The sun has returned, and just in time, too. I got the hell out of the house and onto the bike the past couple days, thereby missing the roundly panned Obama address from the Oval Office, the Limeys finally figuring out that Bloody Sunday was a bloody cock-up, and Apple’s quiet update of the Mini (we’ll be buying one to run the 20th Century Dog videoplex so I can get my ’06 MacBook back for purposes of revenue generation).
The cycling was the usual hodgepodge of on road and off, with one ill-advised, impulsive detour through the Garden of the Gods on Tuesday. How some folks pass a driver’s exam is a mystery to me. In one half-lap of the Garden I encountered three SUV pilots who apparently were incapable of reading the ubiquitous “No Parking” signs stenciled in the bike lane and posted at roadside.
At least one of them didn’t even understand spoken English, because I explained the bike lane/no parking concept to him after watching him park in the bike lane for a photo, leave it without signaling, and then zip back into it again for another snap, confusing two- and four-wheeled traffic equally. Ever try reasoning with a feedlot cow? You get the idea. Dude was 25 meters from a parking lot and 25 pounds shy of that first ton, which I hear is the hardest to lose. At least this one didn’t want to fight.
Today, as a change of pace, I fired up the Vespa for my trip to the chiropractor, who hates it when I show up all sweaty from cycling (makes it hard to get a secure grip for the back-cracking, don’t you know). The carb’ was fouled after a particularly damp and chilly May, but the folks at Sportique set it right and now I’m back to scooting hither and thither, drawing admiring glances from all and sundry.
“Cool scooter,” said a fixie hipster with the iBuds in as we both sat at a stoplight. Yes, indeedy. Don’t have to pedal or nothin’. Burns gas, too, just like a Harley, if at a slightly reduced rate.
After the back-cracking and a bit of cartooning for fun and profit I went for another one of my patented weirdo cyclo-cross rides (concrete, asphalt, pulverized granite, singletrack, etc.). Then I broke out the townie and a messenger bag for some light grocery shopping.
First it was south to America the Beautiful Park for this summer’s inaugural Colorado Farm and Art Market, buying some frozen free-range pork chops from Doug Wiley of Larga Vista Ranch. Next it was north to Ranch Foods Direct for a flatiron steak and some asparagus from Pueblo’s Milberger Farms so I’d have something to eat tonight.
Mind you, this was hardly the Frozen Chosin in the Freezing Season — I’m talking about 10 miles of leisurely cycling in fine weather for a dinner of grilled steak, boiled spuds and asparagus. Wiley’s pork chops are thawing in the ’fridge awaiting Herself’s return from The Big Easy. But my velo-shopping set me to to thinking about that roundly panned Obama speech.
The prez spake thusly:
The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through — what has always seen us through — is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.
If we can’t park our SUVs and walk a few meters for a Kodak moment, how strong, resilient and courageous are we? Because the hard times are surely coming. And the SUV pilot who couldn’t be bothered to hump a few meters? He was a Marine.