Regular readers may know that we live where we do specifically to be within biking distance of my wife’s university. She had the short, three mile bike ride across town to her classes, while I have the 40 mile multimodal commute from hell.
She completed her Master’s degree last year. We really like Santa Cruz County, but both of us work in the South Bay, and there’s no longer any real reason for us to live here. We’ve been looking to move “over the hill” to Santa Clara Valley to shorten our commutes.
I grew up mostly near large coastal cities, but my wife grew up mostly in mid size towns in the Midwest. Her dad lives on acreage in Texas with horses. Her (late) stepmother’s family are cotton and peanut farmers. Some of her maternal uncles and aunts live miles from town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. You get the picture: she’s unfamiliar and distrustful of urban environments.
My secret plan to familiarize her with the safety of transit friendly downtown core backfired, unfortunately. After dinner recently, we were walking along San Carlos Street in San Jose when a full on red vs blue gang fight erupted across the street from us.
We were never really in any danger in this cholo-on-cholo skirmish, but blood on the street has a more powerful impact than dry statistics about the danger spent behind the wheel on Bay Area freeways.
Ah well. At least it was just fists. Velo Bus Driver biked right into a gun fight in Seattle the other day. But he points out that the mundane incident of a bike path crash is more likely to get you in trouble.
Karl points out another random act of violence: a tree fell on a path just as 73 year old Dieter H biked underneath. The kicker: the article makes a point of noting Dieter’s helmetless riding. [Google Translation here]. My question: Do any of these falling tree death stories mention the victims’ helmet habits?