1.24.2008

pushing a big gear... and the sound of honking horns


this guy pushes a big gear...

as I rode to work this morning I was honked at several times

at one point I was rolling in the center of the lane passing another cyclist
not the first cyclist shown here
the second cyclist on bike with gears

there were two different sounding horns
which meant two cars had honked
I moved... not immediately... but I moved
I moved to
the double yellow and gave the cars the thumbs up to pass
then an I gave an exaggerated thumbs up to the drivers as they passed
just to let them know cool they really are

cool car cool guy

then both cars sped past at absurd speeds
one was a super sweet luxury SUV
the other was a basic sedan... nondescript... yet equally as cool

as cool as they were they moved passed me in tandem
just so that they had to panic stop at the line of slow moving cars
cars moving so slowly that they might as well have been parked

I split the lanes down the middle while a fellow commuter split things between moving traffic and parked cars

I snapped a few shots as we chatted
my fellow commuter questioned the logic of the
standard urban driver
then we split our separate ways
that meeting and that conversation reminded me of something that Meredith had said
Meredith retold how she had talked to a veteran messenger about the honking of the cars in traffic
which makes me want to jot down a zen koan...
not a haiku...

a zen koan

a young man rode with speed and confidence through the traffic taking into account the variables around him
always trying to anticipate the danger before it happens
dodging the point of intersection

evading the worst case scenario
keeping the bike in the spot which is most safe and most efficient

down the hill he could see a familiar form on the bike
the path of this friend on the bike was such that he could follow and still get to his destination without m
uch variation of travel time
he caught the fast moving older man on his well worn urban ri
g
a morning greeting was shared
they moved at a brisk pace along side of each other
a smile was shared along with the hello

side by side the riders took the full lane
taking the full lane is no great issue because share the road does not mean share the lane
if a car needs to pass the bicycle they will have to exit the lane anyway
the lane is not wide enough for a car to pass and still maintain the 3 foot minimum passing distance

rolling at a fast pace they were each focused on the soon to change light just ahead
then also aware of the line of cars past the intersection
there were a cluster of pedestrians getting ready to cross
all these variables were taken into account by the two cyclists

some fast approaching cars closed the dista
nce and followed close
perhaps the cars were anticipating the soon to change lights

a tap to the horn... not a lean which sounds like a scream
but an almost friendly double tap on the horn
an audible nudge or an audible push

the light turned yellow just as the bikers passed through the crosswalk before the intersection
pedestrian started to cross before the the sign read walk

everyone was trying to get where they were going
the bikes zipped through the closing gap of pedestrians
the two cars honk as they buzzed the pedestrians

just ahead was the standard downtown morning rush hour back up
the path was open to ride the double yellow line between the long line of nearly parked cars and sparse on coming cars
the path between the parked cars and the blind spot was also an option

there were no right turns for a stretch so the only focus would need to be recently parked cars with opening doors or cars about to pull out

the riders took the same path down the double yellow line single file
the veteran rider lead the neophyte

with good timing they hit the intersection ahead as the light turned green
the path was clear
with a bit of momentum they got ahead of traffic and rolled on through the intersection
they took the right hand lane side by side for the duration before the path changed due to the line of parked cars

the newbie turns to the veteran and asked... how do you d
eal with the honking of the horns?

to which the veteran replied... what horns?

4 comments:

Meredith said...

nice!

Meredith said...

oh! And James's gear is pretty big but its not as big as it looks. I think he's got like a 23 tooth rear cog or something like that.

gwadzilla said...

yes
that little piece that could more than likely use a proof read was inspired by a conversation that we had

Meredith said...

but you really painted an amazing picture! And I'm remembering the conversation. I believe Kevin K was the veteran I referred to. But it may have been Scrooge. Good memory.