Setting up the story

There I was getting ready to write about my trip to Glacier when I realized I hadn't written much about the first trip I made this summer, or mostly the decisions that preceded it and the turbulence that ensued. So before I write about my more recent trip, I probably need to do a little bit of explaining. My last day of work at Bicycle Theory was June 10th, 2009. Long story short: As many of you know, I'm in graduate school full time (in addition to running the gallery.) Things have been going really well, but time was getting tighter and tighter. Though most of my classes up until this point took place on evenings and weekends, several of the classes I need to take this fall are right in the middle of the workday. On top of that, I'm also planning/hoping to take a double load and begin the application process for PhD programs. In order to make all of that feasible, I need(ed) the work/school/gallery balance to shift in favor of school's direction pretty tremendously. So I made the difficult decision to give up a good job with people I love and focus on school. Not necessarily the most "responsible" decision in this economy, but I felt as though it was the right one. Little did I realize that decision was going to give me the time to focus on even more than school as the summer progressed.

With all of this, (and partially because of all this) there were still a few things I still needed to figure out next. Traveling has always been really helpful for me both creatively and philosophically speaking. The second leg of Nick's tour was taking him eastward, the first stop was in Boston. After playing in Boston the band would tour additional cities along the east coast. Not having seen my Boston cousins in five years, I decided to take my own trip while he was gone. I planned to tag along for the first part of the tour until they hit Boston and spend a week with my cousins while he finished out the remainder of the tour.

Preparations for the trip were not seamless. On Monday afternoon we had a little hiccup, car accident style. As we turned left to enter the freeway, a car ran a red light, racing straight towards us. As Nick speed up and tried to avoid the collision, the car in question accelerated towards us, and I was fairly certain it was going to smash right into my side of the car. But every second counts in an accident, and instead of smashing into me the car swerved, smashed past the back of the car and raced away - only to run yet another red light and speed off onto the freeway, headed in the opposite direction.

Nick, with a surprising amount of calm, pulled over to the side of the onramp and began a discussion with a few witnesses to the accident. A little shook-up, I came outside a few minutes later. Bumpers working as they should, there was only a little damage to the car. A report needed to be filed and somebody had already called the police, so we waited. While we waited, I thought.

I think more or less sometimes the inhabitants of the world shake themselves out into many "kinds" of people... and we probably shift categories from time to time. Sometimes after an accident, tragedy, or significant event people show some of their "categories" with a bit more color.

The helpers: A woman who witnessed the accident immediately pulled to our section of the road, gave us what information she recollected of the other car. She gave us her information as well, in case we needed witnesses. Here's what else she did, which for some reason stands out to me more than the rest. As I exited the car and stood by the side of the road, clearly dazed, she looked at me, looked me in the eyes and with complete sincerity asked me "are you okay, sweetie?"

A gentleman on a bike managed to get the license number of the car. An Awesome Dude in a beat-up pickup truck pulled over to ask if "ya'll need any help?" A woman in a responsible car pulled carefully over to the side and, clearly nervous to walk out in a somewhat traffic-y area, asked us if she could help in any way. A young lady and her friend saw the accident as they entered the freeway, exited, and drove all the way back around to give us their information - "just in case."

This may sound like an overstatement, but I want to say it anyway: The Helpers help redeem my faith in the human race. Sometimes the world is so crazy that you can start to think everybody is selfish and in their own little world, oblivious to the others around them. Then something happens and The Helpers emerge, reminding you that there are enough people out there that random acts of good and kindness do still happen, often when you least expect it and most need it.

The Important Person: Then there are the Important People. The world revolves around them, you know. We encountered Important People on both legs of our trip, pretty much everywhere we went. Texting while going 90 on the NY interstate (no, seriously.) Speeding past construction workers on the side of the road (70 in a 40.) The list could go on. During our accident the Important People made themselves known by: honking at us and telling us to "get off the road" (we were off the road, pulled over to the side until the cops came), speeding past us and burning rubber once past to get in the freeway, and I suppose I should also include our Hit and Run friends in this category too. Important People are everywhere.

The Extras: While our world stopped, theirs didn't. That's okay - they are our extras, and we are theirs. The Other People on the freeway, the Other People on the road, the People walking on the other side... "We each play a starring role in the story of our life..." Sometimes we have smaller and larger roles in the cast of Another Person's Life... and sometimes we are just an extra.

