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We’re all heroes on this bus!


The post below was previously published 9/6/09.

KUSP: We’re All Heroes on This Bus

MontereyCounty Weekly readers said cloth grocery bags were 2009’s “best green/eco trend.”  I was disappointed.  I’ve used them for thirty years.  But I was disappointed in myself, too….

When I lived in Santa Cruz, I biked a hundred miles weekly—to work, for errands, for fun.  In ’81 I moved to Monterey, which soon had a biking mayor, Clyde Roberson [see update below!].  But living in rural MoCo, I was frustrated by lack of bike lanes and soon abandoned my bike for everyday transportation.

Now, thanks to Clark Sleeth, a 20-year-old who inspired me by using just a half tank of gas in five months, I’m back to biking regularly for transportation.  Think it takes more time?  Nope, often not.  You no longer need time for cardio at the gym!

I’d almost forgotten about the joy factor.  The thrill of speeding downhill …the refreshing feel of fog misting my face…hearing bird songs …pausing to chat with folks…and knowing the power of my own legs.

Maybe best is seeing the world anew.  Each blade of grass seems more vivid. It’s an awesome world, and staying closer to it inspires safeguarding it.

On Sundays, I carry my helmet into church and get a special smile from usher Clyde Roberson, our former biking mayor.  Clyde tells me, “You’re my hero.”

I know what he means.  We’re all heroes to one another.  I’m reminded of “We’re all bozos on this bus,” and I think, “We’re all heroes on this bus!”  Our actions encourage fellow passengers, and their actions encourage us.

And we can redirect this “bus,” our culture, in a whole new, sustainable direction…


Public Radio Broadcast. A two-minute audio of “We’re All Heroes on This Bus” was produced by Guy Lasnier of Central Coast Public Radio KUSP.  It was broadcast on 9/6/09 and rebroadcast as a “Best of First Person Singular” on 9/9.  For audiofile and available rights, please contact Mari.

Curious about Clark Sleeth?  Go here, to “For the Beauty of Our Own Backyards,” then scroll down to second paragraph under “Green Teens” subheader.  Clark’s father, Dr. Matthew Sleeth, visited Monterey County in 2007.

Below, read an update on Clyde Roberson–elected again as City of Monterey mayor in 2014!

Bicycling Monterey rolls the vote
Mayor Clyde Roberson of the City of Monterey really gets what it takes to have a healthy city–in terms of the environment, economics, health, community relationships, and so much more. What a positive thing for Monterey that Clyde is again serving as mayor.

One reason that Clyde knows Monterey so well is that he is out there in the community in an up-close-and-personal way. You see, Clyde isn’t a person who limits his transportation to a motor vehicle only.

You’ll find Clyde out walking all the time, and you’ll see him biking often too. He knows firsthand that there are many benefits of bicycling. For years, Clyde and his wife, Dottie, were spotted on a tandem regularly. Later he tried a recumbent as well. These days, Clyde can be spotted on his standard road bike–including biking from one local city to another, often using the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.

Congratulations, Mayor Roberson, and congrats to the residents of the City of Monterey on having a bicycling mayor who serves his constituents so well.

Clyde is the (then) former (and now again!) bicycling mayor mentioned in the 2009 broadcast “We’re All Heroes” above.

  1. Steph says:

    Emory is really good about encouraging alternative transportation. Living 30+ miles from work, though, including going down a major highway, makes it difficult. Zach and I don’t even have bikes down here, but that’s something I hope to remedy this summer. :-) Some of my favorite memories are of flying through the forest preserve on my bike!

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