Two days ago I was leaning towards California’s Area of Bays, but now I’m on the other side of the Rockies.  Trying to imagine, what would I do out there?  How would I get to know people?  Who would I meet?  And even just looking at the organizations I know about already, I’m finding it’s pretty hard to imagine not making friends in Boulder.  Again.  I think part of me has been resistant to the idea, because it reeks of the path of least resistance.  Somehow it feels like running back to Caltech when I don’t know what to do next, and that has historically resulted in a lot of psychological trauma.  As the saying goes… “Never again”.  But moving to Boulder was much more intentional than coming to Caltech the first time around.  I tried to put my head in Boulder last night.  I tried to imagine, what would I be doing now, if I were there?  How would I meet people?  The main strength that the Bay Area has in my mind is that there are more people there that I know than in Boulder, and that all else being equal, it’s likely that that will continue to be the case going forward, as it seems to be a fairly deep potential well for the types of folks that have passed through my life.  It’s a bigger place too, in terms of people and economy.  It would have more variety in both.  More opportunity.  But at what expense?  And is more really better in this context?  Living there is much more expensive (incredibly… since Boulder isn’t exactly cheap).  The wilderness is harder to get to by bike.  I love the idea of cities but for historical reasons, I am a creature of town and country.  There are other paths I might have taken that would have led me to large urban centers, but it’s unclear whether it’s worth my exploring those paths at this point.

I need a sense of community, and a local culture I can feel a part of.  I need some strategic long term flexibility in job opportunities.  I need wilderness.  I need a place that loves bicycles.  I need some social seed crystals.

I’d been thinking that I’d float for the summer, traveling and visiting, but without any real roots.  Without making a choice.  And then in the fall, figure out where to go.  But now I’m not so sure that’s the best way to go.  Maybe instead it makes sense to go to a place and float there.  Tread water, and see how it feels.  This would put these summer months to good use.  Still enjoyable, but with the deeper purpose of getting to know the place and the people.  Or getting to know them again.  Backpacking and bike riding.  Potlucks and parties.  Social networking for fun and profit.

And so it was that I re-acquainted myself with Community Cycles, which is a kind of combination Bike Oven and CICLE, rolled into one.  I was especially moved by this wonderful five minute vignette:

It seems almost too good to be true.  A town cris-crossed by bike paths, with a multi branch bike culture organization that is apparently thriving and growing and able to support itself financially?  That has an aggressively understanding DoT (compared to some places we could name).  How could I not work with them?