Sometimes hours go by quickly, sometimes they take forever to pass. While we waited for the cops to arrive, I contemplated these things, the accident, my situation, the upcoming trip. When the cops arrived (over an hour after the accident) they gathered information quickly and sent us on our way.

As we left the scene of the accident, I couldn't help but feel a little bit anxious. Driving had all of a sudden become a little bit scarier and less-fun, and I was about to take the longest road trip I've taken since the move to Minneapolis itself.

Dreams and updates

I had another "my brain is processing something" dream last night. I was walking around my house. (You know, typical dream house - not my current house but some strange simulacra of it.)

Somebody had recently given me a desk, an old vintage desk I had always wanted. I was convinced there was a place for it. As I walked around the house it became clear there was really no easy place to put it, that I had to make room for it. The room I thought it would fit didn't really fit after all and I had to crouch and wiggle just to get there.  I knew I had to find another place in the house for it to fit properly, and as I walked away from the room to figure out where I could make space I woke up.

A few things that stand out to me: The well of the desk was empty, and I wanted to fill it with things. The desk was a gift. I wanted to find room for it. The desk was wrapped in plastic.

I haven't updated my blog in awhile. The past few months have been very chaotic, but in a good way. I wrapped up a very intense semester and came out alive on the other end. (Though slightly like play-doh through the fun factory. The same substance, my form differently squished and mushy, my colors a bit askew.)

Nick went on his first tour. The experience was awesome - challenging but incredibly good for us. I got to meet him in L.A. and also spend a few days with my mom for mother's day, I'll write a post about that separately later. I feel like I fell in love with my best friend all over again, which is fantastic for us... but I'm a bit sad that he will be leaving again soon.

Work is going well, and I'm currently in the process of making some decisions there. I think some of the anxiety about those decisions is manifesting itself in various ways, including the dream I mentioned above. I had my 1-year review on Friday... crazy to think that I've been there for a whole year now. Time flies.

School as a whole is going well. I'm enjoying my classes, even though they are challenging. (Perhaps I'm enjoying my classes because they are challenging!) At this point, I'm contemplating moving on after this program to finish my PhD. It is something I really want to do, but finances are definitely a part of the overall equation I have to consider. I started my summer class immediately after the spring semester was over - no break at all, who set that schedule up?

The gallery is going well. The next few months I'll be putting in quite a bit of time training new board members and moving the organization forward, which has so far been a very exciting and rewarding process (again, even though and perhaps because of the challenge.) I am grateful to be working with such awesome people.

That's pretty much it for now. :)

Sri Lanka - Final Topic

So, after much thought and some struggle, I think I've settled on the following topic for the class. Modern missionaries: resolving the conflict between philanthropy, politics and proselytism in the war-torn regions of Sri Lanka.

As I continue reading and research, I'll be considering the following: - Role of different religions in modern Sri Lankan society - Philanthropy for poverty/Religion and the poor - The effect of natural disaster and tragedy on conversions - Brief history of religion, freedom and diversity of Sri Lanka (include, give context) - Brief history of proselytism (again, for proper contextualization) - Discussion: Transparency conflict – mission of religion vs mainstream philanthropic endeavors.

At this point I don't have much else to say, I'll just be reading. and reading. and reading.

Altered Esthetics + Grad School = Help me with my homework!

As part of one of my graduate classes we are conducting some group "Action Research." I'm fortunate to be on a team of people focusing on a project for an organization I'm pretty excited to be working with - Altered Esthetics. ;) Our goal is to reach and directly connect with 50 new artists, volunteers, and/or organizations. We're trying to do so with an outreach program that includes mailing, phone calls and some good old e-communication as well. I thought I should post to my personal blog too, since that just makes sense.

There are lots of different ways we'd be able to partner with a person or organization. We've got a lot of open calls already posted to our site for the rest of the year to which artists can submit work. Organizations can post an open call or event like our Día de los Muertos, or people can volunteer too.

We're trying to directly connect with people and the best way is probably through... people! So, I'm asking the people I know. Do you know an organization that might be interested in participating or telling their guests about any of our upcoming shows? Do you know an artist that you've been meaning to tell about the Awesome Ae and you just haven't gotten around to telling them yet?

