Phoenix is a city of drivers, a place where people are accustomed to whizzing by everything in their cars. As such, Phoenicians miss a lot of sights, particularly the "little things" that can make a commute interesting.
Luckily, Valley bicycle enthusiast John Romeo Alpha has captured the more leisurely, watchful culture of cycling in this city. His blog, One Speed: Go!, recounts his various bike rides throughout Arizona and includes great photos, too (like a little kid's lemonade stand sign, and a closeup of a moth on a door).
That's why we love this blog -- it shows us things around us that we might have just driven right by.
For example, Alpha's photos of a Valley bus stop included inspirational quotes on plaques all around the stop. Who knew there were any words of wisdom there? (Our favorite: "We must travel in the direction of our fear.")
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Even Alpha's photos of large local structures (like the Sunnyslope Canal Demonstration project, the Chaparral Water Treatment Plant in Scottsdale, and Humphrey's Peak) are detail-oriented, giving readers a close-up look at landmarks -- the kind of view we might have if we weren't always flying by at 55 mph.
One Speed: Go! is also a great source of safety information for cyclists, too. Alpha blogs regularly on bike safety ("be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to respond gracefully to the unexpected"), the four most important signals for cyclists, and personal words of warning. His blog on how an old lady had to come to a screeching stop to avoid hitting him because he wasn't paying attention was particularly poignant, and apologetic ("I hope that I didn't scare her too much. I'm sorry. I would buy her a bunch of roses if I could track her down.")
If Alpha's enthusiastic blogs and cycling tips aren't inspiring enough, his cache of cycling videos (including trips down the Dreamy Draw Trail and Central Avenue) might just make you heed Alpha's own motto:
"Get up. Go ride."