This weekend was the 2nd Annual Tour De Fat in Minneapolis. This year it was held at Loring Park rather then a Parking Lot. There was beer and bikes galore, general merriment accompanied by music and theatrical circus entertainment.
The event was sponsored by the New Belgium Brewery, one of the more socially conscious brew companies (at least based on the festival and the website) out there. The beer is decent as well and I quite enjoy the 1554 variety. The event was MC'ed by a rather well spoken gentleman who espoused the ideas of zero waste, slow food, slow life, less consumption.
It is good that the focus is on bikes within the festival, the largest alternative to cars as of yet for local transportation. Bicycles are inspiring in the way they make you think about fuel. Your heart is your engine, and your stomach is your fuel pump. If you want your engine to last as long as possible you keep it fueled with the highest quality Petrol, as far as cars go. If our fuel as bicyclists must come from the earth we would tend to care more about it. When you go to the gas station the only info you receive about your fuels is the octane rating, when I have filled up I never thought about if the gas came from skimmed oil off the Gulf of Mexico, or the Persian Gulf, or the Nigerian deltas, or even the pristine areas of Alaska. My concern was that it burned hot enough to power my heavy box of metal to and from destinations.
Transportation is just one of the disconnects we have today about connection in the chain of productions. Energy and Food I feel are the other two predominantly neglected areas when it come to recognition of where it came from. Food I feel is the closest in todays society to changing as people feel it's direct influence in mere hours of consumption. The sink holes and environmental effect of our energy consumption can take decades to be felt. Look at the town ofCentralia, Pennsylvania. A ghost town whose coal mining and mine fire in th 1960's led to thesubsidence of the land and desertion of the town. The materials we seek for new goods that are not found from recycled and reused materials often come from underground. Wood is somewhat a renewable resource, yet wood does not grow without sapping the land around it of resources. Plants will use the land and if harvested continually and non-stop without cycles of fallow land or crop rotations of nitrogen rich plants, regrowth will zap the land and lead to things like the Dust bowl.
The industrial revolution was really a time for people to learn how to take lots of mass from beneath the earth and put it on-top. A good photographic tour of this is found in the work ofEdward Burtynsky. His documentary Manufactured Landscaped is pretty decent as well, and hisTED talk also a good time killer.
There is no connection to the oil we take from the ground to the push of a gas pedal, or the turning on a light switch to the dirty face of a coal miner.
Food we can see, we don't see the run off of the pesticides, unless we look at the dead zone of thegulf of mexico, a term called eutrophication. This word isn't well known yet, but time and crisis will show us in the future, duh duh duh duh...
This happened to Lake Como in St Paul not to long ago I seem to remember but can't find the internet source to be sure, but it probably isn't as worrysome as the evil Millfoil. My god, how dare species attach themselves to things and move around to try and keep themselves in a good position for survival. Invasive species, you should be snuffed out, while we humans should be the only species to inhabit every corner of the earth. How dare you try and play OUR GAME.
Here is a interesting site about aquatic insects in the water of Minnesota area lakes.
Bus consumption can be beautiful as I saw when giving this guy a lift to the gas station and then his car at Tour De Fat, a 62 Galaxy.
Funny that on the day of the festival, that the Isenhauer 94 Interstate was closed due to some awsome bridge rehab.