Thursday, December 17, 2020

As Merry as it Gets


This is it. This is the Apollo 13 of Holiday Seasons in the Apollo 13 of years. We're not landing on the moon - or, in my case, JFK International Airport in New York - so let's break out the duct tape and keep the life support going until we get back to Earth-That-Was.

If you still have a job and a place to live, you're like me and one of the lucky ones - and if you don't get to fly where you want to this Christmas that means you have a little money to spend donating to a few nonprofits. 

This is my third round of making donations: the first was in the wake of a cancelled Spring trip to Italy, the second was when my parent's 50th anniversary bash in New England was cancelled in August, and with December officially flight-free, it's time for a third since I'm not flying to New York and taking a train to Connecticut.

This one's especially tough. It's not just the tradition of not going to Connecticut but also the microtraditions that are associated with it, like bowling with my sister on Christmas Eve and renting a CitiBike in Manhattan after a red-eye flight.

Riding in New York City, December 21, 2019. 

Here's the list of (most) of #MyNonprofits, and I'd be grateful if you made a donation to any or all of them with money you were supposed to spend on a plane ticket AND if you'd go on your own social media platform and introduce your followers to nonprofits that matter to you. 

Bike New York

Community Cycles of California

Good Karma Bikes

Habitat for Humanity East Bay Silicon Valley 

Highways Performing Arts Center

Institute for Local Self Reliance

Lick Observatory

Project Explorer (the founder of Project Explorer, Jenny Buccos, created Crash Test World - a show starring Kari Byron that premiers on Science Channel January 8th - be sure to watch - I want smart things to succeed in 2021) 

San Jose Spotlight (an easy way to do this is to become members/buy tickets for their 2 year anniversary celebration in January

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley 

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition 

Valley Verde


YWCA Silicon Valley 

As I type this I'm looking at the Christmas tree in my living room that was brought home on a Burley bike trailer I modified for the purpose of carrying a tree. It didn't take much: some bolted aluminum bent with a pipe bender. Here's a better photo:

We rode five miles in South San Jose to a lot and picked out a 7' noble fir (they look good and don't have the porcupine quill effect when you touch them, but they don't smell like a pine tree). This is the first real tree in my house in 17 years. 

I almost couldn't believe how well it worked: the tree was carried at a 45 degree angle and the trunk was lashed with a solitary strap. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to transport your tree by bike (if you haven't gotten one yet) let me know and you can borrow this in exchange for making a donation to one of #MyNonprofits. 

That's it. Settle in. This is as merry as it gets and it's up to us all to add whatever humanity, perspective, support and community we can this year. I'm counting on you. Also be sure to shop local: I recommend coffee from Nirvana Soul in the Sofa District and books - for yourself or books for others - from Hicklebee's in Willow Glen. And if you're local is Stamford, Connecticut, visit Lorca on Bedford Street and get merch from the creative force that is the Danger GalleryThanks for reading and thanks for riding.