Show #648 – March 27, 2024

Guests: Adam Rogers; Peter Flax

This episode features two incredibly thoughtful and knowledgeable guests.

First is someone I would term a renaissance man – at least he’s a modern renaissance man.

Adam Rogers is curious about A LOT of things and while we have a great topic that he recently reported on about bike lanes and their impact on businesses, I just had to ask him about some other projects he’s delved into in his career as a journalist – so far.

One such project involved color, and you might remember the controversy.  Did you see a blue dress with black fringe or a white dress with gold fringe?  And does it matter that you saw one or the other?  Adam thought it was not only interesting, but while working for WIRED, he dove headfirst into the subject. There is even an extensive Wikipedia page about the phenomenon.

Adam Rogers is a senior tech correspondent at Business Insider, covering science, technology, and our weird future. He reports on how technology changes the way we live.

I saw his article, Bike Lanes Are Good for Business, posted on March 7th, and wanted to find out what he discovered.

What I discovered is that Adam doesn’t go off half-cocked on a subject! In fact, he uncovers as much as he can find and then digs even deeper to reveal things many other journalists might miss – over worse, gloss over!

In addition to the dress controversy I mentioned at the top of the show, we also discuss another passion of his – booze. “Proof – The Science of Booze,” is the book he wrote that came out of his discovery that we didn’t know much about the science of distilling liquor.

Oh yeah, we also talk about bike lanes and what the differences are between reality and perception when a bike lane is introduced into a neighborhood.

In the second part of the show, my conversation is with author and journalist Peter Flax.

Photo Credit – Roscoe Flax

Peter and I first spoke when he became editor-in-chief of Bicycling in 2010.  THAT was a long time ago, and since then, he’s moved from the east coast to the west, worked for some other publications, and now has written one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a while.

Peter Flax is a bike rider – he not only says so right at the beginning of his book,  he has and does live it.

“Live to Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” is Peter’s treatise on the bicycle world from the unique perspective of having seen almost every manifestation of bicycling – from the utilitarian to the ultra-competitive. 

In “Live To Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” Peter breaks down his thinking into distinct categories such as adventure, speed, and self-expression.

Each chapter of the book is punctuated by people, photographs, and commentary that represent the title of the chapter.

You know, I think he nails it when he talks about people who ride and how their reasons for riding manifest themselves.  I believe we are all interested in safety and advocacy and have a common interest in our love of the bike, regardless of how we might try to pigeon-hole ourselves.

I like the book a lot and if you want to have a book of thoughtful discourse on your shelves, you would do well to get a copy!  “Live To Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” is available wherever you buy your books!

Transcript_March 27