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It's Fun to Move Fast | Photo Finish | Letters
It's Fun to Move Fast
The author steering with his knees. Not really. The Tesla is resting on the road to Mt. Tamalpais.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, we burst into the spontaneous laughter of kids who'd just gotten away with something. Minutes later, as senior editor Reed McManus whipped through the S turns that wind up Mt. Tamalpais, I threw my hands into the air like a teen on a roller coaster.
Years ago a friend had an electric car (you know, the ones the bad guys disappeared?). It was cool in a nerdy, do-gooder kind of way.
Test-driving a topless, apple-red Tesla Roadster is cool in a 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, feel your ears flatten against your skull, watch the car geeks in Porsches gawk enviously kind of way.
I'm familiar enough with Sierra's readership by now to know that a few may be clucking: "Shame on you for getting giddy about a car that costs more than 50,000
$2 bus tickets."
I feel no guilt. Sure, the Markey-Waxman climate and energy bill has the potential to invigorate. But even if this potentially awesome legislation gets beefed up in the Senate, it's not going to pin us to our seats with the sheer exhilaration of a low-slung, battery-powered, four-wheeled rocket with an advertised range of 244 emission-free miles and a rate of acceleration found only in amusement parks.
Please don't take this as shilling for Tesla. Consider it a passionate endorsement of reckless innovation and—dare I say it?—excitement, something I think environmentalists are entitled to at this historic moment of rapid political and technological change. —Bob Sipchen, editor in chief
Good thing Appalachian Trail hiker Josh Myers takes his Nikon with him on rugged hikes and road trips: Voters on Sierra Club Trails chose his magical photo of Utah's Delicate Arch as the best in our National Park Photo Contest.
I love my Sierra and just finished my first brief read-through of the July/August 2009 copy. I am dismayed that an edition that carries the warm article "Team of Rivals" would also include Carrie Merritt's "Half Dumb" ("Smile"). It is one thing for Merritt to laugh to herself or even among her peers about some of the more inane questions she was asked, but shame on Sierra for publishing a column so contrary in tone to its usual teaching of love for nature's grandeur, available without bias to all mankind.
I ran into a rare sour note in the last issue of the magazine (which, as a rule, I love). "Half Dumb" ridicules first-timers. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the people lampooned sees this article and has to relive the humiliation of being laughed at.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Everyone knows that Half Dome isn't made out of solid concrete; it's hollow to accommodate the winter ski gondola equipment.
I thought your test of energy bars was dumb ("Enjoy," July/August, page 11). Those listed are all "uppity" bars in fancy hiking-supply stores. What about testing the bars you can obtain at the grocery store, even if they don't meet your criteria of ecofriendly. Many of us cannot go to some funny hiking-supply company to look for the crazy bars that they sell. Bad, bad, bad.
Kendric C. Smith
Editor's note: Many of the bars featured are readily available, and stores can be persuaded to add ecofriendly brands.
I am an avid nude hiker, and this most naturally healthy pursuit has forced me to seek out the unbeaten paths of the Sierra and the Big Sur mountains near my home. It makes me laugh with irritated irony at those Sierra Clubbers who complain about someone wearing a bikini on your cover (May/June) when any true wilderness devotee would appreciate humanity's natural state, which is to be nude in the wilds.
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook
Pacific Grove, California
The disgust and disapproval expressed over your May/June cover is completely unfair. "Skimpily clad"? "Anorexic"? I don't think so. What is so offensive about a normal-sized, fit woman donning sport-appropriate attire? Nothing.
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Photo: Reed McManus/Sierra Club collection, Josh Myers