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Thursday, May 05, 2016

Westbound Coyote String Band / Why I Ride

Bike commuting is so social. I drove home this evening, and the only interaction I had the whole way was a cunt in a white crew cab pickup truck who tailgated me all the way up 18th Street Expressway (even though I was doing 10 over), who then passed both lanes of traffic on the shoulder and aggressively inserted himself a whole three cars further forward and started riding someone else's bumper.

But yesterday I got up early enough to bike to work, and while the occasional jerk with a crew cab or SUV* can spice up a ride in a bad way every now and again, it doesn't happen often.

But anyway, on the way home yesterday, first I stumbled on a group ride that invited me to join them. I recognized the guy who invited me, I took him to be their leader and recognized him from a human interest piece about a guy in his eighties who lives car free out in the burbs, bikes everywhere. I declined as they proposed to take me several miles in the opposite direction of home and (I was already two hours later than usual) I'd have had a hard time getting home early enough to get up to ride back to work the next day.

Full disclosure, I made a series of bad choices** after meeting up with a friend and my wife, then resuming a storyline on Mad Men*** that I'd gotten hooked on, so I'd have been better off riding out into JoCo with the geezer and his entourage, I'd have gotten more miles in to offset my, it turns out, inevitable car commute today.

Anyway, then I'm riding through Westport, my usual route, and there's street musicians. Which isn't that unusual, but this pair was exceptionally cute and entertaining. Westbound Coyote String Band, and I was like, is it okay if I shoot you? I had my Nikon out before I asked, which is a good idea since gun laws in these parts have gotten so Nineteenth Century that the question could be taken wrong.

Then after I'd shot a bunch with a couple of lenses, and they'd performed a fun song, Selene (don't you just want to put her in your pocket?) thanked me. Which I thought was sweet since they'd just been my unpaid street photography models. Well, okay, I did put a dollar in their case, but that only gets 30 seconds with some models I know.

That wasn't all the social interaction this commute turned out to offer. I passed up meeting Pablo and his friends at the Scout, then ran into Patrick, who helps me with the bees here in Lobsterland, then ran into Dustin who's helping me with the Post Modern Pentathlon, and then into Richard and finally my wife.

I'll give you this: the car is faster. But no way do you ever have the kind of adventures, fun meet ups and so on that you do on the bike. For all the people who think bike (or for that matter transit) commuters are only out there because they can't afford to drive, dude, I'd pay extra to bike commute.

*...or Prius, but the tendency is the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the asshole behind the wheel. I'm not casting aspersions on the millions of perfectly decent drivers who happen to drive Suburbans and F350 XLTs. Not all gays are nelly queens, but all nelly queens are gay, as the song goes.

** As far as bad choices go, staying up a bit to watch Mad Men pales by comparison to some bad choices. As an example, Donald Trump is apparently going to be the Republican nominee for President in 2016. Every element of GOP politics that is even remotely defensible, he is against. Apparently the GOP establishment has come to the conclusion that they have to work with him, but that's like thinking Hitler will settle for Poland. I'm a Libertarian of long standing, haven't voted for a Republican or a Democrat since 1988, but if I can keep this motherfucker out of the White House, I swear I will vote for Hillary. I'm not joking, Bernie. Vermin Supreme. I would vote for goddamn Johnny Dare to be President before I would let The Donald have a finger on the nuclear button. He makes me nostalgic for W. And for conservatives to want to defund education at the state level, I'd like to point out that the only way Donald Trump is your nominee is if a majority of people in your party can be so badly educated they'll pull the lever for this piece of shit. We don't need voter ID laws, we need voter IQ laws, if you'll vote for Trump, you're not even allowed to drive a car, let alone elect a President.

*** Mad Men is my latest Netflix fixation. I generally only watch during my fortnightly apheresis therapy, but then sometimes I get sucked in and end up trying that trick of 'I'll just watch as I fall asleep' which doesn't happen until two or three hours later when I shut the fucking laptop. I don't have regular TV, just streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime, and believe you me, that's as much trouble as I can handle plus a little. I don't know how you people with cable and satellite dishes even hold down jobs.

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