2.28.2005

quick commute
well.... a direct commute
direct snow filled commute
a short ride....
a short ride that was long enough to let this pressure cooker get steamed


the weatherman was right
IT SNOWED!
it snowed nearly all day
massive snowflakes
massive fluffy snowflakes
at other times
steady snowflakes
steady small fast falling snowflakes
for the most part it was wet snowflakes that did not add up to anything
wet snowflakes falling on warm ground
all day not one flake stuck to the ground until slightly after six in the evening

remind me why Dean did not have school again today?

the whistle blew at he end of a Monday that felt confusingly like a Friday
not entirely in a good way
I suited up in all my Gortex and polypropalean gear, lights a flashing, headlamp beaming, various refectors waiting to shine back light, all ontop of the Karate Monkey pointed the most direct route home
trying to keep my bicycle vertical and out of the way of all the idiots and assholes on the road
confident... not cocky
self assured... not stupid

this is not a time to show off
this is not a time to prove anything

let me tell you.... the IDIOTS AND ASSHOLES were showing their colors!
H2 here
H2 there
like the multi colored ass of a babboon... strutting around all inflamed
BMW driving too fast sure to crash.... a sight I would like to see, as long as no one gets hurt
cars spinning out displaying no understanding of how to drive in snow or slush
who would have thought that.... that Mercedes does so poorly in snow... oh.... it is not the car..... that idiot can not drive in snow! technology in a idiot's hand can not only be useless.. but it can be dangerous!

people pass with the same lack of consideration on snow days as they pass on anyday

"you are three inches from my handlebar are quite far enough over for me! slide over please!"

so, the full lane is as far to the right as I feel I must be
an unexpect opening of a car door or an assertive pedestrian stepping out from between two parked cars could demand more rapid response that I could mustard with the snowy conditions

so,let me make the decision for you
as I am smarter and faster than you.... let me remove the need for you to think
as you are more than likely to make the wrong choice.. perhaps a selfish and foolish choice that could endanger me
as you cars behind me are sure to make the wrong decision just as the few cars before me did
as I am more capable of thinking of both our our needs than you are.... as you have yet to consider considering mine
as always it is vital to stay vertical as they may not be able to stop
as they may not be playing close enough attention to notice I fell in time to stop
after all there are XM radio startions to select from, less than vital phone calls to answer, emails on the blackberry to check, porn DVDs to watch, and of course my beloved iPOD Playlists to scroll through (don't get me wrong... i have a phone and an ipod.... but I try to be courtesy and safe when I do stupid things)

I slide by the same cars that just past me so close so fast, risking my life did not get them to their destinatin any quicker... I am past them again.... if they were in my backpack they would get home more quickly... under my breath I curse at those that have endangered me.... foolishly I let the anger steamroll.... on near situation that could be avoided....... then another near sitiation that could have been avoided
with some I am making eye contact
maybe putting a human element upon it
some look at me in question like they never saw me..... like then never almost ran me over a few blocks back
other look back aggressively
while others are even more combative and competitive as the locked eyes are enough to fuel the battle
all the while to these select few drivers I mouth ugly words through my balacava
more than likely the words are seen in my eyes as I can hear the words in theirs

the roads are virtually vacant for a monday evening
well... backed up for sections
and vacant for others....
cars getting bunched behind grandmother's who should not be driving on the street today... behind grandmothers who should not be on the street anyday! traffic gets blocked by the parked car that should not be parked on this stretch of road during Rush Hour! causing a bottleneck causing traffic to nearly stop as cars have to merge

I stay on the streets away from the sidewalks and move my way steadily home
for the most part sidewalks are good for a quick cross cut..... but never more than a block and never at speed
and never never downtown in the snow and rain
too many stretches of sidewalk infront of buildings downtown are marble not concrete
altering body position and braking are enough to throw a bike down when you combine snow and this marble sidewalk
then the pedestrians deserve the sidewalk
when I walk... I hate getting buzzed by a biker.... especially when I see they are lacking brake pads, braking power, and braking skill
best not to be a hypocrite
best to stay on the street
leave the sidewalk to the pregnant mother or mr. mom pushing the stroller.... the young kids learning to skateboard... and the elderly woman with the walker
it is not cool to move like Walter Payton heading for the endzone

back to my ride...