Now's the time!

Altered Esthetics will appreciate any help... aaand so will the other people in my group in class.

You can direct people to me (, or send them to the website

If you want to post information to your profile, we've got some helpful text here:

Thank you!

You can return to the regularly scheduled boring j-me blog post. :)

Sri Lanka - Studies

For the past few months I have been pouring over books and articles as part of one of my classes “A Natural Evolution of Religion.” Concurrently we've also been tracing the history of religion itself over the past several thousand years, and how the religion and cultures of various civilizations have been affected by politics, climate change, and natural disaster. The class is a small seminar, just 11 of us total, and has been a wonderful experience so far. In addition to the cornerstone reading for the class, each student gets to embark on their own individual journey. The topics chosen by my colleagues vary from the Tower of Babel to the First Council of Nicea and beyond. I'm focusing on the history of religion in Sri Lanka, and as I'm zeroing on my topic I'm leaning towards a topic less historical and of more relevance to the current struggle.

I've struggled a little bit in narrowing this down as I find most of what I am reading extraordinarily interesting, and it seems as though rabbit trails are quite easy to go on when doing this type of research. I'm leaning toward one of the following topics:

  • The role of religious freedom in Sri Lanka's ethnic struggle.
  • The problem of evangelism in modern Sri Lanka.
  • Dispelling myths of Sri Lankan culture (as a means of properly understanding the current religious tension).
  • The preservation of religious freedom in Sri Lanka.
  • The role of the Christian Church in conflict resolutionin Sri Lanka.
  • The result of colonialism: present day diverse Sri Lanka.
  • “Give me your poor” - the role of religion in modern day poverty and tragedy in Sri Lanka.
  • The role of U.S. citizens in Sri Lankan religious struggles.
  • “Heaven on Earth” - the ulterior motives behind philanthropic endeavors in 'third world' countries.

I'll post some summaries of recent articles I've read soon. In the meantime... if anybody has any insights or thoughts, let me know. (Cousins, I'm especially talking to YOU!)

What’s the biggest change that has happened to you as an adult?

Blog Homework! Below you will find my response to the following question, from my class blog:

"What’s the biggest change that has happened to you as an adult? Describe it and talk about how you’ve responded to it."

I'm very interested in how the readers of my blog would answer the above. What is the biggest change that has happened to YOU?


As I thought about what I would write for this post, I first thought through the most obvious changes that have happened in my adult life.

Surely, moving 2,000 miles away from my immediate family to the snowy tundra of Minnesota was a pretty big change. (For the record, my family still thinks I'm crazy.)

Perhaps starting a nonprofit gallery was a big change. It definitely has taken up quite a bit of time! However, when looking at the gallery objectively, it seems like starting it was more of a “process” then a single change, and that the process was triggered by something else entirely.

I think there have been so many events in varying scale that it would be hard to pinpoint one event over another to be the biggest “change.” I think the “change” that has had the most significant change on my life wasn't a job, a move or a relationship, but more of a change in how I view my placement in any given situation. Though might sound rather morbid, the most positive significant change I made was when I stopped viewing situations only through the lens of “what I want while I'm here?” to “what happens when I am gone?”

Death wasn't a stranger to my family, but as I aged the reality that one could die at any age became increasingly apparent. I think we all go through the process of losing the immortality we feel when we are young. We stop doing reckless things and start being more careful with our actions. Though I never felt entirely 'immortal,' I can say that I began contemplating my own mortality at a very young age, with increasing urgency as I grew older. “What about when I'm gone” was never a foreign question really, just one that I attended to with increasing practicality over time.

