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THIS WEEK on IBIT

In more ways than one, this is going to be one MOTHER of a week.

Let’s get The BIG One out of the way first, shall we:

Today is the first day of international travel in the post-bin Laden era.

You already know the story. Osama bin Laden, the spoiled Saudi rich boy who became the rockstar of international terrorism with the 9/11 attacks ten years ago, finally had his act cancelled yesterday by a U.S. special ops team.

What does this mean for al Qaeda and its murderous spinoffs in various parts of the world? For our ongoing, agonizing struggle in Afghanistan?

What does it mean for the huge numbers of innocent, law-abiding and truly God-fearing Muslims living in the West, who’ve had to endure a decade’s worth of fear, suspicion, ignorance and prejudice?

And what does it mean for travel? Can we now pack our mouthwash in our carry-on bag again without the airport going to DEFCON-5? Will the TSA now agree to keep its hands to itself and leave our “junk” alone?

Most of all, will more Americans now come out from under their beds and start traveling again?

As far as the “war on terror” is concerned, Winston Churchill probably said it best back in 1942:

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

We’ll be looking at all of this, especially as it pertains to travel, in the coming weeks and months.

And believe me, there will be a lot to look at.

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and my friend Monique Y. Wells of Entreé to Black Paris, thinks the City of Light would make a great Mother’s Day gift.

She’s right, it would.

For your mom, too…

I wish I could give my mom Paris. I mean, this is the lady who gave me my love of travel in the first place, which means you wouldn’t even be reading this blog right now without the influence she had on my life. For me to be able to give her a taste of Paris in return would only be fair.

But we already know that life is not fair — and the older we get, the more unfair it seems to become. At 85, she’s not and never will be again the traveler she used to be. Still, her mind remains sharp enough to take her wherever she wants to go in this world.

And more importantly when you’re 85, it’s still sharp enough to bring her back.

In this life, you learn to take your blessings where you can find them.

Thanks, Mom.

-0-

It looks as if what relatively little rain we get in the San Diego region is pretty much done for this year. These days, it’s strictly Chamber of Commerce weather around here, and that cane mean only one thing.

Time to get off my haunches, push back from this keyboard and go dust off Big Lizard.

(And believe me, I NEED it!)

Big Lizard is my mountain bike, a now-ancient but still totally serviceable Giant Iguana, with old-school toe clips and straps, and painted an appropriately reptilian shade of green.

Suspension? That’s what knees and elbows are for.

A lot of black folks around the country are starting to take more of an interest in cycling. It’s all about fitness — physical, mental, financial, environmental.

A grimly steady climb toward $5 gasoline makes an especially effective motivator.

In the days and weeks to come, you’re going to meet some of the people and organizations behind this movement. Perhaps this is the trend that will produce the next Major Taylor. With luck, maybe they’ll inspire you to get out there, too.

They’ve definitely inspired me. Time to kick the tires and light the fires. Lance who?

Here’s what else this week holds in store for you on IBIT:

  • DAY TRIPPING: Escape from London
    Just as there’s more to Britain than England, there’s more to England than London. Hell, even Ireland and France are day trips from here.
  • AFRICA CAN’T WAIT
    A lot of African nations would love to see more Americans, especially African-Americans, coming to the Mother Continent to vacation and invest. But while the US travel industry acknowledges this huge potential market, they won’t take the lead in creating it. At least in the beginning, Africa herself will have to make it happen.

More later, the Good Lord willing and the cost of gas don’t rise. Choose to have a good week. See you Out There!

Greg

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