First, a note about yesterday's 'Cuppa Joe' post. As any regular CycleDog readers know, coffee is my drink of choice these days. I thoroughly enjoy my morning cuppa. But it's annoying to encounter some folks who would impose the pretensions and snobbery of the wine crowd onto something as simple as coffee. And I can't resist taking potshots.
Regardless, over Christmas break I'm going to try some truly fresh-roasted coffee from Double Shot in Tulsa. Who knows? Maybe I'll have to get a pinkie ring and start nattering about the insouciance of a 2008 Ade d'Gator.
PM Summer writes the Cycle Dallas blog. Lately, he's been under fire for stating the obvious – that bike lanes are meant to benefit motorists rather than cyclists. This has upset some True Believers in Austin.
He has been unwilling to kowtow to the accepted wisdom that bike lanes are the wave of the future and must be embraced by all without reservations. I suspect he may believe that the Earth is not flat and he may have something to say about the Emperor's new clothes – the heretic. Naturally, since he's thinking for himself and following the best practices that would benefit cyclists, he must be punished. Some of the facilities crowd have worked themselves up into a genuine snit over his audacity in stating his views in public as the comments at this link will show.
Tulsa television station KOTV has a story about local bon vivant Biker Fox getting arrested over the weekend. Facts are scarce, but the people never let inconvenient facts get in the way. The comments thread is over 400 and rising. It's astonishing and a little depressing to wade through all the venom and hate. If you go there, wash your monitor afterward.
Here's one gem:
cant believe im posting this, but i really did not do anything illegal, about a year ago fox was on memorial acting like an idiot as usual, so i went home and got my camcorder and put an old texas license plate on my car, came back but couldnt find him, a mile later, there he was, i dud a u turn, fired up the camera and accelerated to about 50 mph, approached him and slammed on the brakes about 10 yards from him in the other lane, he jumped off the bike, and went absolutly ballistic, threw his bike, helmet and a water bottle at me, all while i was taping it. i want to youtube it so bad but im afraid ill get sued. I did the same to paul tay but didnt tape it, made him drop,duck and run at 55th and memorial, funny stuff!!
Whenever I see him and he rides in the center of my lane in traffic, I honk and yell at him and encourage my children to do the same. I now have my 3 yr. old yelling bikerfox SUCKS!(but in a christian way, this is the bible belt ya know)
I'm sure he wouldn't mind if I sent a 45 caliber hollow point whizzing by one of his kids, would he? It's only meant to scare 'em. No harm, no foul, right?
This is allegedly from Biker Fox. There's more on his blog:
Bf was riding his bike in the right lane. Stopped at 68th & memorial. Pike rides up on a bicycle I coudn't believe it. He says he is going to write me a ticket for not having a light on the back of my bike in the middle of the day. At night I have 2-3 flashers. So we stop he starts writing me a ticket, I said why are you being such an a.h. and harassing me. He said go sit down there now. I laid my bike down when I did Channel 6, my front tire barely touched his rear tire. He said you just assaulted a Police Officer. Your kidding right? So while I am kneeling down he proseeds to put me in a choke hold. No warning nothing. He keeps saying stop resisting. Resisting? I am flat on my face. About to pass OUT! Finally he Knocks me out channel 6 but thats ok right Channel 6. You trust all the Police right?, keep in mind he has been harrassing me for 8 years & counting. He is the ONLY cop to write me a ticket in the last 15 monthes. Now thats not Police Harrassment and Brutality. Man I can see bloggers are usually haters on the internet. Thanks to the many whom support me. Doing the right thing when your about to soar with the Eagles brings out the Snipers.
Come on haters yopu just make me stronger. When the Judge Finds out the police are harrassing me again She will throw it out. Maybe the D.A. will get tired of the Police harrassing me. The will finally put a stop to this one cop. Just one Pike. The dishonest bad apple.
I know there are a bunch of keyboard commandos who show up and spout nonsense on any open forum. They exhibit jaw dropping heroics and boundless courage from the safety of an anonymous Internet posting. Such people are fools, of course, but like an iceberg that's only 10 percent above the surface, they give us an indication of the hidden anger on our roadways.
