Get a chance to win Old Red at the Earth Day Fair & Music Festival April 19
During the 1970s, Dick Kresja was well known for his environmental activism in San Luis Obispo County. A Cal Poly Professor from 1968 to 1994, he was instrumental in the creek cleanup and Mission Plaza project, co-founded ECOSLO, the Environmental Center of San Luis Obipso, and served on the SLO County Board of Supervisors.
When Kresja retired, in 1980, his constituents had a party at Cuesta Park and presented him with a brand new 12-speed, red, “SR” brand touring bike from Ira’s Bike Shop in Arroyo Grande. Dick had it outfitted with red front and rear “Kirkland” touring panniers and a luggage rack over the rear wheel.
While on sabbatical in 1982-83, Dick rode Old Red bike to work every day (except for snow time) from Newton Center, MA, to his research office as “Visiting Scholar” at Harvard University in Cambridge. In June, 1983, Dick and his twin daughter Joanna (then 15.5 years old) rode their bikes from Kittery to Portland, ME, around Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and a little bit of Quebec. He estimates that the bike now has at least 8,000 miles, but no more than 10,000 miles, on it.
Celebrating his 82nd birthday and letting things go, Dick said, “Except for a coat of removable dust accumulated within the laundry room for the past 20 years, I kept it in good riding conditions and my “Old Red” bike still looks fairly “new. Its skinny tires have become flat from standing in a corner and likely should be replaced and its padded handlebars can use some new red wrapping tape. Otherwise, you can ride it out the door.”
In support of the Earth Day drawing, Old Red was tuned up and refurbished by Ira’s Bike Shop.
Dick, his wife, Julie, and his oldest son leave for a 10-day Holland-Belgium riverboat tour with Cafe Musique (April 14-24). His oldest daughter will join them in Antwerp and the four will then spend 8-9 days touring France and the UK doing lumberjack puppet shows wherever possible. They will leave London on May 3, for another 6-month stay in Maine (perhaps the last?).
In the meantime, Dick is working on, and hopes to have, a new book on the Origin of ECOSLO and the History of the “Modern” Environmental Movement in SLO County for sale by ECOSLO’s 45th Anniversary celebration Fall 2016.