If bicycles are to help Americans solve the transportation side of the energy crisis, we have to find ways of using them for doing our real work—the work by which we make our living. Many people have learned to use them for the daily commute, but what about the trips we have to make during the course of the day?
In his blog fieldofdandelions, Long Beach, California, pastor Danny Bradford reports on a day when he bicycled from his church to a coffee shop for his Wednesday morning sermonizing and then to a rehabilitation center to make a pastoral call. An excerpt from his story appears below. To read the full story, click here. Bradford is a photographer and he often posts examples of his fine work, one of which is posted at the top of this column. To find out more about his church and to sample his sermons, check his church’s website.
It’s probably easier to use a bicycle in Long Beach, with its gentle climate and beach-oriented life style, than in many other communities. Yet, with imagination and persistence, a new generation of bicycle-riding pastors could arise throughout the land.
I’d be glad for testimonies and case studies!
“Yesterday I rode my bike to visit a member who had been in the hospital, and is now in a nursing home/rehabilitation center that, according to their website, is the “closest skilled nursing facility to the ocean in Long Beach.” Being close to the ocean means that it isn’t exactly close to church; round trip ended up being about fifteen miles, although I didn’t exactly take the short way home.
“The weather forecast included a 10-20% chance of rain. I left home at 7:00 and headed to Portfolio’s Coffee Shop, which I had never been to before. I often spend Wednesday mornings at a coffee shop near the church, drinking green tea and reading and/or sermon-writing, but decided to try a new place since it was near the nursing facility.
“There are no bike routes that would take me directly to where I wanted to go. I guess Long Beach still has a ways to go to be bike-friendly. However, Walnut Avenue is wide and has less traffic than other streets, so I used that for most of the 4.5 miles to the coffee shop. The sky was mostly clear and the air was not as cold as it had been the previous few mornings, so it was a nice ride. And drivers were, for the most part, courteous.
“When I left Portfolio’s, the sky was overcast, but the clouds did not appear too dark. It was only a few blocks to the nursing facility, although on my way I did pass a gas station and noticed that the price of gas was now almost four dollars per gallon.
“I had a nice visit with a member who was recovering from a broken hip. After visiting with her, I grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby Taco Bell, then bought some loose-leaf green tea for home from a store a block away.”