If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father.
Okay, it’s true: I haven’t posted a blog for well over a week, and I don’t have any good excuses. Every time I sit down to and open up a blank post, I think, “What do I have to say? Nothing interesting has happened to me lately. I haven’t thought anything interesting lately. Better wait until I have an original thought or experience.”
As it turns out, that’s a ridiculous fallacy. If I decide to stay at home and wait for something to happen, or to come up with an original thought, I’ll be waiting for…ever, probably. Without engaging in the world, I’ll just end up a mental backwater, stagnant and boring.
And, in fact, I’ve had all sorts of experiences worth sharing. For example, I had a dream come true on Tuesday night. Here’s what happened:
My team has a ride every Tuesday night. Last Tuesday, about a dozen of us showed up, a pretty good showing for a potentially rainy weeknight. We rode up 124th, right near my house. The road looks like this (although that evening it was, of course, dark).
View Larger Map
What you can’t see from this picture is that, shortly after this point, the yellow line turns from a solid line to an extruded curb painted yellow (you can see if you use the Street View to go another click or two north). On the right-hand side of the road, there’s another extruded curb that delineates the pedestrian walking area. We rode on the roadway, avoiding the narrow pedestrian area. The two curbs meant that the road was really too narrow for a car to pass us — plus, passing 12 people riding in a line is kind of difficult on any narrow-ish road.
Thus, as we approached the section of road where the yellow line becomes a curb, a number of cars accelerated to get by us before the curb started. They didn’t want to get stuck behind a bunch of slow bicyclists. This worked fine until the last car, which was, if I recall correctly, along the lines of a pimped-out Dodge Charger. It was something low, muscular-looking, and with excessively-tinted windows. This vehicle, instead of passing us swiftly, provided us with a good fifteen minutes of astonished discussion by accelerating to pass us — and, instead, ramming straight into the extruded curb. Maybe he didn’t realize that the painted yellow line turned into a solid, 3-D object at a certain point.
This ramming maneuver emitted an astonishing metal-crunching noise that many of us initially thought meant one of us had been hit by a car. Nope. The next thing we knew, this car was high-centered on the curb, with two wheels on either side of the curb. Instead of, say, stopping and backing up to get off the curb, this vehicle proceeded along the length of the curb (at least one drive wheel was in contact with the ground), emitting a horrifying scraping noise that said, to me, “I am continuing to rip the undercarriage and important parts of my vehicle to shreds as I scrape along the top of this curb.”
The car kept pace with us the length of the curb, and when the curb ended, it drove away. Some of my teammates said it pulled over shortly after getting off the curb. I thought, perhaps mistakenly, that the left-hand side wheels looked like the left-hand wheels angled out a bit oddly. I can’t imagine he drove over that curb without sustaining some damage, given the tortured metal shearing and scraping sounds we heard.
This is a dream come true for me because I ride my bike on 124th a fair bit, and cars always do that accelerate-before-the-curb thing. I understand: There’s a slight uphill going north, which drivers don’t realize, but that slows bikes down enough to annoy drivers. They don’t want to get trapped behind an annoying slow bicyclist. So innumerable times, drivers have accelerated recklessly by me and just barely squeaked past, narrowly avoiding the center curb and squeezing me awkwardly against the curb on the right. I’ve always wanted to see somebody hit the curb when trying to pass me. Now I have. And, frankly, it was really satisfying.
So as to not close this blog on a vindictive-sounding note, I leave you with this, in case you missed when I posted it in Social Media Land earlier.