Imagine my surprise when one of my Google search engines spit out an article from my adopted Southern California home town of Redlands.
I found this to be a very honest and fair article by Toni Momberger of the Redlands Daily Facts where she — a non-cyclist and journalist — recounts her 12-mile tandem ride around the south (hilly) side of Redlands one afternoon with local cyclist and cycling promoter Scott Welsh.
I know that I take way too much for granted about how non-cyclists perceive the world of a cyclist and Toni’s observations are validation of just how alien the world seasoned cyclists live in is to people who have never swung a leg over a bicycle and ridden with normal traffic on public roads. Now, unless Redlands has really changed a lot, I don’t ever recall that there was a lot of traffic on the roads even during the afternoon “rush hour”. Again, I would typically head up these same roads around 6:00pm a night for an after work stress-relief ride or sometimes make the short ride down to Gerrards on West Cypress to pick up some groceries… not that I really did all that much cooking in my little house. Again, for those readers who have been riding on public roads most of their lives, this will probably be an insightful read. For anyone else, it’s still quite entertaining.
A little more on my former home town of Redlands….
Redlands put itself on the map before the turn of the last century as a winter haven for wealthy snowbirds from New England and a precursor to Palm Springs with its many mansions and large estates. It was also the epicenter of the largest navel orange producing region in the world.
The legacy of that early development was a unique community filled with amazing homes, wide boulevards with landscaped center medians and several community leaders who endowed the city with amazing gifts like the A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands Bowl and Lincoln Shrine… all of which were about 1.5 blocks from my little brick home on Eureka St. I had access to some of the most wonderful cycling right from my doorstep, locally and regionally. Late afternoon / early evening rides in the summer were usually rewarded with a jump in the pool that no one would have expected to be behind my little 100-year-old brick cottage. I miss that house and Redlands… a lot.
In fact, to this day a limited edition print that my girlfriend of many years and — coincidentally to one of the subjects of the article — reporter for the Redlands Daily Facts purchased for me by local artist Jeff Owens enjoys a prominent place right at our kitchen table.
Redlands place on the map with regard to cycling at an international level dates back to the Redlands Classic founded in 1985 which was and still is sponsored by the city of Redlands.
Man, I miss that little town!