A Transportation Cocktail: Bikes, Trains and Buses

...bike map to avoid the big hills and find the best routes. I got my copy at the Rainbow Market. For more info on bikes on California Amtrak routes check here or call Amtrak, but always remember that when you bring up bikes with a customer service person it will be the first time they’ve ever heard the question. Now back to the slow, but entertaining San Joaquin train. While it takes longer than driving or flying, the views of the Central Valley c...

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Keep Those Bikes Locked, Even in the Garage!

...ur bike needs to be locked up. Some thieves drive around in pickup trucks looking for open garages with unlocked bikes. Several friends of mine have lost their bikes this way. Others have had bikes stolen from backyards and balconies. When I get around to remodeling the garage, I’m going to upgrade the crappy lock you see above. Remember it’s in the sayings of Muhammad, “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel.” Have you had...

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How Much Can You Carry on a Bicycle?

...er!). I can load up a full grocery cart and transport home just as many items as we used to in the car. Longtail bikes handle just like regular bikes. Their long wheel base, in fact, makes them more stable. And I’m always surprised at how easy it is to climb hills even with heavy groceries. One need not be car-free to enjoy a cargo bike. For many years Kelly and I shared a car. The Xtracycle was a big part of making that car-light arrangeme...

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Looking for the Union Label

...derwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here). We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company called Union House which carries a functional, if unexciting line of apparel. Unless hipsters take to golf shirts in an ironic fashion judo move, these offerings will never be cool like the domestically m...

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On Living in Los Angeles Without a Car: A Debate

...re than transportation–they are symbols of freedom, virility and safety. As one public health official put it, it took eighty years to reduce smoking, and it’s going to take just as long to get people walking and biking again. We will know that bike infrastructure works when we see more women and school age kids riding bikes. And, the good news is that I see a lot of high school kids on bikes. I even had a pack of them pull me over on...

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Harvesting and Drying Calendula

...a previous post I talked about growing Calendula. This post I’m going to talk about harvesting and drying it. The next post I’ll do on the topic will be about making a skin-healing salve from the dried petals, olive oil and beeswax. When to harvest:  Start harvesting your Calendula as soon as the first flush of flowers is in full bloom. Don’t try to “save” the flowers. The more you harvest, the more flowers each pl...

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Countdown

...out just about a month–April 26th–and today two super-advance copies came to us by mail. Believe me, it’s awfully strange to see something that has existed only as computer files suddenly materialize on your porch! We realize we haven’t given our new book a formal introduction yet, so here goes.  Making It: Radical Home-Ec for a Post Consumer World is our follow up to The Urban Homestead . The way we see it, The Urban...

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Making Beer in Plain Language

...comparative literature Judith Butler via the Bad Writing Contest Huh? At least the terminology surrounding beer making ain’t that obtuse, but it certainly could use some simplification. For novice home brewers, such as us here at Homegrown Evolution, the terminology creates an unnecessary barrier as impenetrable as a graduate school seminar in the humanities. Let’s see, there’s a mash, a mash tun, a wort, some sparging, maltin...

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Making Tofu From Scratch at the Institute of Domestic Technology

...ute of Domestic Technology, founded by our friend Joseph Shuldiner. The IDT is not your usual cooking school and its offerings are difficult to define succinctly. If I had to take a stab at explaining what the IDT does it would be that it teaches things worth doing from scratch that most people haven’t attempted since the pre-Betty Crocker era: cheesemaking, home coffee roasting, bacon curing, bread baking, jam and exotic projects like maki...

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Los Angeles: Swag Town USA

...ng but with a whimper – the thirty or so contest winners who bothered to attend shuffled off to load their bikes into their SUVs and drove home where, we suspect, many of the bikes will just sit in the garage. The handful of speakers who kicked off the event included representatives from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the MTA, the Department of Transportation, Bicycling Magazine, and a former Bike Town USA contest winner from Irv...

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