Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random thoughts on the bike commute

The silent ride through quiet morning streets is punctuated by the single ring of my bike bell when the front wheel hits small holes in the road or cracks in the sidewalk, underscoring the lonely endeavor of bike commuting in Albuquerque, one random ring at a time. I’m reminded of the poetry of Robert Frost.

On my arduous afternoon ride home the intense rays of the sun rain down on me, wilting roadside signs advertising long past garage sales, fading old junk cars into ashes, and making reality dance in distant shimmers. Every afternoon I understand why ancient cultures worshiped the sun.

At a busy intersection I watch across the way a bicyclist flipping off a truck driver with his middle finger all the while pedaling through a red light. I see the truck driver throw an Arby’s drink cup at the cyclist. The light turns green and I pedal on startled by the image of their faces, gaping mouths, teeth, yelling obscenities. What is it about transportation that drives our primal urges? Perhaps the ‘control’ we feel over an inanimate object that is then suddenly transferred to another driver or rider who transgresses over our almighty control.

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