Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finally rode all the way again, but...

I've decided to drive tomorrow. First time since May 25th. We have a company picnic tomorrow. It's too far from work to ride there, but I could take the bus. It's too far to ride home and arrive at a decent time and there's no bus from there to get me close enough to home to make it worth my while. I'm also signed up to bring enough hotdog buns for the entire Open Systems Group. There's no way they'd fit in my panniers.

I'm certain that I could ride back into Johnson County with a co-worker. I'm sure I could buy a bunch of buns downtown today and have someone schlep them to the park tomorrow for me. As I already mentioned, I could easily find a bus to take me out to Lee's Summit. That whole ritual sounds like more hassle than it would be to just drive. Also, it wouldn't be fun. It would be a royal pain, and fun is the main reason I ride every day. Saving money is another reason, but by potentially wasting close to $4 on bus fares alone, I wouldn't be saving much cash, either.

This morning provided a good, brisk ride. As I mentioned in the title, I rode the whole way in. I departed on time for a change, and the traffic was much more tolerable. It's amazing the difference that 5-10 minutes makes once you're downtown.

I passed a bike commuter on Southwest this morning that I haven't seen before. He actually had a blinkie, helmet and halogen headlight going. The lighting and helmet made up for being otherwise shrouded in a cloak of invisibility with his ninja-inspired color scheme including a black bike, Oakland Raiders jacket and black helmet. All I could see was a mysterious blinking red light and a faint white Raiders logo hovering over it in the dim light of pre-dawn. It's not unusual to see that kind of thing downtown without any lights or helmet, so he was ahead of the game, I suppose. He didn't respond to my "good morning!" greeting as I passed him by, though.

A few other people walking on the sidewalk cheerfully exchanged greetings with me in passing. Unless I'm really hammering, I like to greet people that I see. One of the little thought-of benefits of cycling and walking for transportation is the fact that you actually see a person, not just a vague head-shaped object through some glass. You can interact with people on a more personal level. It brings a sense of community and belonging to those involved. Total strangers join together for a few seconds, wishing each other a good day or asking how things are going. As the strangers part ways, they both realize that there are still people out there who aren't hurried, selfish, and impersonal. To me, this is a huge benefit. While arterial surface roads are turned into four- or six-lane rivers coursing with high-speed metal, there are still people that will talk to you -- humans that are unencumbered by hermetically-sealed spheres of solitude. Sometimes when I'm riding, it feels like the machines are coming to destroy mankind, so I feel viscerally placid and restored when I see a walker or cyclist among the herd of steel demons.

With all that fuss I just made about motorized vehicles, I'll be among the ranks of drivers tomorrow out of necessity. At least I'll be focused on driving instead of checking MySpace on an iPhone, shaving, or nuzzling the sports section of the KC Star on my way to work.

I ate half of an abominable donut for breakfast before I left home. What little of the wretched pastry I could convince myself to ingest wasn't nearly enough to satiate my hunger. Making matters worse, it was greasy beneath the shoddily-glazed surface. Made improperly, donuts can actually give a person heartburn, and this donut confirmed that fact. Note to self: Don't go to the little donut shop across the street. Ever. Again. When I got downtown, I made up for my lack of unhealthy carbs by chugging an extra-huge mocha with a few excessive shots of espresso; that really hit the spot! I can feel the milk fat and chocolate goo obstructing my arteries now, but it was so yummy!

Random Tunage:
Noma - Soon
Nine Inch Nails - Closer to god (another one of Trent's revisitations of Closer)

1 comment:

jeff said...

maybe you should have said "buenos días" to the raiders guy

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