"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Had enough today

My friend Steven took this picture last night, at the corner of Halsted and 17th St:

Sorry for the shock value, but there it is. And yeah, that's her liver lying a few feet away. She was hit by a blue or purple 4-door, and then the #18 bus. The bus stopped. The driver is still at large.

It is a fantasy of mine that apprehended hit and run drivers be sentenced to go car-less, with the knowledge that they will be randomly run down at high speed by a Hummer in a state-sponsored execution. Or, I s'pose a pack of drunk hipsters on tall bikes would be more poetic justice. But knowing that the last conscious thought to go through this perp's mind as his liver leaves his body is, "oh, this is what she felt," would be somewhat satisfying.

Also yesterday, this happened in New Zealand.
"All you could hear was the sound of carbon and bodies falling everywhere ... they were crashing all over the place..."

I couldn't get any of these images out of my mind today as I left work from the parking lot on my ride home. The brushed steel weather of October must gnaw on people's patience. Not even 100 meters onto Milwaukee Avenue some self-entitled blond was yelling at me to "get in a bike lane."

"What bike lane?" I asked as I rolled past her, stopped at the red light she was in such a hurry to get to seven seconds later. "Can't I turn left like everyone else?"

Eyes roll up with her window.

Buzzed three times on Lake by probably a combined 12 inches of passing space. Trying to pedal into a 20 mph headwind, I was getting it from all sides.

Honked at twice on Lehigh between Touhy and Devon.

By time I was on Elston I was convinced I was being tailgated by some phantom SUV. That was completely in my head.

I was in no shape to then get on my cross bike and head down to Cricket Hill for practice, no way I was then biking through the madness that is Uptown during rush hour. I just wanted off of my bike, period. To be inside, locked behind a door.

I've had it with mouthbreathers. Empty heads. People who act like I'm not even there. Snobby Mercedes drivers. Shaved-head "husky" guys who fancy themselves UFC stars but get out of breath walking from their car into the Burger King. Empty Chevy Suburbans, save the driver's seat. People who act as though there is no law at all. People who don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.

Oh man, I've had it today. Had it with this city, had it with this culture. I've had it with this mean-spirited, selfish, indulgent, me-first, obsessive, angry way of life. I want to move far, far away. To Amsterdam. To Copenhagen. To Mackinac Island. To Denali National Park.

To a place where no one is in a hurry, everyone savors the moment, and no one has a sense of entitlement the size of their car.

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