it is a short trek, but long enough for an idiot to do something to put my life at risk
so I stay alert the whole way
as I move from New Hampshire past Dupont I roll one block the wrong way on a one way
then onto 16th Street
for a second I consider the sidewalk
then I realize I am still moving faster than the majority of traffic
with extra care I move the wrong way down this one way street
anticipating any cars coming out of their parking space or any car turning my way
also looking to the light at 16th and U
how should I set my pace..... speed or slow or bust a move?
the light is against me so I move to the head of the queue
not sure how that metro bus feels... but he has a stop just ahead and there looks like parked traffic is taking the lane before that poing
green light go, but only after making sure it is clear
the lights say one thing... yes... the cars just like the bicycles often do the other
at the base of this less than hill climb a variety of unskilled drivers spin their wheels looking helpless like turtles on their backs
I laugh out loud
up 16th with Malcom X park just to my right I stay the same pace as the car to my side rather than risk moving faster than traffic and having to reintroduce myself to the car to my left
as I pedal the single gear up the hill the same rate as traffic I feel the hum of a car feet behind me
I begin to ride foolishly one handed
the one handedness is not the foolishness of my efforts
the extended middle finger is the short sighted response to anything
a potentially suicidal action on the bicycle
sure enough
a car passes on the left with the window down and a man saying something in a language I did not understand
in a completely serious, not rude.... perhaps stupid.... but not rude I said in a sort of bewildered questioning sort of way... "In English Please?"
the car continued forward, rolling the window up, getting stuck in car traffic 15 feet ahead as I rolled to a stop and waited for him to roll down the window
not in an arrogant asshole aggressive sort of way... no... I just stopped and waited, then as he turned then started down the window I turned to the side and turned off my headlamp so we could talk without me obnoxiously flashing a 15 watt old school Niterider Dual Classic Pro.... the water bottle style..... any way.... we get to talking.... perhaps I start..... we talk... there is mention of respect...... there is mention of rights.... there is not much back and forth.... then I am reminded.... what about the finger?
for a minute there I had forgotten what I had done.... I was still fixated on being tailgated on a snow covered street as I am moving faster than traffic on a yet to be plowed section of road. but somehow I had forgotten about giving him.... that car... that car's driver the finger.....well, until he mentioned it... again I responded just as calm just as sincere, don't you think you were following me a little close back there.... all I am asking for is for you to give me as much respect as i would give you. to that the male passanger of this female driven high end honda with extras. this was a conversation that took seconds. it went well, but it could have gone another way. this guy was rational this guy was cool. most people are not rational. most people are not cool. on another day this person may have responded differently, hopefully not.... hopefully he has grown from this experience just as I am trying to grow from this experience. that was only seconds.... seconds that maybe added up to a little less than a minute.

back pedaling forward.... passing this same car giving a nod and rolling past..... cutting through a clear space.... across the center lane of traffic..... behind the left turn lane... across head on traffic on16th Street... and right onto Mt Pleasant street being more than aware of the lights.... what the lights are.... what the lights are going to become..... where the cars are...... where are the cars going... what will the car do next..... I have to know what the car will do next before the car knows.... so that I will be someplace else... the same goes for pedestrians..... I need to see that that pedestrian is going to step out as they have not looked for me as they may not have looked to check for a car......
left turning car
red light ahead
pedestrians in a pack snailing in the middle of the road
cab parked on the right
oncoming car trying to take a left
car coming out of a space
metro bus unloading passangers
metro bus passangers stepping into traffic without looking
more double parked cars
more cars pulling out of parking spaces
more pedestrians doing something without looking
stop sign ahead
thread the needle very little reason for me to slow down
pop... a snowball explodes on my hand.... wow.... did not see that coming!
no blood.... no foul!
I raise the hand that has just been hit and give a thumbs up! Good Shot! Would have never expected that.....
then down Park Road still faster than the standard flowless flow of traffic
park road is a little more clear as it is a little more trafficked
right on 18th
not too fast
not feeling too confident
not feeling like falling down
the whole ride home was a series of connected Drag Races
even with the front disc brake I take caution about approaching and set of variables too quickly
also the rear brakes were making a serious Canada Goose HONK!
so braking was not only sketchy
braking was also embarressing... never want anyone able to hear your brake pads
especially on a downhill!
so where was I right on 18th then left on Monroe then slow to a near stop at 19th street before I dip down into the alley behind my house
taking it all very cautiously
being happy I made it thus far without falling
laughing at myself for my excess caution and my drag racing style
then again....
just as I am asking that car driver to respect me
it is vital for me to respect him by not giving him the finger
and
it is vital to respect myself for trying to respect the dangers that surround me
it is vital not to become a statistic

must mellow
must let it out in a different way....
cabin fever?
road rage?
years of baggage?

yes, D: All of the Above
but I am working on..... most definitely working on it

this post took longer to type than it took to live through.....

tough day?
not sure why I was feeling so much tension all day
especially after such a great weekend.... such a weekend that involved so much activity


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