Personal Space 

Power to the peddle

click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott

Al Brody fancies himself a human-powered vehicle advocate, and who's to say he's not? At 45, this Air Force veteran has two years of retirement under his belt, and gets excited about things like "intermodal transportation." (This, Brody is only too happy to explain, is when two forms of transport are incorporated within the same commute -- think buses with bike racks.)

Brody stays out of trouble by agitating for better bike trails as chair of the Pikes Peak Bikeways Coalition, fronting the Colorado Springs Cycling Club, and participating in the Ragbrai: the longest, noncompetitive cycling event in the world, which runs through 500 miles of Iowa every summer.

Brody says he has no beef with cars, and as a younger man he temporarily believed in the superiority of the motorcycle. Ultimately, he says, the motorcycle proved unsatisfactory. "You'd ride and get to a place, but it never felt right. On a bike, it's slower but there's a real sense of satisfaction when you're done."

While Brody loves bikes -- and he owns more than a dozen in various shapes and sizes -- he's not at all fond of the traditional stand-up ride. Rather, he prefers to recline on his recumbent "Crank It Mountain Quad." Keeping low to the ground, he explains, allows him to remain keenly aware of his environment. Peddling through the trails around town, Brody says his position "allows me to see things most bikers don't and cars never could." Things like the subtle temperature changes that come with dips in elevation, as well as wildlife, and their sometimes unpleasant aromas. "It's not always a good thing, I guess."

-- John Dicker

photo by Bruce Elliott


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