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Grant Petersen Wants You To Eat Bacon And Ride Your Bike

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Grant Petersen

Most of us have heard the expression “It’s just like riding a bike, nothing to it.” But a lot goes into designing, manufacturing and, for some, racing bicycles.

Grant Petersen is a bicycle designer, former racer, author and now owner and operator of Rivendell Bicycle Works in Walnut Creek, California. His 2012 book is "Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” shook up the bicycling industry. He is coming to Pensacola as part of the Evening lecture series at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition on Wednesday, May 20.  Before coming to town, he spoke to the institute’s Will Rabb.

  • Bicycle racing "ruins the breed. Back in the 1800's racers are what brought us the 'high wheeler', you know it's sort of an iconic bicycle design but it was racing driven. So they were...leading the way to sort of wacky designs." They were doing it then and they still are.
  • While commuting to work by bicycle is a rising trend around the country it is still only about one percent of all commuters. Portland, Oregon has the highest number of bicycle commuters at about 6 percent, while in Florida it is less than one percent. But he says "people don't ride bikes because it's not a bike friendly environment for the most part."
  • He says the urban environment needs to be made safer before bicycle commuting really takes off in the US.  Bike lanes help, but he says there needs to be a physical separation of bike and car routes. It's more common in Europe than in the United States.
  • Petersen's latest book is called "Eat Bacon, Don't Jog". He was eating right and working out hard each day for years and "didn't seem to getting much pay back for my efforts. I wasn't fat, but I was just constantly hungry."  He says he switched to a low carb diet and exercised less, but "more explosively" and that seems to be working for him.