12.19.2007

december days...

december days...

yesterday morning after a hike in the woods with my dog I struggled to find my balaclava
the earth was brittle and crunching under my feet
perhaps I was underdressed for my morning hike
it seemed like winter had arrived
I suited up for a wicked winter day
I was clearly overdressed for my ride into work
this was even more clear on my post work ride

the balaclava was not overkill
but the outer layer gortex shell both top and bottom may have been more than I needed
and the pearlizumi lobster claw gloves... left my hands sweating

I was sweating as I over spun my single speed on the city streets on my post work ride
with my single speed gear more suited for mountain than for road I showed the four, six, and eight cylinder machines around me how the tortoise beats the hare
but... the smart ass hare is not so smart
the lesson is not learned
there was not an epiphany
no one left our encounter enlightened
the cars still tried to race me around town
the cars each always felt that they had to be ahead of the bicycle
even if that meant just accelerating to the next set of red tail lights

speeding on her cell phone a driver honked at me
beckoning me to clear the path
demanding that I get out of their way
she made her way around me
doubling the speed limit in the stretch of half of a city block
just adding to be another car stuck in the queue
I split the lanes and moved forward and further
she still chatting on her cell phone arm locked in the 90 degree position
this same car caught me and pulled the same tailgating maneuver
then went around me
then I passed her again
again she caught me and aggressively passing me
only to get clogged again
this time I made some ground
I split the lanes, made the light, then rolled forward and further never to have to cuss at that driver again

she was just one of many who agitated and irked me
there were too many incidents to count
cell phones to be the greatest contributing factor to the dangers
I do not expect the car drivers to see me
I would hope that they would at least be looking around them
but no
even the police officer on his cell ignoring the hands free law came close to clipping me
when I ran the light in front of him I figured
if he does not see me when I am within the limits of the law
why should I be his concern when I am existing outside the limits of the law
like a fool I was looking for that conversation
like a fool I was asking for that conversation
luckily this fool did not have that conversation

the ride took me up and around Capital Hill then back towards Mount Pleasant
as I spun up 16th Street a man on an old Klein mountain bike raced along side of me
knowing I did not have the energy or the strength to out spin him on my gearless bike
I tried to flow faster
making lights where he stalled and stopped
at the crest of the hill past Malcolm X Park I felt I had lost him
but by the time I was on the sidewalk headed into Mount Pleasant I saw him passing me up 16th Street
my legs are tired
best to leave the racing for race day
and to show up for the race with the right bike with the right gear

I got home
an hour and three minutes on the bike
not exactly an epic
but after a hello to the wife and some hugs from boys I was out in the woods with brutus the black dog and ollie the muppet dog who is spending the week with our family
twenty five minutes or so in the woods takes two short quasi work outs to a semi sort of something
something better than nothing

oh... that photo in the upper left hand corner
I used to work for gulliver's movers
with beard and long hair
more than once a silver haired customer asked if the company had sent gulliver himself to handle the move






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