Real Transport

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I live on a farm.  This 12-acre urban plot is just south of I-40, north of old Route 66, and east of the Rio Grande River.  We are not the first people to live and work this land; in modern times, it is some of the oldest inhabited land in the state.  The floodplain provides nutrients for growth, and the shady cottonwoods offer respite from the sun.  On Sundays, only people on foot and bicycle may visit the farm to enjoy the setting and to purchase produce.  Discovery is inevitable at all ages.  Young boys find a grasshopper– they are a mere “three and a half quarters” years of age.  Adults learn how to harvest their own food.

Even with several children in tow and a pair of unruly three-foot gagutza squash, bikes are the way to go.  Bikes serve real transportation.  In a week, or in a month, what kind of cool things do you transport on your bike?  What are the most interesting places you visit in town?

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For more fresh images, check out Lael’s post “Salad. Salud.” on her blog, Lael’s Globe of Adventure.  Over the winter, you are bound to see more of our lives on the farm.  Last winter, Lael and I slid our mitts into pogies while riding fatbikes around Anchorage, Alaska.  This winter, we look forward to a full week of 65 degree days through Thanksgiving in Albuquerque, NM.  In addition to assisting with farm operation, we will also be helping to develop a new zoning designation for bike-in commercial enterprise.  Bike paths go places, which is good, but what if they allowed us direct access to the things that we need?  “Bike-in commercial” zoning could assist the growing culture of bicycles as transport, and could bring more value to properties along popular cycling routes.  The world of urban zoning seems like a complex patchwork, but we’ve got a fixed-gear Surly Cross-Check riding friend in the zoning office to help us navigate the maze.

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Bike In Coffee

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Update, 2/7/13: For updates about Bike-In Coffee, check our Facebook page.  Additionally, we are currently working to extend the idea of bicycle based business through a new city zoning class called Bike In Zoning, or “BIZ”.  Sign our petition to support BIZ.

Bike in for some coffee and bike out with a bundle of hardy greens, fresh apples and garlic.  Albuquerque is all of the things you have heard– it is sprawling, and dry, and a little rough around the edges.  But the land along the Rio Grande has been home to Burqueños, Spanish and Natives for a long time, and it is quickly evident why they settled here.  Water-loving trees create a luminary texture, and shade, that is uncommon in the desert .  Hardy greens and more delicate lettuce are still thriving in early November, and every afternoon in October climbs above 70º.

Bike-In Coffee is the idea of two local farmers whose produce is already distributed amongst friends and neighbors, and whose property abuts the bike path.  The combination has led them to develop a new Sunday market that is open exclusively to bicyclists and pedestrians.  Hot drinks and open-pit fires warm the body as the morning frost lifts, while fresh salads and small plates feed the noontime crowd enjoying a post-ride rest.  Everything comes fresh from the garden, and is prepared on site.  Featured items are: peach-thyme turnovers made with farm-fresh jam; bite-sized quiche with fresh spinach, chiles, and eggs; and seasonal smoothies packed with varietal greens and apples.  The few items that do not come from Old Town Farm, such as coffee, are sourced locally.

Eat fresh food.

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Harvest fresh food for your family.

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Enjoy the day at a relaxed pace.  The only turnover at this eatery is filled with homemade jam.

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Fill your bags and your bellies.  I’m an old pro at transporting odd-sized objects on a bike, but some cabbage and assorted greens are good practice.  The event is a reminder that active transport if fun and empowering.

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Only a stone’s throw from I-40, coming and going by bike allows you to forget the ills of the city.  Coming and going by bike is always a good idea.

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Lael and I met Linda and Lanny of Old Town Farm through the WWOOF website, and they had just begun the project.  We offered to help, and are now a regular part of the crew serving coffee and quiche, allowing them more time to commune with others.  Weather permitting, Bike-In Coffee will continue for several weeks, and will resume in the early spring.