Hello from Workspace Six under the tracks of Amsterdam Central Station!
Since Wednesday, I'm back from a whirlwind trip of 5 airports in 3 days to Florida for the 12th time since Sept 2018. I left early Sunday after my 200 mile #DirtyKanzelled ride (more about that below) to pick up my son & daughter. I'm relieved to report they'll be spending the next 8 weeks here in Holland. Largely, due to Corona, we hadn't see each other since February when I visited directly after completing the Atlas Mountain Race. It had been more than 6 months since my kids were in The Netherlands for Christmas last year!
This trip, of course, was unique for a number of reasons: the bizarre travel experience due to corona (the link above shares my instagram stories during my trip), the ever troubling state of affairs in the USA currently (hence the theme of this issue) and the feeling that I was rescuing my kids from a perilous environment, now more than ever.
Long story short, I'm relieved to be back in Amsterdam but still troubled by what I saw and what we're all seeing in the USA.
I read this recent article by former president Obama where he said:
So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. [...] The more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away.
So I found some specific demands could be made to decrease police violence by 72%. Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign proposed that proposes the following 8:
- Ban chokeholds & strangleholds
- require de-escalation
- require warning before shooting
- requires exhaust all alternatives before shooting
- duty to intervene
- ban shooting at moving vehicles
- require use of force continuum
- require comprehensive reporting
Learn more at 8cantwait.org.
Personally, I feel the more that everyone discusses, advocates and personally enacts change that we can ultimately make a real difference. Ultimately, only 3.5% of the population is all you need! Read about that below too! : )
As always, thank you for reading and I wish you a great weekend ahead!
p.s. please lend a hand in intro'ing this newsletter to others:
I know Leo from my trips to Florida and mutual friends but also via the work Twotone does. Leo is an inspiration to so many and if you don't know of him, take a moment to acquaint yourself!
Slim a friend of mine from Atlanta and fellow patron of my favorite shop there (maybe ever?), Loose Nuts Cycles. This feature about his daily life and thoughts on finding common ground through bikes and photography is worth a peek!
This year, the field at Grinduro California will look even more welcoming, thanks to an initiative to include more femme, trans, and women riders.
Even if you can't attend protests, there is still a lot that you can do. This instagram post is a nice collection of ways to go about that virtually.
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.
Also on BBC and still relevant, "Young could be scarred throughout working life":
"The virus, it says, is destroying their employment, disrupting education and training and putting obstacles in the way of those who want to start work or change jobs.”
My point: what a hectic time for young people to more than ever feel obligated to protest for widespread social change with their employment, education and overall opportunity so negatively impacted by a pandemic.
Every single person can take steps to help dismantle racism. Related pro tip: don't call it rioting.
We gave a Cannondale Treadwell to our friend and local photographer Keng Pereira. He documented the his new perspective of his hometown, Amsterdam.
“Best urban electric bike The Ampler Curt. Exceptionally light, easy to maintain, powerful assistance and sleek looks make it a brilliant city commuter machine.”
Stoked & honored to see such kind words about the Ampler Curt in T3!
Keir from Soigneur spoke with Laurens recently about life after retirement, riding in North Holland, and the Dirty Kanzelled, the recent big challenge that he and Niki Terpstra have came up with and I rode last Saturday.
Last Saturday before I embarked on my 72hr trip to the States to get my kids, I rode 211 miles (340km) with my homie Sjors from pr.co and a new friend Jaap who is from Amsterdam but studies in Rhode Island. We were participating in Laurens ten Dam's Dirty Kanzelled. Since Dirty Kanza was cancelled, Laurens & Niki Terpstra thought to still ride but share the stoke & challenge everyone to do the same:
- Saturday May 30th
- DIY 100 or 200-mile route planned on komoot
- Start at 6.00 am sharp
- Solo or in pairs (check your local COVID rules)
- Mandatory post-race celebration
So on Saturday, we jammed at nearly 25km/hr average throughout the day & ~100km of our route was unpaved thanks to komoot. Furthermore, I rode nearly 193 new kilometers according to Wandrer.earth. One major highlight was the 1st of our two stops was at Erik Mus' parents in Ede! Zo gezellig! :D
Lastly, kudos to Laurens and the Live Slow Ride Fast team on this event! It adhered to social distancing rules regarding group rides and still inspired some mega motivation for many to participate and provoked international press to plug the ride as well!
- More than 1k people signed up at liveslowridefast.com/dirtykanzelled
- ~400 routes where creates on Komoot of which 50 outside the Benelux (USA, Australia, Singapore, Uganda and more)
- 2200 tagged snaps on Insta
- Upwards of 800 people participated
- Big names rode: Wout Van Aert, Niki Terpstra, Robert Gesink, Maarten Wijnants and Pete Stetina amongst others.
- Four different nods on cyclingnews.com
- GCN gave em a shout too
- Laurens & co. made their own tutorial about how to prep for a long ride
- And even two articles in two Dutch national newspapers!
Nice work guys and thank you again for the inspiration to go big last weekend!