Bicycle Commuting Aftermath
On Monday, I rode to work for the first time since early October. Persistent knee pain has kept me off the bike. In fact, it's kept me off my feet as much as possible. Laying tile is not a prescription for relieving pain, believe me.
The Cycling Gods put on their frowny face and gave me a moderate headwind in the morning. Temperatures were in the mid-forties. But in the afternoon, they smiled. It was about sixty degrees with a very stiff south wind blowing at 20mph with gusts up to about 35! I flew! I had the usual delusions of turning pro – until I turned and had a cross wind. In an inattentive moment, one of the gusts sent me into the on-coming lane. Fortunately there was no traffic, or I would not be writing this.
I had a compelling reason to ride. Mary and Jordan are both sick. Mary's been fighting a cold and sinus infection since before Thanksgiving. And we thought Jordan had a cold until he popped a fever and started vomiting on Sunday. He had to see the doctor, so my car had to be available. He had blood work and a chest x-ray. The doctor commented that he's one very ill kid just now. We'll probably know what he has later today.
Mary, of course, did her usual motherly hovering. She was up with him all night and didn't come to bed until I was getting ready for work. She may have had an hour's worth of sleep. So when I arrived at home in the afternoon, I told her to take a nap. She demurred, saying that she had to go to the grocery and get dinner ready. I said that Lyndsay and I could make dinner, and that she should lie down for just a little while. This all happened at 4:30. She slept until after nine.
When Lyndsay came home, I went to the grocery planning to make a simple dinner. Jordan needed easily digestible food, so I bought some Rice-A-Roni because it's one of his favorites. He likes kiwi and oranges, so some of them went into the basket too. The grocery has their own brand of Italian sausage and it's quite good with very little fat. I have to add some oil to the pan to brown it. I bought broccoli and cauliflower too. So our simple dinner would be Italian sausage mixed with the vegetables, along with both rice and Rice-A-Roni. As I expected, Jordan passed on the meat and veggies.
(A side note about complex carbohydrates: When I'm recovering from an illness, I get hungry for big carbs like cereal, bread, pasta, etc. It's probably the body's way of replenishing glycogen. So it may be encouraging to see that Jordan wanted rice and pasta last night. Here's hoping.)
It turned out well. I didn't burn anything or set the kitchen on fire. And the true test is that the kid's ate what I'd prepared. If my cooking doesn't please them, they won't say anything directly. They'll just go and get bowls of cereal later. All their complaints go to their mother, who has no hesitation to berate me when necessary.
After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher. I'd been on my feet much more than usual and my legs were feeling it. I sat on the couch for about an hour, resting and tinkering with this laptop. Everything was fine until I tried to stand up. Someone had replaced my leg muscles with pieces of wood. My back, neck, and shoulders hurt. I rose slowly off the couch, got my legs under me, then straightened up with difficulty. The kids thought all of this was hilarious. I may yet kill them.
During the evening, thunderstorms rolled through the area. The wind switched around to the north and temperatures fell. When I left for work this morning, it was 52F. As I write this at 9AM, it's dropped to 39F. (At 1:30PM, it was below freezing, with ice and snow moving in.) Welcome to Oklahoma. The change makes my neck and shoulder hurt from an old injury, and my legs are sore but not stiff. The knee pain comes and goes. Ibuprofen dulls the pain and a cup of hot coffee is comforting.
One truism in writing a blog is that if you're going to steal, steal from the best. “And finally...” is the “professional voice actor” intro to the last piece on every You Look Nice Today podcast. If you haven't listened to any of these, please do so. The last three have featured John Hodgeman as a guest and they've been more over-the-top than usual, though that's hard to imagine. My co-workers must wonder why I'm wearing headphones and laughing maniacally.
My thanks to George of Bike Riding Donut Guy for pointing me toward this podcast. And if I steal anything from your blog, George, it's meant as flattery, honest.