My father fought in World War II, in both Europe and the Pacific.
In fact, he was training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended; his unit had been told to expect a 100% casualty rate. If Japan hadn’t surrendered when it did, I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Or be, period.
My grandfather was a doughboy in World War I; exposure to poison gasses probably contributed to the emphysema that eventually took his life, along with a lifetime of smoking.
My brother served in Vietnam, thankfully without serious incident.
They all made it back home. A lot of the men and women they served with didn’t. Along with countless others who fought in earlier and later wars.
Several of the kids just few years ahead of me in school went to Vietnam and never came back, while a Marine friend of mine — the husband of a co-worker — was one of the few Americans to die in the first Gulf War.
And we’ve lost too damn many good men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So please, take just a moment amid the bike rides and barbeques and sales going on today to remember what Memorial Day is really all about. And say a prayer for all those who have given their lives for their country, if you’re so inclined.
And if you’re looking for somewhere to ride today, allow me to make a suggestion.
You can find this week’s upcoming events on the updated Calendar page.
Meanwhile, Velo News proclaims 23-year old rider Fabio Aru, winner of Sunday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, is Italy’s next big thing.
Richard Risemberg goes multi-modal meandering.
Downtown Garden Grove will go car-free on October 12th for the city’s first open streets event.
Cycling in the South Bay asks if Stava is killing bike racing. If you ask me, it ain’t helping.
San Clemente’s bike plan wins an American Planning award.
San Diego gets its first road diets.
San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow tells drivers how to avoid right-hooking cyclists. And offers the heartbreaking tale of a priest who comforted a teenage cyclist as she lay dying following a traffic collision, only to lose his own life in a cycling collision years later.
Palo Alto residents agree changes to a contentious roadway should include measures to alter human behavior.
Tucson’s new street car tracks have caused over 80 bicycling collisions.
Cyclists take over Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive for a few short hours.
After a Toronto cyclist is screwed over by the insurance company of the driver who hit him, the local paper rides to his rescue.
A new French 360-degree helmet cam can take immersive video of your ride. Or capture dangerous drivers on video no matter what direction they come from.
You know you want to. Three inexpensive ways to tour Italy by bike.
Aussie roundabouts are responsible for one in every ten bicycling collisions in the state of Victoria.
Several cyclists riding with the bicycling Australian prime minister are taken out by an oil slick. Somehow, I can’t imagine any American president riding in a peloton.