Wednesday, December 15


I know, three posts in a typical "no-more-than-one-post-a-day" rule of thumb went out the window today. I wouldn't but after reading Bike Snob NYC I feel compelled to try and entertain and after my commute home I desperately need to blow off some steam.

My commute started out good. At 3:50 a co-worker said in a sing-songy voice "It's snow-ing!" And my boss chimed in: "Chris is gonna be co-OLD!"

I jumped up and stepped into his office. "I'm gonna go ahead and go, not because I need more time to get home, but because I'm excited about ripping it up in the snow." Or something like that.

Five minutes later I was pushing past the smokers huddled by the back door, refusing to make eye contact as I switched on my lights, ignoring their comments about how crazy I am even though they're the ones sucking fire through dry leaves. And then I was off.

When I left it was sort of drizzling around some big fluffy wet flakes of snow.

I took the longer commute through Golden to avoid traffic. Ironic that blasting right through the middle of town and across the School of Mines campus exposes me to less traffic than the suburban office park at Denver West.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the City of Golden was ushering me quickly out of town with new bike lanes along 10th Avenue past Coors. They're so new there are only lanes and not cyclist icons, just bad-graffiti "Bs" ever few yards. Even more irony...the lanes end at the railroad track, just when the pavement narrows and lanes would really be helpful. Buzz-buzz! Go the cars!

The further I went on the CCT the drier the pavement was. By the time I turned north on Tabor the rain/snow was only a faint smell in the air,creeping behind me as I cruised home.

I-70 was a parking lot, and I guess Santa's karma elves were watching as I chuckled openly at the stranded motorists. I shouldn't have taken so much delight in the transportation misery of others.

It all fell apart on Ridge Road. There is no shoulder on Ridge Road, though it is ok to pass. Funny that despite the "Three Feet to Pass" law and a legal passing zone that three motorists decided to buzz me. I say "decided" because the first one didn't bother to slow down or hardly swerve to miss me, raising my ire and setting the stage for the pair of idiots coming up behind me.

I heard Number 2. I held out my left hand with three fingers (no really!) held prominently out in the lane. He almost clipped my fingertips. Almost.

Number 3 was a ball-cap wearin' suburban redneck in a big pickup yakkin' on his cell phone. Again, didn't slow, didn't really "pass", just somehow managed not to drive directly over top of me.

I was screaming incoherently creative obscenities over the roar of the diesel engine. At that point I was ready to fight. I would have gladly gone to jail for assault just so I could punch some cinderblock cell walls and rumble with hardened criminals.

It was a good thing my family wasn't home when I got there. I needed to cool off. My kids didn't need to learn the words I was muttering vehemently under my breath.

Needless to say I'm glad I'm off the road for the night, and I am pretty sure I won't be riding on Ridge Road for awhile. I had stopped back when I was riding to work at rush hour and home at rush hour. It was just too stressful. Its really not been too bad for a few weeks, since I've been going in and returning home earlier. But now I am just going to stop again.

What really gnarfles my garthog is that I am hideously visible right now. If I'm ever hit by a motorist absolutely DO NOT let them argue that they didn't see me. I have the Real Genius laser on the front of my bike, a winking, blinking rear LED and a strand of multi-colored LED freakin' battery powered CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!

I'm considerig keeping the seasonal illumination throughout daylight savings.

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