Thursday, September 29, 2011


Drunk Dude in the road will jump out in front of you and scream at you.  I guess all that didn't fit on the sign.  USE CAUTION does cover it, but I thought they meant the grooved pavement.  I was somewhat unprepared for Drunk Dude.

"Call 911 Sir, I've just been assaulted"  Now it was my turn to do something.  And I swerved and pedaled on.  No, I never looked back.  This wasn't a comatose guy on a tricycle.  I did nothing.

He was lunging into the street demanding I take action.  Now I'm not up on my liquor bouquets, but I strongly believe that basenote was octane.  Or at least flammable.  And he didn't appear assaulted, but I'm no expert.

Lucky for him those guys on the right are.  I hate to point out the obvious, oh who are we kidding I LOVE that, you might actually get a quicker response on your left.  There, that brightly lit building...I'm fairly certain it's open.  And I bet they have phones.  They might even have a direct line, bypassing 911 altogether.

Yes, there, that one, the one that says HOSPITAL.  Really.  If you go around to the side they can dial 911.  In fact, if you were truly assaulted, they are uber trained for that.  There, under the EMERGENCY sign, the doors should open when you walk up.  You may have to wait, but the phone call, immediate.  Best of Luck.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tally Whoa!

I don't mean to be picky, but this is getting ridiculous.  I got off the trail, tried to enter the roadway, and was pushed up on the sidewalk.  Traffic.  I found traffic in my lane.  FACING ME.  Since when did Chevy Chase become Jolly Ole England??

I was recently attacked, perhaps you saw it, on my own facebook page by a friend claiming I was 'one of those bike commuters'.  And by those, I think I mean always wrong.  Everyone else is always right, but bikers are typically always in the wrong.

So yesterday, I was almost broadsided by a hummer who failed to completely stop at the four way stop that I had just stopped at and wrongly continued through.  Last night a car at a stop light turned right into me without choosing to use a turn signal.  I wrongly assumed it was going straight.  Then I almost got hit by a silent ambulance screaming through an intersection.  I wrongly assumed green means go.  And then today I was run off the road by a black vehicle of which I was unable to obtain the plate number on because did I mention I WAS BEING RUN OFF THE ROAD.  I wrongly assumed we were sharing it.

Then, I wound up in England.  Say what?  I don't think I need to point out these cars were on the wrong side of the road.  But I stand corrected.  They were forced to use this side of the roadway thanks to one of 'those bike riders' blocking the other side.

It's true, there on the other side was a guy on a bike sitting in the middle of the road.  Just sitting there.  Blocking traffic.  The nerve of him.  And so who can blame these poor drivers trying to rush into their neighborhood and into the safety of their plushly furnished homes??  Of course they had to drive on the other side.  How would they get home?

The guy.  Still sitting there.  I counted five cars as I rode past on the sidewalk.  Five cars drove on the wrong side of the road into their neighborhood to evade the inconsiderate, arrogant biker taking up an entire lane of their street.

No one seemed to notice or mind that he wasn't moving.  Oh, I guess they probably noticed he wasn't moving his bicycle, but he himself wasn't moving.  Not his feet, not his hands, not his head, not even his eyes as far as I could tell.

The bike, it was an adult tricycle.  No one I know rides one of these because they want to; they have to.  This signals to me that maybe the man has some type of physical or mental ailment or handicap.  And there he sat on a tricycle, in the middle of the street, not moving, ALONE.  And no one bothered to question this, they just drove around instead.

Really?  A handicapped man on an adult tricycle....and no one recognized him?  In a neighborhood.  Tell me do you think he was out training for a century and just got tired?  I don't suspect he could have been far from home.  And yet no one stopped.  And I'm inconsiderate!

Someone finally did.  Someone blocked traffic for him and eventually got out of his car to investigate.  I suppose everyone else was too busy, or in a rush to get home to watch The Talk on CBS.  I can only hope someone was dialing 911 at the very least. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I take back what I said about cameras.  If I had had one mounted on my bars today I wouldn't have behaved any better and I might have had some good video.

Today was carfree day in DC and to that I say, Bring Back the Cars.  I am entirely safer swallowed by vehicular metal.  The sea of walking flesh another story entirely.

Let's cut past the chase (and the boats, right? they should really be more specific when labeling an event 'car'free).  Today, I hit my first pedestrian.  WHAT!?!  Pedestrian.  Hit. My. What, you know he deserved it.  My ex says people can think for themselves.  She thinks intelligence still runs rampant.  I think it was phased out somewhere in the 90s.  And today I may have proved it. 

I know there's some law about pedestrians in crosswalks, but tell me you haven't wanted to hit one or two or ten.  And depending on how tight he was in his loafers I technically may have not even pinched his skin, but I most definitely scuffed his fancy footwear. 

Yes, he was in the crosswalk, I think we established that, but I had the green light.  There were tons of them crossing against the light.  You know you hate it.  I hate it more. Howard students, these are even the brighter ones.  Maybe not so much.  HUH?  Ex-act-ly.

