A 60-Mile Bike Ride, Workflow Automation, and Freeway Revolts

Plus, Faked Identities, a Pandemic Masterpiece (on Netflix), an Epic Drone Crash, and a Favor to Ask

A 60-Mile Bike Ride, Workflow Automation, and Freeway Revolts

Starting off this week with a favor to ask.

Please Help My Friend's Family

In memoriam: James Gibbs Sr., organized by Jim Gibbs
This is the part that I’m supposed to tell a story to help you understand what this GoFundMe i… Jim Gibbs needs your support for In memoriam: James Gibbs Sr.

A fellow Pittsburgh founder, Jim Gibbs, lost his father to Covid-19 last Friday. If you can, please help him unburden his mother while she buries her best friend next week. Thanks in advance ❤️

Cleveland's 58-Mile Bike Loop

I headed to Cleveland over Memorial Day to bike the Emerald Necklace, a 58-mile loop that connects a series of parks, hiking trails, biking trails, horse trails, nature preserves, and public golf courses that circle the city. Almost all of the 58 miles were paved, separated bike lane / trail. UNBELIEVABLE. Dream come true.

A 58-mile bike ride loop around Cleveland’s Emerald Necklace
This all-day ride starts and ends at Edgewater Park. You’ll follow the Cuyahoga River on the Towpath Trail and explore 3 Cleveland Metroparks Reservations on the Emerald Necklace Trail.

While the loop was incredible, there was nothing to do along the way. Nowhere to stop for a beer and grab a bite. This is why I prefer urban adventuring, which is not easy in a city like Cleveland. And here's why...

In the 1950's, we totally fucked up our cities with highways and Cleveland is a perfect example. Look at how many major highways run directly through the city!?!? This makes it almost impossible to get from neighborhood to neighborhood any way but by car.

Compare this to San Francisco, where in the late 1950s until 1966, the city underwent a polarizing debate over a series of proposed freeways. This conflict was nicknamed the “Freeway Revolt." The people won and it helped preserve one of the country's most beautiful cities.

Of course, Cleveland isn't the only city that suffered from the installation of highways that created barriers between neighborhoods. Last week, The New York Times published an article called Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities? (great read).

While Pittsburgh didn't escape this completely (I'm looking at what you did to the Hill District, I-579), we faired a little bit better, thanks to our topography. Now we just need to get all of the jags in the city to stop pretending like the Mon-Fayette Expressway is a good idea. It's not.

State Legislators Seem Eager To Finish The Mon-Fayette Expressway
The highway was first proposed in the mid-1950s to support the steel industry.

Back to the bike ride – and the most pressing question here. How does one celebrate the completion of a 60-mile bike ride? With a local craft IPA, of course! #investinthemidwest

Planning another trip to Cleveland to explore more of the city and meet with some rad founders. Recommendations welcome!

Good Media

Since we're on the topic of cities...

City Beautiful: As most of yinz know, I'm obsessed with city infrastructure and mobility. When my partner and I were talking about the infrastructure in Cleveland, he introduced me to this YouTube channel that covers transportation, land use planning, and urban design. So many great videos here, if cities are your thing.

Bo Burnham: Inside (Netflix): This is absolutely incredible. From The New York Times Review: Inside is a feat, the work of a gifted experimentalist whose craft has caught up to his talent. And while it’s an ominous portrait of the isolation of the pandemic, there’s hope in its existence: Written, designed and shot by Burnham over the last year inside a single room, it illustrates that there’s no greater inspiration than limitations. Thanks for the rec, David! And yes, this feels a lot like hanging out with you 😆

Day X (a podcast series from The New York Times): A German soldier, a faked Syrian identity and a loaded gun in an airport bathroom crack the door open to a network of far-right extremists inside the German military and the police. It’s a story about a changing national identity — and the backlash against it — raising a question that democracies across the world are waking up to: What happens when the threat is coming from within?

How To Create a Simple Workflow to Automate Your Website Contact Form

Using Automate.io to connect: Ghost +  Jotform + Notion + Gmail

I got wild over the holiday weekend. Since I'm adding a few new pages to my website in advance of the book release, I took it as an opportunity to build my first Notion workflow. I decided to use my website contact form as the test subject.

The goal: When someone fills out the contact form on my website, the workflow will automatically add it to a contact database AND send a confirmation email to my new friend, letting them know the message was received.

Read my full article to learn how to create an automated workflow.

Another Epic Drone Video

A few months back, I shared a video of a drone flying over a volcano. Well, this one is WAY BETTER, since the drone crashes into a volcano. Enjoy!

Until next time,

#blacklivesmatter #womxnrule #legalizeit #investinthemidwest