One of the jobs that I had throughout college was working for a small, family run manufacturing company. Though first hired as a temp receptionist, they realized I had a wide variety of computer skills and quickly put me to work in other areas of the company. Over the next few years, a remarkable thing happened: everybody that could got pregnant got pregnant - at least once. (A few became pregnant more than once and no, not all at once.) Over the course of my 6 years with the company, in addition to my own tasks, I covered for anybody who was out on maternity leave. This helped the company by decreasing potential rollover and maintaining some continuity within the office. It helped me tremendously because in a short while, I had learned all of the various aspects of running an office – from accounting, to human resources, to shipping, and more. I was also able to objectively view how all the little components worked together and I did what I could to streamline systems and computerize processes. (A side note: I also never drank the company water, because it did seem at times that pregnancy was contagious, and I wasn't quite ready for that!) Jokes aside, the most important thing I learned from this process was that sometimes it is not only important to a company what one does on the job while one is present, but what happens when that person is gone as well. The view that “I'll/she/they will always be around to take care of it” can be incredibly unrealistic. What will happen when they are gone?

Taking that “what happens when I'm gone” view and applying it to my own life, I made a series of key decisions. First and foremost, I wanted my work efforts to go toward something positive, something I could die and be content with how I spent my time. Since then, I've tried to incorporate this mentality into how I earn a living by considering with what company I work as well as with what tasks I do.

The gallery is an interesting experiment in this regard. Most people begin a company with the end-goal of being self employed or sometimes, getting rich and not being employed at all. Though the possibility of earning a living through the gallery has been brought to the table at times, the overarching, long-term goal is to develop a sustainable organization that remains a resource for the community even when I'm gone. That's not meant to sound entirely morbid. Perhaps I decide to pursue a PhD and need to move on. Perhaps somebody in my family gets very sick and I have to return to California for an extended amount of time. Life is about more than just what is a part of my day-to-day, and if I plan accordingly neither I nor my organization will be entirely overwhelmed if or when life happens.

I hope this post didn't come across as doom and gloom. Most of you know me at least a little bit by now, at least well enough to know that I don't walk around like a nihilist saying “we're all going to die, nothing matters anyway.” I also can't say that I'm entirely consistent with this process, and have had to make compromises along the way in order to work toward broader goals. I share this with you mainly because by and large, I think that changing how I view my role and how it affects others “when I'm gone” has had the positive counter-effect of making better decisions, ones that make me happier “while I'm here.”

Thanks for reading,


A footnote: My dog however, does not express the same sentiment towards being considerate of others when she is gone. If somebody in the class might be willing to make copies of pages 301-332 of the Leadership Challenge book I would greatly appreciate it - sometimes the “my dog ate my homework” situation really does happen.

Blogging homework!

We have to blog as part of our classwork. As you can imagine, I'm super peeved about it. (yay!) We even have a class blog, which you can see here:Today was my week to lead the blog discussion, so I'm putting my post up here as well. For posterity and such.

Seven Zones for Leadership – Acting Authentically in Stability and Chaos

Good evening!

As I read through the excerpts from “The Challenges of Leadership,” I followed the advice of the author. “This book will be most helpful to you if you keep your own organization in mind as you read and reflect.” That is precisely what I did, and with this post I plan to share a part of that process with you.

I enjoyed the last class discussion greatly and think the diversity of perspectives in the class make each discussion lively and thorough. I look forward to reading about how you related this reading to your organization and in what ways you found it helpful (or not helpful.)

A bit of background information: the organization I'm “internalizing” this process with is Altered Esthetics, a nonprofit community art gallery in Northeast Minneapolis. Our mission is to sustain artists' role as a voice of society and we do so through group exhibits, artists discussions, and more. We work with a lot of emerging artists as well as quite a few established artists, both locally and internationally. We're just under 5 years old and have been working actively towards a sustainable, community-centered structure.

As many startup organizations we began with a more hierarchical structure, with much radiating from the founder/director. As we've grown, we've pushed toward a more heterarchical/flat structure. This is for several reasons, sustainability but a heterarchical structure also encourages active engagement with the community. We're in the process of this transfer, so applying these organizational and leadership tools is both interesting and useful – often times it helps point out the ways we are doing well while also helping to clue us in to things we can do better.

Since the author tied the zones along with the segments of the action wheel, I will do the same here. I'll review what the wheel segment and correlating zone is, then apply my own questions and experience to the puzzle.

Existence The history that limits and launches what we do Zone 1: Serving the Past

A few years ago, as we looked at our current structure and thought about how we would grow, we asked ourselves: what are the things we have done well in the past? What worked in the past for our organization and the people we serve, and what didn't? In what ways have we seen other organizations in the community succeed and/or fail? What methods and ethics do we want to continue, and what do we want to change? The organization itself was born out of a need in the arts community. We wanted to make sure that as we grew, we kept our function and mission at the center of our processes and actions.

