All in the Family

Every once and while I get into stuff deep and start to think about things. Regardless of your views on the world I think it is pretty obvious to most people that in any geographic location where there is a similar concentration of people with similar cultural systems, beliefs, and mores many other people in the general vicinity seem to feel more or less the same way about things. For firsties, this is why I don’t live in the suburbs, I just can’t relate to “those” people. As a funny aside I had to goto my (very soon to be) X-Wifes lawyers office a couple months back. It was literally the last building on Midlothian Turnpike, past 288, before everything became fields again. I said to the lawyer “wow, this is really far out here” and her response was along the lines of “yes and it’s so convienient here! With 288 right there it is 20-30 min to Short Pump and 20 mins to Chesterfield Town Center!” as straight faced as she could and totally thinking that was some sort of achievement. I don’t know about you but the last thing I keep in mind when choosing where to live or work is the proximity to the Mall. Here’s a tune about how I feel about it:

Anyhow, I have two kids and I would love for when they get older to appreciate being able to ride their bikes to buy groceries, get a coffee, socialize with friends, grab a bite to eat, and appreciate some art and I know they will because if the spread of religion or political beliefs  or anything else for that matter translates the same way as the simple pleasure of riding a bike does than not only will they want to appreciate these things, they will seek them out.

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2 thoughts on “All in the Family

  1. A reply from one of “those people.” Until last year I lived within the city limits of Richmond. Chicago before that. And Washington dc before that. Now that I’ve crossed the river and moved within a mile or so of midlothian turnpike (for the schools primarily) I still ride my bike to the store, the coffee shop and to my office in Shockoe bottom. I admit I don’t see too many other two wheeled commuters in the morning but there is quite a large cycling scene over here on the south side. Riverside drive is one of the best places to ride in richmond and once you cross 288 (yes, by bike – it’s not THAT bad) there is nothing but country roads and beautiful scenery to enjoy. So go easy on us unenlightened suburban types. We’re not all suv driving, mall shopping, art shunning, Starbucks swilling rubes. There are plenty of us out here who enjoy a growing bike culture beyond the borders of RVA. Be safe.

  2. Thanks for reading first and foremost! Didn’t mean to sound like this commuting cycling thing is reserved for urban dwellers only or that all urban dwellers are somehow in tune with the lifestyle. On the contrary, there are enlightened folks everywhere. I am familiar with the roads you mentioned here and I too live about two blocks from Midlothian Turnpike (although in the city) and frequently do some non commuter cycling out Robius, Jhanke, and down Huguenot to Riverside and Old Gun as well. Robious even has a bike lane! I’ve also rode a loop to the prison before (past 288) and you are correct it gets pretty nice out past James River High School. Contrary to how I came off (which is intentional but not always reflective of the realities here) it’s true that there is no special sauce that in towner’s possess which makes them somehow special to this. If anything it’s more a consequence (and coincidence) of their environment and an urban environment which was designed in a time before the mass acceptance of the automobile as the primary mode of transport for people. As such, the city is simply more accommodating for cycling by design, but that no way should imply that it’s residents are somehow more “in touch” than residents elsewhere but you do vote with your shoes as they say, so one’s choice of home location can be reflective (generally) of their access, if nothing else, to lifestyle choices like these. Either way, you are doing way more by being out there for others to see in Chesterfield than I ever will be by being just another cyclist crossing Belle Isle in the AM.

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