8/2/11

Ride Home 8/2

My aim is to not make this a mega-post. What I have to say about this morning is the following: I think that one of my cleats is off and it's making me ride bowlegged. I mean to adjust this at some point. It was disconcerting and distracting. And uncomfortable. I think this is one of the perils of having this kind of cleat system. Such is life for the bike snoot. (P.S. please don't cybersquat on bikesnootdc.blogspot.com. I'm not that desperate yet, but don't tempt me.) Anything else from this morning? Maybe I saw a guy yell at a taxi driver about something. Those Key Marriott crossings are not good, but neither is yelling at a stranger. Keep your screaming to friends and family is what I say.
And now for the ride home.
There's a quality called wiliness (this has nothing to do with Will Smith or his brood) and it's the quality by which I judge all bike commuters. Yes, I judge. I have a notebook (moleskin) and I take detailed notes (with a tiny pencil). If you've ever ridden a bike by me, I probably have a manilla envelope with some sort of pejorative description of your affect or demeanor scrawled on a sticky tab on the top of the folder, alphabetized in a large filing cabinet that rests against one wall in my subterranean blogging lair. Anyway. I like wiliness and I aspire to it. It's the ability to size up traffic conditions and your route and to effortlessly negotiate your way through tricky traffic situations with minimal effort and general nonchalance. This isn't the same as recklessness, in which one heeds neither caution nor sense and propels himself (let's be honest about the gener pronoun here) into dangerous situations with a combination of nihilism, impatience and irritability.
Thinking about wiliness led me to think about other things, namely backgammon. Backgammon is a great game, one I play poorly whenever I have the opportunity, and one that I believe to be the most tantamount to riding a bike to work. And here's why:

  • Unlike chess or checkers, you're not trying to kill things. You're trying to get everyone safely home
  • You're playing against your opponent, but you're also playing against the board. Congestion can limit your moves. 
  • There's an element of chance (the roll of the dice) that dictates your options, just like the element of chance (traffic flow, bike lanes, pedestrians, whatever) that limit your options.
  • Every piece is of equal value. You know, all life is precious and blah blah blah.
  • Much like a folding bike, a backgammon board can be easily stored.
Anyway, for more on this, please read my (forthcoming) backgammon blog, backgammonsnootdc.blogspot.com. 
Nothing makes me happier than catching lights. It's like a gift from the heavens every single time. I am easily persuaded that mundane things are the result of divine intervention from providence. Once, I got extra cheese on a pizza unexpectedly and I went on the Hajj (Ramadan kareem y'all) to say thanks. 
Hey, do you know that girl? The one with brown hair in a ponytail who rides that hybrid bike? Like 5'3''? Her? Wears shorts and some colored plain tee shirt? She's like everywhere. 
Don't roll in front of me at a stop light unless you plan to stay in front of me. It's rude and I don't like it. I'm interpreting it as you thinking that you're better than me. One of my new year's resolution's is to try to take more umbrage, so while I'm grateful for this on one hand, on the other, you're sort of pissing me off. 
This is the look I swivel my head to give drivers who block the bike lane. Thanks, Conan! I can't say that it's effective (because it isn't) but in the big playacting that is life (all the world's a stage and whatnot), I feel that this visage is what motorists have come to expect from self-righteous bike commuter types and I aim to deliver.  Just don't idle in the bike lane. The swivel and look is more for the driver behind me (to show him that I'm appropriately pissed for having to take the travel lane and subsequently slow him down) than for you, but still. 
Don't know what kind of wonky commute I'm doing tomorrow. Home inspection will take me off my normal route, so we'll see. Maybe a preview of the game-changing Season 2 of TFTS that might arise from moving. 

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