Words from the B Side

Like the B side of Abbey Road, here are some loose fragments thrown together.

  • Joy: Few things give me as much joy as going to a Nats game with my kids.27865781243_74774b377e_m
  • Gratitude: My father was an ophthalmologist. In my life I have had severe myopia, two retinal detachments, cataracts in both eyes, secondary cataracts in both eyes, and glaucoma. I am thankful my father was not a psychiatrist. Or a proctologist.
  • Vagina: I was riding home on the Mount Vernon Trail this week. As I approached the Memorial Bridge underpass, a male passenger in a car passing on the George Washington Memorial Parkway yelled “VAGINA!” at me.
  • Sting: Riding to work yesterday at my usual 10 mile per hour pace along Union Street in Old Town Alexandria, a pedestrian said hello and told me that the police were ticketing cyclists up ahead. A block later, another pedestrian warned me. I was given three more warnings by pedestrians until I finally saw the police. I pulled over and laughed. This had to be the lamest stop sign sting ever.
  • Safety: The police are trying to make Old Town safer for pedestrians in the morning. The pedestrians don’t seem all that worried, mostly because pedestrian safety is not a problem on Union Street in the morning. It’s in the evenings when drivers are randomly wandering looking for parking spaces or trying to rush home and the Lance Mamilots are speeding through stop signs. Ticketing harmless early morning commuters just pisses people off to no purpose. It also does wonders for citizen/police relations.
  • Blind: I pointed out to the police officer that homeowners routinely park illegally blocking sidewalks and bike lanes in Old Town. He said, “If you call it in, we’ll come and ticket them.” Apparently, seeing the violations (they occur on virtually every block down near the river) is not enough to get them to act. You could probably rob a bank in Old Town during a cell phone outage.
  • Doom: A similar police response occured in Rosslyn, near my office. I was nearly hit by a red light runner in the fabled Intersection of Doom this week. I complained to the Arlington police via Twitter and they said that the county cut their funding for enforcement in this intersection but that they “will investigate” any traffic violations that I call in. Seriously. They actually said that.
  • Cut: If only I could get a 10 percent cut of all the traffic and parking violations I see on my bike commute each day. I could buy a new bike. Next week!
  • Disrespect: Apparently, many drivers think the Mount Vernon Trail is a turn around lane. Several times each week I have to stop while a car does a three point turn across the trail. Why can’t they just use some other part of the road or a driveway? It’s as if they go out of their way to treat trail users with disrepect.
  • Wave: When I yell at a driver who does something blatantly illegal like run a red light or turn across a crosswalk with bikes or pedestrians in it, the driver usually waves. Sometimes with a cell phone in hand.
  • Being: I cannot understand how anyone can sit and meditate for long periods of time. They probably can’t understand how I can ride a bike for hours at a time. Doesn’t much matter since our minds get the same result.
  • Friend: When you tell a friend, “We’ll get together soon enough” you really ought not wait six months then invite him to an event with 40+ other people. You don’t want a friend, your ego wants an audience.
  • Irony: I haven’t been to Friday Coffee Club in months. The new location is farther from my line of travel in the mornings. I miss the people but I don’t miss getting up a half hour earlier on a Friday so I can ride bleary eyed to get a cup of caffeine.
  • Busy: This has been the busiest three months I can remember. All of these things have happened since May 1:
    • An event ride in NYC
    • A ride in an ambulance to an ER (okay, not planned but still…) followed by a week of recovery
    • Three bike events in one weekend
    • A two-week trip to four Scandinavian countries
    • A two-week bike trip in northern Wisconsin and Michigan
    • More baseball games than I can remember attending
    • A family reunion
    • Hanging with my kids who were both home for a week for the first time since last May.
  • Busier: I have even more stuff on my calendar through the middle of August. So if you live in DC and you haven’t seen me in a while, we’ll get together soon enough. Doh!
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