Resources The things that we use in what we do Zone 2: Building Core Competencies

We asked ourselves, what are the resources we currently have as an organization? What are our needs, and how will we separate wants from needs?

The structure we are growing into was born both out of the current strengths, while allowing room to grow to fill our areas of weakness. It was not established overnight, but was created after months of examination and deliberation of what we do not need to do, what we should do, what we have to do, what we do well and what we can do better.

Structure The form and process that support and sustain what we do Zone 3: Systems Thinking Zone 3a: Designing Sustainable Systems Zone 3b: Affirming Shared Identity

Finding a sustainable structure for a nonprofit arts organization was tricky territory. How does one create a structure that promotes sustainability, considers accountability, yet encourages creativity within both the members as well as the people the organization serves? Accessibility and engagement were key clues for this transition. Accessibility to the community and the members of the board, and engagement across all platforms. Finding a structure that allowed board members and participants to be unique participants of a shared collective was also tricky. To make this process successful, we all had to think with more “we” and less “I.” Fortunately, our shows and our mission is much about collaboration, and fortunately many of us had already learned firsthand that often the best results come out of a collaborative, labor intensive process.

Power The commitment and passion that energize what we do Zone 4: Creating Ownership

I've been a part of several nonprofits that have had “sitting” board members. Not very engaged, not very helpful, for lack of a better term, they served as seat warmers. We wondered: how could we engage board members in a way that was helpful to the organization? We did this by creating specific roles for board members beyond the traditional roles of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The first edition of this was NOT a final draft, nor is it a final draft. As we transition, we are working with current board members, finding strengths and weaknesses, and filling positions not just based on the needs of the organization but also based on the skills and strengths of the board members themselves.

(A chart of the board structure can be found here:

Mission The aim and priority that give direction to what we do Zone 5: Focusing on the Future Zone 5a: Setting Direction Zone 5b: Anticipating Change

How does one reconcile a myriad of opinions, skills, weaknesses, and desires? Our organization solved this by making sure everything was driven by our mission. “Altered Esthetics works to sustain the historical role of artists as a voice of society through our exhibits, events, services, workshops and programs.” You might call it a “mission filter.” Though initially this filter might seem easier for nonprofits, I think for-profit businesses can have a solid, engaging mission as well. For example – eBay's mission is “to provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.” For eBay, accessibility and openness is key. Target's mission is “to drive sales profitably while delivering a Target brand shopping experience.” My point is this: missions don't have to be entirely altruistic to be a good filter as an organizational goal.

Often times during our board meetings you'll hear the question pop up “Well, how would that reflect our mission?” or “What does that say about Ae? (Altered Esthetics)” We've avoided several bad choices simply by reminding ourselves why we are around in the first place, and what our long-term mission is.

Setting direction was a huge component of transition. We didn't just “switch” into a new board structure. Change involved and involves long-term implementation. Along with new structure came timeline, goals, and tools of measure. This also wasn't a one-stop, permanent change.

Meaning The justification and significance that tell us why or for what we do what we do Zone 6: Creating Meaning in Chaos

If you take a look at the board structure we created, you'll notice that there are lots of dotted lines or fuzzy boundaries between our board, the community we serve, the community we are in, our interns and our volunteers. While having roles is a good “guideline,” being in touch with the people connected to our organization has only helped us as we've grown. In other words – we've gotten more out of inviting artists, volunteers, and community members to be a part of our conversation than we have by shutting them out. By listening to our constituency we've also been able to make some important changes.

Fulfillment The completed action that embraces existence, resources, structure, power, mission, and meaning. Zone 7: Serving the Promise of Authenticity. Zone 7a: Making Wise Choices Zone 7b: Probing Deeper

Well. As far as being “complete,” I can't say that we're quite there yet. I like to think as an organization we'll always be susceptible and willing to change.

I think as long as we're operating though our mission we can practice authenticity. As we grow fortunately there are other organization we can look to – such as the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – for help making wise choices. (Tools such as the “Principles and Practices of Nonprofit Excellence” have been tremendously helpful.)

