It’s not all fun and games in the Clubhouse. Here we see our hero running a check on the generator in preparation for whatever shenanigans Hurricane Dorian decides to throw our way. Couple of years back when Tropical Storm Arthur rolled through we were without power for almost a week. Gotta make sure the snacks in the fridge stay cold and the natives can still work their devices or they get grumpy and savage. Don’t worry, still a good chance there will be riding of bikes this weekend either way. Safety third!
Headed out last weekend for a ride with @spoke_n_words – he texted he was running late. “S’ok”, I says, “I’ll take the scenic route.”
I am liking the way the Norwegians do business. From the article:
When the government tabled a new law that would boost taxes on oil profits to almost 80 percent, the stage was set for a showdown. According to Lie, “Companies were furious when they heard about the new taxation law. They started a media campaign saying that they would leave Norway and that it was impossible to work in a socialist country like this that does not understand the rules of international capitalism.”
After demanding a meeting with the Minister of Finance, oil executives around the room all pounded the table and threatened to abandon their concessions unless Norway backed down. The unfazed minister instead turned to his aides and said in full view of the enraged oilmen, “Why are they all still here? We should have taken more!”
That attitude, in a nutshell, is why the country now has more than $1 trillion in the bank. In spite of the usual industry fear mongering, the new tax law easily passed Norwegian parliament and has been supported by every government since 1975.
What can the world learn from the oil Vikings? Obviously good policies and strong institutions matter, but perhaps most important is the fierce sense of place to back it up. In a fragmented natural world, that strong connection to the land increasingly resides with indigenous peoples and cultures. Unsurprisingly, indigenous people are also disproportionately the ones confronting extractive capitalism around the world.
The United Nations just released a global report on biodiversity showing that areas with some form of indigenous governance—amounting to a whopping one-quarterof the world’s land base—have significantly better protection of ecosystems. Culture, connection and protection seem to naturally flow from continuous occupation. The report calls for governments to support indigenous involvement in conservation efforts as a key part of helping to “transform the public and private sectors to achieve sustainability at the local, national and global levels.”
Mostly I just wanted to hang out in my garage, drink coffee and talk about bikes. Then ride them. Or ride them before. Either order works.
For years I’ve thought about opening some sort brick-and-mortar bike club/cafe. I would even scope spots. Plan. Scheme. Dream.
Comic book superhero Origin Stories always start with some sort of radioactive animal bite or a mishap with nuclear material. This story is probably far less-cool.
I thought I could have a bike club in my garage. Then I remembered I live in the middle of nowhere. Both Nationally AND Internationally. I live in the sticks. I guess that makes my garage/clubhouse ‘exclusive’ in big city terms.
So I thought of a ‘virtual clubhouse’. But I didn’t want an online bulletin board or a forum. There’s not enough virtual beat up couches to lounge on in those. So I thought I could just make the whole internet – and by extension, the whole world the clubhouse. That’s the magic power of a hashtag right?
With a hashtag, everyone’s garage becomes the Clubhouse. Everyone’s ride becomes The Club Ride. We can all share.
I was inspired by Tarik and his club – the complete absence of red tape. Two simple rules – and one you only sorta have to follow – and you’re in. If you’re not a member, become one. I’m a member in long-standing. I told him personally, I think the Tarik Saleh Bike Club is the best thing on the internet, period. I still do. I often wonder why I’m bothering with this one.
As mentioned on the homepage – I also took Ben Weaver’s words seriously to heart. How seriously? Wrote ’em on the wall in my garage/clubhouse seriously. If I can somehow channel one-tenth of the mojo Ben has going on, I’ll be winning in my book.
Check both these guys out. Basically them, riding bikes with my buddy Andrew and coffee are the reason this ‘club’ exists, the reason I felt compelled to do something other than just ride my bike and keep to myself. I wanted to ‘tell about it’.
I don’t know where this will go. If you’re interested, you’ll have to stay tuned. The Clubhouse is currently my garage and your garage. Group rides are wherever I go and wherever you go. You get the point. I work on bikes, drink coffee and talk smack in my garage. Then I go riding with friends. That mindset and mojo seeps onto the internet and the rest of my life in various ways. That part is what the club is about.
I have a whole Apple Notes folder full of ideas of what the club could be, things I could do – various ‘actions’ – merch (of course at some point there has to be merch) – but for now, I’m just going to ride my bike, ‘tell about it’ and see where that takes me. Come along for the ride.
“As certain as weather coming from the west, the things people know for sure will change. There is no knowing for a fact. The only dependable things are humility and looking.”-Richard Powers, The Overstory