I visited the Bike To Work Day breakfast station at Mollie’s Country Cafe in Scotts Valley, CA this morning, but first, take a look at this gas station sign I biked past on the way there.
Shortages in California have forced retailers to boost prices as the demand continues to outstrip supply. A huge fire two months ago has forced the largest supplier in Northern California, Chevron’s 240,000 barrel per day Richmond refinery, to operate at a much reduced capacity. Conoco Phillips refineries near Santa Maria and in the Bay Area are shut down for maintenance. A Chevron pipeline that delivers oil from fields in Kern County failed in September and remains shut down as the pipeline operator “assesses the situation.” Finally, Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Torrance California shut down Tuesday after a power failure. Exxon says it will take them about a week to bring the refinery back online.
This perfect storm of shutdowns has resulted in gasoline prices jumping 40 cents per gallon literally overnight throughout California, and gas stations are beginning to close because they’re unable to get any from their suppliers. The shortages in California have forced gas prices up in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, too, as suppliers work to import gasoline from other regions.
I don’t have current data on Pacific Rim energy prices, but if history is any guide, we can expect fuel prices to rise in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Japan as California importers pay higher prices to ship refined product from those countries.
(Note to those of you in Europe in Asia: Yes, we’ve heard your prices are at least twice that, and in litres to boot. Your high prices are driven in part by higher taxes, so fuel purchases benefit the public. In the USA, very low taxes on fuel purchases mean record profits for suppliers.)
Bike To Work Day
The autumn Bike To Work Day (BTWD) in Santa Cruz County seemed much busier than what I’ve seen in past years, or maybe word is getting out at Mollie’s Country Cafe excellent free breakfast.
That’s an egg, ham and cheese English muffin sandwich with breakfast potatoes, and the portions are generous.
I shared a table with Pete and Gary.
Pete (the younger guy on the left) works at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. He biked up from Santa Cruz to Scotts Valley to teach a group of 3rd graders at Vine Hill Elementary School about coastal lagoons.
Gary (the white beard) used to be the BTWD site coordinator for Scotts Valley, but now he shills for People Power, encouraging people who stop by for the free breakfast to join. Gary rides a recumbent bicycle.
I also met this group who work for Fox Racing Shox and biked up from Santa Cruz because they heard about Mollie’s awesome breakfast sandwich.
Fox is headquartered south of where I live in Watsonville, CA, but they opened up an engineering office in Scotts Valley earlier this year. Fox’s new office is located about three blocks away from Giro / Bell Sports design center here in town.
Finally, I also ran into Andrew, who owns Scotts Valley Cycle Sport. He and his crew
biked walked to Mollie’s to enjoy breakfast.