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My Bike Ride 2011

Jim’s Daily Bike Ride


Tune List

The Graceful Ghost Rag — Eugene Barban
Winder Slide — Rayna Gellert
Billy in the Low Ground — Matt Brown
Cracked Pot — Greg Boardman

Saint Genevieve — Alison Brown
Shebeg, Shemor — Darol Anger & Mike Marshall
Sail Away Ladies — Bruce Molsky
Derwent Vale — Scott Nygaard
More Than This– Roxy Music
If I had a Boat — Lyle Lovett

Barrytown — Steely Dan
As Hard As It Is — Fine Young Cannibals
Lily of the West — Mark Knopfler & The Chieftans
Spanish Harlem Incident — The Byrds
Have a heart — Bonnie Raitt
A Case of You — Prince
Visions of Johanna — Bob Dylan

Remember Me — Lucky Dube

* * *

The northwest quadrant of Saratoga Springs, NY, is the last truly urban / rural edge of town
with no zone of suburban crapola. Setting out on the ride, 
a downhill glide into loveliness


The panorama of American transport ! A freight train on the old
Delaware & Hudson tracks crosses a decrepit overpass.
Our infrastructure is in a sorry state and we are running out of money
to fix all of it.


A weird vibe here. Someone has started their own
Blair Witch Project along the road.


The long slog uphill (maybe hard to tell from this angle).
Too many cars for comfort on this stretch.


Wah ! ! ! Sad reality….


A rogue lilac bush in the woods suggests that once there was a house here.
It is gone now, along with all love, drama, joy, and sorrow it witnessed.
Only the lilac remains.


We had an awful lot of rain in May. This little brook is swollen.
We’ve had a resurgence of beavers around here, too.


These little ponies barely come up to your thigh. 
They would be happier with a job – say, pulling a cart – if they were treated kindly.
Too many animals in the rural landscape are unemployed.


“Have you got some sugar, yo?”


North to Montreal. Few trains come up this line. 
That may change with the oil supply picture.


The Arnold Farm, one of the last big ones in this part of the county.
We have plenty of good farmland here. It’s just not being used much.


What a happy thing, to be a piggy !


They’ve got cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, and, somewhere around here, a llama
(though I don’t see him in this shot).


It was a cool cloudy day, and the little beasties were in good spirits.


The old Wing family farmhouse. 
Many Wings are at rest in the bone orchard down the road now.
My friends Chris and Aeren bought the place. They raise chickens
and have extensive vegetable gardens.


Up the road a young woman works a rented field. 
Even a modest market garden like this one takes enormous work.
You can understand why farmers wanted to have lots of children
in the old hand-labor days.


Painters love gray days like this when the light is soft and dispersed.


A lady uses this old cornfield / pasture to grow flowers for the farmers’ market.
Small-scale agriculture struggles to get back. I’m sure we’ll see more of it.
This is just the beginning of something.


The giant weird plastic barn on a property defined by plastic fencing.
Plastic has a bad vibe. I wonder if that’s why the place was for sale.


They were having a giant rummage sale in one of the barns. 
All kinds of expensive recreational crap:
Pool table, exercise equipment, ski stuff.
I wonder if they invested with Bernie Madoff.
The lady running the sale got pissed off when i took this photo.


These horses need jobs, too. 
If they stick around long enough, they might get one.


Locust Grove Road, one long downhill at least two miles.
I earned it, since the first half of the ride was almost all uphill.


These meadows are only a half-mile from the edge of town.
I have no idea why they hadn’t been sold off for a McHouse subdivision.
Thank you, Jeezus!


This horse is wearing a fly-mask. Her foal snoozes in clover.


Approaching the overpass on the way back into town. 
I’d been meaning to paint a canvas of this place for years.
Then, two weeks ago, I did, just as spring was popping.


It was also a cloudy day, but warm and lovely.
They had not yet re-paved the road to the left.

Cheers to y’all for now.
And happy rides, wherever you are….


About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

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