Not a Car

Last time I checked, you’re not a car!”

First of all, I’m pretty sure, since I haven’t seen you or you’re lesser SUV speed­ing by me on my bike before, this is prob­a­bly the only time you’ve ever “checked” to see whether I was a car or not. Really, just drop the attempts at putting witty lip­stick on your pig igno­rance and come out with it: “YOU NO CAR!!”

You’re right, the facts are clear, I am not a car. But when I’m rid­ing through down­town, and peo­ple are open­ing doors in the park­ing lane and veer­ing into the turn­ing lane with­out look­ing, or sig­nalling, the cen­ter of the lane is often the only safe place to be. On top of that, it’s pretty much down­hill for those four or five blocks, and even with my mod­est cycling prowess I can keep up with the flow of traf­fic. I know you’ve got impor­tant places to be, but the one or two sec­onds of your life you might lose if you become “stuck” behind me is not worth rag­ing over.

I wish I’d had time to explain this more fully. I real­ize you may have inter­preted the fin­ger I offered you and accom­pa­ny­ing exple­tives as sim­ple defi­ance or aggres­sion. It was, but it was also the clos­est thing to this expla­na­tion that I was able to come up with in the time I had. Maybe next time you can safely pull over into a park­ing spot and we can have a chat.


Tour de Victoria

Pref­ace and Prepa­ra­tions I got my first road bike as a birth­day present just under two years ago. A month after that, our daugh­ter was born, and my shiny new bike lan­guished in the base­ment until just over a year ago when the fog of sleep depri­va­tion started to lift. I man­aged to get in […]


Rats!

The holes in our lawn are the first evi­dence. They look old though, and it is easy to imag­ine that they are inert evi­dence of an ancient infes­ta­tion. One is cov­ered inci­den­tally by a dec­o­ra­tive tree stump, and weeks later tilt­ing it reveals an addi­tion, a pas­sage that runs along the bot­tom of the tree […]


Wipeout

My last mem­ory, between rid­ing along nor­mally on my route home and wak­ing up, stum­bling to the side of the road, is a sin­gle, still image. It’s as if, as I fell, my mind only had time to process gen­er­ate one frame in the video record of my con­scious mem­ory. Now, many months later, I […]


Lycra

At first, I was resis­tant. Spend­ing more than a thou­sand dol­lars on a new road bike seemed to make the even­tual pur­chase of Lycra an inevitabil­ity, a fore­gone con­clu­sion. I have rid­den bikes for trans­porta­tion and recre­ation since I was in ele­men­tary school, but never had I felt the com­pul­sion to don the close-fitting uni­form of seri­ous cyclists. […]


The Ride Home

It starts with a hill. A steep hill sprin­kled with speed humps, which are like speed bumps but big­ger and humpier. After top­ping the hill and bump­ing over the last hump, the road flows into a right turn line that joins with Esquimalt Rd. There is a ded­i­cated bike lane that starts just before the […]


I Failed Cosmology School

First of all, think of liv­ing things as self-contained mod­els of the uni­verse that include the repro­duc­tion of that model. For us, our inher­ent model is con­tained in our genes, and that model pre­dicts an envi­ron­ment (where the envi­ron­ment includes the body of the liv­ing thing) that will result in repro­duc­tion of that model, which […]


The Serve

Out of the cor­ner of the eye, the oppo­nent stands ready, weight shift­ing from foot to foot in antic­i­pa­tion. The serve starts with the toss. The arm swings smoothly, robot­i­cally in an arc, and then betrays its organic com­plex­ity when, near the peak of the arc, the hand opens up like a flower and the […]