I think as long as we continue to ask the question “how can we do what we do better” both of our selves and our constituencies we can constantly probe deeper and grow as an organization.

About the reading

Though I tend to be wary of “maps” and “steps to success,” I must admit throughout our planning we did include many of these components, at least in some capacity. The one thing I found somewhat lacking in this reading – and perhaps this comes later in the text – was any discussion of “soft skills” that would accompany this type of transition. For an example, as we grew as an organization, not everybody was on board with change. People communicated at different paces and with different comfort zones. We gained board members as past members trickled out. Maintaining communication and connectivity throughout this process was and is key. I think those gray areas of these types of transition are unique from organization to organization.

About the author

While doing a little bit of research about the author, I came across the following memorial. While I wasn't 100% sure that this is the same author, after some additional library hunts, I'm fairly certain. Perhaps Dr. Crosby can confirm this. In any case, I wanted to share this with you, so you have a little background on who wrote this text and what he's done as a leader, helping other people lead.

“It is with deep regret that we inform you that Bob Terry, Ph.D., founder of Mobius Leadership International, died peacefully in his sleep on September 20, 2002, due to complications of ALS (Lous Gehrigs disease).

Bob Terry, Ph.D. Former president of Mobius Leadership International, was a leadership architect, executive mentor, author, public speaker and seminar conductor, and peer advisor to leadership educators in the Twin Cities. As Director of the Reflective Leadership Center at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and scholar in leadership studies, plus having led a for profit organization, he was positioned uniquely as a leadership educator. Bob was known for his depth of content, delightful sense of humor, passion for the subject matter and total engagement with his audiences, clients and customers.”



What role do you play in your own organization?

How could you apply/have you applied the “zones” to your own organization?

What are some of the “soft skills” that you think go along with being a good leader?

What areas, if any, do you think the “action wheel” or “zone” left out?

Helpful Links: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence:

Altered Esthetics - Board Sustainability Presentation

After doing research about leaderless organizations and writing the Ae Case Study, I had to present a new structure to the board. This is the simple presentation I used. I outlined the past structures of Ae, our goals, the new structure and my proposal for implementation.

Creative Commons License
Altered Esthetics Structure and Sustainability Board Presentation by J. R. Schumacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

My research and writing

I spent a good deal of time last fall writing two rather extensive papers that, while well researched academically, are also quite practical in both business and academic settings. My original intent was to submit these papers for publication. Instead, I'm posting them here and sending them out and about.

I'm doing this for several reasons.

1) I believe knowledge should be shared. Seriously! I believe this sharing of information falls in line with my own personal goals. Don't get me wrong, I do hope to write something for publication in an academic journal at some point. (In fact, hopefully I will have many of those opportunities in the future!) However, the process for submission, review and publication is quite lengthy, and much of this information might be of use sooner rather than later. This also isn't to say that "I know everything" about these topics by any means - only that I've done quite a bit of research along these lines and I'm putting these out there freely on the off chance I am able to help some non profits get some insight.

2) I want to introduce folks to "Creative Commons" licensing. "Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. (They) provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof." In other words - their mission is to foster and promote learning, sharing, and creativity. Anybody that knows me well knows why I'm all over this.

3) I hope to get feedback. That means from you, from anybody you share this with - I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Innovation in global philanthropy, especially in terms of new media communications, is an area where I'll be working and researching for a long time now. This field is a unique junction of academia, business, and media. There are no hard boundaries and anything you have to contribute to this dialogue is much welcome and much appreciated.

4) I could not have written this without the research and work of others for me. At this point in my career, I believe this is the best way for me to continue and contribute to this ongoing academic dialogue.

This may not wind up being a good idea - only time will tell. In the meantime...

My writings and research page - a list of academic articles and case studies.

Useful Links Creative

Perfect afternoon at the U of M...

I biked to school straight from work, and had a little bit of time to read outside before going in to class. It was PERFECT outside and lying on the grass felt just like heaven. Perfect Day...

Perfect Day...

The building in the middle is Blegen Hall, where my class is. Perfect Day...

The middle green bike is my awesome long haul trucker. I love that I can bike to school - I can park right in front of our building! My commute to Fullerton was 40 miles round trip. (Uphill both ways!) Perfect Day...