"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


Thursday Hate: I'm back, don't talk to me, I'm gone

I'm back.

It's been a crazy month. A move to Edgewater, two family reunions, my sister coming in from North Carolina for Pitchfork, and finally a week of racing in Wisconsin has really derailed my creativity and posting in this space. I promise to give the obligatory, "what's been going on post" tomorrow, but really it's more than that, I'll come back to it later.

First, some long overdue hate:

Why do complete strangers at work feel the need to give me a creepy and hearty, "good morning!" or "hey there!" as I pass them in the hall? My company is over 4,000 employees. And it's like a huge cult. I've never seen that person before in my life, and I likely won't ever see them again. Eyes front and keep walking, dude. I don't want any of your KoolAid.

If it makes me a grump than so be it. I don't know these people. If it were within my department and it was my first day or with a new person, that's completely different. Your pathological need to reach out and give every single person who comes near you a smile scares me. Because something tells that if I got to know you, it would go way beyond a smile.

Moving on.

I deactivated my facebook account today. I think I must have a problem, I spent way too much time on that site. Or other people think I do. At least that's what a little bird told me. "Little" bird. Heh heh heh.

Fuck those people, but they're right in a way. It's a sign, and I should pay attention to it. Hearing it really hurt my feelings, and that right there told me I needed to step away, way back. It's not like I was some redneck Farmville addict, or constantly begging them for Mafia Wars favors. I thought my postings were funny and smart. I just want to share what makes me think and laugh. Oh, well. It's not permanent, so at least I can always go back and just get the thousands of pictures.

But what a complete time suck. I haven't posted here at The Car Whisperer for a month. I feel Facebook has robbed my critical thinking skills, my creativity, my edge. When was the last time I posted some poetry? Or an anti-societal, car-culture rant?

It's was about time for some catharsis. Consider it my wake up call.

Next up, what I've been doing with myself the last month, and a preview of August 29th, 2010. The greatest day in the history of Chicago bicycling.


Thursday Hate: bike lanes

I prefer not to wear gloves when commuting. That way I can whistle better at the cab that's about to kill me.

My current ride to work is 15 miles each way. The last four miles are on Lake Avenue through Glenview, no bike lane and two lanes each way. Traffic clips along at 45mph plus.

What is the most stressful part of my ride, however? The Elston Bike lane between Foster and Montrose. Until we get dedicated bike roadways and buffered bike lanes, I'll always be a proponent of vehicularism, treating bikes as equal with all other traffic in the roadway.

Still, the narrow lanes of Lehigh south of Touhy are untenable for bikes as well, when the traffic approaching Devon backs up nearly a mile. Is a rider really going to wait patiently breathing exhaust? No, we'll either take to the sidewalk or shoal in the oncoming lane, as I did today - both are illegal.

And in the end, while the 45 mph traffic of Lake is statistically much safer to bike in, I feel like I have much more control of things in the Elston bike lane. You can see bad situations developing enough ahead to whistle at least.