US cities, are full of paintless crosswalks.
You know they are crosswalks because there are ramps installed on the sidewalks with the typical dotted/yellow covers to help blind people.
However, drivers have a hard time seeing the ramp, not to mentioned if there are parked cars before the crosswalk, so painting that zebra crossing is vital if you intend drivers to stop when there are people crossing.
I have personally seen drivers honking the horn at pedestrians using paintless crosswalks, and a couple of almost accidents.
So please, US departments of transportation and urban planners, could we make sure pedestrians won’t be run over by cars by actually making crosswalks visible to drivers?, please.

From coast to coast

The dream of crossing the USA in bicycle from coast to coast is being built at the time I write this post. Just imagine a bike-friendly, secure, seamless path that connects the Indian and the Atlantic oceans. This is going to be possible soon thanks to The Great American Rail-Trail. This project aims for developing what was once a myriad of railroads which were abandoned long time ago. As I talked about  green paths, such infrastructures can be taken advantage of in order to give them a second life, and when it occurs with a clear intention of improving human lives it becomes even better off.

The Great American Rail-Trail plans traversing 12 states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, plus the district of Columbia. Its vision continues with allowing bikers and pedestrians going down for more than 3,700 miles. Moreover, imagine the economic opportunities and benefits for the local communities along the route between Washington and Washington. More than 145 existing trails hosting route and more than 90 trail gaps are being reviving, the numbers make you dizzy. The Great American Rail-Trail can constitute a landmark in the cycle tourism  and bike development in the USA.

Who is behind The Great American Rail-Trail project? The NGO Rail-to-Trail Conservancy (RTC) started it back in 1986. It has set itself the task of developing a large net of paths along the country. The RTC has gathered public and private financial donations to carry it forward and giving the opportunity to 50 million people every year to enjoy their bicycles and forests, mountains, vast plains or local communities. Plain and gentle slope combine in the impressive paths so that whoever biker can pedal on them.

Paradoxically, the pandemic has made people use more and more bicycles and in turn The Great American Rail-Trail project has been increasingly supported since people is manifestly in promoting bike use.

Oldest bikers

Health and bike have been studied as a cooperative concepts: The more cycling (under some limits), the better health. Indeed, more and more doctors recommend riding bikes to maintain a healthy personal state. Some of them also prescribe bike rides. Such piece of news has leaded me to investigate who are the oldest bicyclers in the world.

It is not easy an easy task to determine what riders are the oldest. Commonly, local newspapers or websites announce feats made by senior citizens, although it is difficult to establish which ones are the oldest. Nevertheless and as you can imagine, speed is not a point to keep in mind here. Better, I have focused on their age. At the time I am writing this post, the Guinnes World Record recognizes Lynnea C. Salvo as the older woman to cross the USA between Oceanside, California to Bethany Beach, Delaware, on 23 October 2016. She rode 5,090.37 km through temperatures which sometimes exceed 37.78 degrees Celsius. Cheers for her!

Another senior citizen who was in shape was Rush, a Dublin man. This retired teacher was the oldest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle. Native of Dermot Higgins, he spent the first nine months of his retirement pedaling 31,000 km in an attempt to break a world record and raise funds for Trócaire. The USA, Portugal or Spain…, he has not limits with his beloved bike.

And the oldest person on a bike I have discovered is Octavio Orduño who rode his bike being 103, at least. This hero was born in Long Beach (USA) and as a youngster, he always wanted biking and back in 2019 would not accept changing his bicycle by a car. Good choice! He probably continue taking a ride everyday around the neighborhood, similarly as he has done for the last four decades. Due to his age, he had to trade in his street-bike for a three-wheeler, on account of his faltering balance. He is such a biker example that when his wife proposed gifting him an electric wheelchair, he refused it: “Why would I [use a wheelchair]?” he asked. Here, you can see a video about he.