I scooted behind him and at the last second he picked his head up out of his hand.  Of course he was texting.  And not looking.  And walking.  In traffic.  Just like our mothers taught us.  And in an effort to prove my ex decidedly wrong, he then 'decided' to change directions and step back INTO me.  Would now be a good time to point out the phones are smart, the owners, not so much.

I slammed on the brake and wiped half my tire across 7th Street.  I kept the bike upright, barely, as the offender quietly backed up on the sidewalk, where his fellow co-eds were laughing.  At me or him?  Who knows, but I hope the treads I left on his shoe remind him to look up every now and again. It's the Hamburger Generation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yes, Deer

Be a Hero, Not a Zero.  Who wants to watch video of a bike commute?  It's boring, mostly.  And long.  Tree, tree, goose.

If I'm mounting a camera on my helmet or handlebars, I want something to happen.  Anything.  Shoulder brushes, swerving lushes, "GET OFF THE ROAD" cusses.  Something.

Without, it's an uneventful hour of a straight, white line.  Yawn.  Boring. BooTube.  I can count the hits now, ZERO.

I'm just skeptical, that's all I'm saying.  Tape can lie.  Video can be taken out of context, edited, skewed to fit a need.  Trust me television does it all the time.  And I'm not saying it doesn't happen, the bad things to bikers...they do.

We are run off the road, cursed, bumped, intimidated, harassed.  Bumper Bullying should be outlawed.  It's dangerous.  This isn't shoving a pimple-headed pubescent in a gym locker.  It's just as adolescent and completely unpunishable.  People, it's a bike and a car...with a life pinned between!

The disregard for life astonishes me sometimes.  Do you hear what you are saying? least I'm not a deer.  The solution for getting them off the road...Let's SHOOT 'em!  Duck, duck, bush.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I couldn't help but notice the severe lack of personnel in Vegas. Even Vegas? Yep, it seems even Sin City is not immune from the crumbling economy.

I haven't been to Vegas in about a decade. The sentiment is the same, but boy how times have changed. The buildings come and go, the neon lights still a-glow, but the casinos...much less flow.

10 years ago I slipped in and out of the aisles plunking quarters as I went. Occasionally they hit. $5.00, $25.00, $80.00! I easily dropped as much. I flirted and teased the one armed bandits. They never got the best of me, but they ate up all my change.

Quarter slots ruled the floor. Nickles were big. Pennies rare. Good luck commandeering one of those machines. A 68 year old, leathered skinned, smoked soaked corpse had likely set up base camp with a gin and Misty menthol.

Today, Penny Slots are the rage. At least my rage. They are neither Penny nor Slot. No need for a slot when there's no greed for the penny. It's all about the paper. Redeemable ticket, that is. There's no coins in Vegas, not on the strip. Or change babes, money fillers, or even watchful eyes....they've got cameras for that...oodles of them.

So I left with a pocketful of change. Change I would have otherwise left behind. All tolled, I guess I lost about ten bucks. I was poised to lose a hundred. Oh well. I also only won about 63 cents. Cents? That's not even a character on a keyboard.

Change for the Homeless? That's where all the coins go! Do you take redeemable tickets? Yeah, ten to one I bet you do. And the shows still rob you blind, so you know, they're getting theirs one way or the other.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hail No, We Won't Go

The Washington area has been hard hit by a bout with Mother Nature. Hail storm, hurricane, tornado, earthshake. Nothing widespread BAD, just Mom Nature being a tease.

I mean, my neighborhood lost a few limbs, but no major trees were down. Basements weren't flooded. No significant damage to speak of. But it did RAIN, ergo, the power went dark.

I can't imagine it was a force of nature. I heard a rumor the electrons simply walked out. In the middle of a storm! Their contract was up and negotiations had been slow and tedious. Upon reaching an impasse, their union rose up and decided to take advantage of the weather to send a clear and direct message to the members, company, and the public.

To make matters worse, in a show of solidarity Freon also walked out. Yeah, you know, the frigid gas: refusing to work...go figure. It's a well known fact they are extremely cold and lacking in ardor; I think they may be making a mistake.

But I guess with the introduction of Tetrafluoroethane the writing is on the wall. With several grievances left unanswered, and the recent development in their negotiations, basically talks went cold, Freon joined the likes of Current and went out on Strike. They too, are at odds with the Company over two main issues, most notably the constant lack of power.

On the flip side, the Company, staying away from the HR nightmare of compaining about their warmth of personality, cites public pressure to protect the environment. Something about a hole in the ozone or some nonesense (according to Freon Sources). But CFCs do endanger the ozone layer of the entire planet, I'm just saying...

Meanwhile back in my freezer, the natural chunk of ice I rescued from the summer hail storm was left to sweat the consequences of the striking labor forces. No power, no Freon, no freeze. I heard Dry Ice is willing to cross the picket line, but fortunately they all got back to work before I had to decide.