today I was scheduled to stay late at work so I had the morning free

dropped the boys off at school
took the dog for a walk
went for a ride the morning

my routine does not often involve dropping the boys off at school
lisa usually handles the task of playing bus driver
so when I can I drive the proverbial bus I do
come to think of it... the orange honda element does slightly resemble the short bus

when driving I am given insight into the mindlessness of the daily car commuter

I feel the compulsion to take my car to its upper limits
I feel the compulsion to fight for pole position
I feel the draw towards rapid acceleration and illogical top speeds
but instead of giving way to these thoughtless ballistic actions I take control of my morning and my emotions
I let the car warm up and let my heart rate settle
I try to make the smart moves rather than the stupid short cuts
getting agitated does nothing to facilitate flow
slamming the steering wheel and hammering on the horn does not alleviate anger is elevates it
so I try to avoid getting caught up in that sort of car communication

but I did cuss at five cars that ran the red turn arrow at the top of the hill by my house
it angers me that I give into my anger especially around my children
but I count on people obeying certain laws to make my life more livable
there is no justifying my listing various names for male and female genitalia in front of my children

I try to be more focused on the world around me than my phone or my blackberry by my side

I scan the radio for something to listen to
but the boss jocks rule the airwaves in the am

I notice in my drives that car to car behavior is not much different than car to bicycle behavior
the car drivers tends to be no more concerned about the other car's rights or the other car's
well being
the primary difference is that the negligence around a pedestrian or a cyclist can contribute to more than a trip to the body shop

my driving style can irk the drivers around me
the car drivers behind me are not accustom to people making complete stops at stop signs and stop lines

when I yield to pedestrians I can see the expression of frustration from the driver in the car behind me and when I do not double the speed limit... I get tailgaters so close to me that they try and force me to increase speed

yes... the car behavior from car to car is really not so different than car to bicycle

except for the said worst case scenario if a car does make contact to the cyclist

there are countless near accidents as cars ignore the left turn arrows and go straight
these drivers certainly making these same moves each day
one day they will be shocked and wonder why they caused an accident

no one is making complete stops at stop signs
no one is yielding the right of way to pedestrians or cyclist
not even the pregnant mother with a young child in a stroller gets her right of way

of course there is the frequent presumptuous merge when they should have waited in line like everyone else
everyone is the most important person on the road
we can not make them late
they are too important to have to wait like everyone else

the drop off is a short drive that involves more pleasure than pain as it is not part of my usual routine
it is still special to me

after the drop off of the kids I took brutus for a hike in rock creek park
brutus usually comes along for the ride and waits in the car patiently as I walk the kids a few blocks to school

I tend to park a few blocks away rather than get in close to the school and get forced into the congestion and frustration with all the other parents who are also trying to make a fluid drop off so that they can arrive to work on time

brutus was in all his glory as we hit the trail
the change of season invigorate the dog
as we walked the trail I looked to see where the buds were pushing their way up through the brown soil and I looked at where the foot steps had packed things down such that nothing will be able to grow until the soil is tilled
the hike was more a matter of duration than distance as I was involved in a quick little step project
it was really just a matter of dragging some fallen logs to a place where a grand tree fell some years ago the trunk is really too big to step up upon which is causing people to get creative in getting where they want to go
there are now three paths where there should be one

maybe the steps will aid people to continue down the center instead of having to go around the side

back to the car then back home

another swig of coffee then onto the bike
with a little more time before my scheduled in time I pointed north away from downtown
figured there was just enough time for me to ride to downtown bethesda where I could link up with the capital crescent trail then roll the car free path down into georgetown
from there onto the tidal basin to get another look at the cherry blossoms

the ride went without consequence
the number of jokers in the off peak hours decreases greatly
the day prior I had done an up and back on the Capital Crescent Trail on my franken fixie and played chicken with more than one cyclists making an aggressive pass without looking forward enough to see that I was already in that space
I guess the bicyclist to bicyclist activity is not so different than the car to car activity
no one thinking far enough ahead

on this day I was doing an abbreviated one way on the CCT on the geared jamis cyclocross bike
with the larger gear spinning I felt the miles go by much quicker
my speed was good but not insane

I tried to give everyone their right to space and safety
got down to the tidal basin
it was madness
as beautiful as the setting may be it is not so beautiful with the crowds of people
I can not stand in line to gaze at something beautiful
somehow it blocks my absorption
just as well... there was no real time for absorption

so snapped a few shots as I weaved my way through the crowds
then got into work refreshed
nothing better than a bicycle ride before work!

1 comment:

the original big ring said...

My God! Are those . . . *rubs eyes* . . . trees in bloom!?!? There's no snow on the ground!?!?
If you could only see my front yard. Depressing - just depressing.