Saturday, July 26, 2008

Having A Life is No Excuse

Welcome to any who have found their way here via John B's blog, Cycling in Wichita. I'm days late in getting to the welcome, so apologies if you've been circling in a holding pattern, waiting for a new post. Can anyone translate that sign in the last post ? (Those photos open up much larger in a new window, you know.) John B apparently has a life and three blogs: I merely have a life that, of late, has gone from tumbling from one cesspool of exhaustion to the next to one in which I have rested, deservedly, I hope and think, on some cushiony pockets of sloth. But he is right: I see bikes everywhere. Unless the NYTimes city blog (see previous post) is playing with my head, I really need to get out more, because I see bikes everywhere only in one place. Here is another vehicle one doesn't see often (or at all) in the wastelands between city and country.

Why, O why, I wonder, do we not build for to accomodate walkers, bikers, segways, wheelchairs, etc. Could it be that it suits the infrastructure that we keep off the streets ? I have a whole big post tangent to this topic coming up. Stay tuned. Am off to the bike shop for few things, then to the garden before it gets too hot to do anything.

One note to do with biking, and then another about something that is probably worthy of a separate post all together, but which I had best write down before I forget. First: my area has police on bikes. This is a surprise, since I have never seen them in my part of town before, but ran into them, almost literally, the other week while they paused on the road across from a small park/playground, of necessity standing on the small and rutted shoulder between curb and street. It was dark. Though it looked as if their bikes had lights mounted on the handle bars, they were not turned on. They were wearing no reflective clothing at all. I understand the need for stealth (if that's what it was about), but it was all I could do not to roll down the window and give them a lecture on how not to get killed. I felt about eighty, imagining in my head what I did not do, as I drove too close to, and then past, what I at first thought were tree branches moving in the wind (no, cops on bikes): "Sonny, a helmet won't help you if a car drives into you and across your midriff. Here, Sonny, I've got some reflective tape in the car. Let's at least get some around your wrists and ankles so that you can get home alive to your mother..." If I live so long and keep my brain to boot, it will be fun to do this when I'm old. At present, after almost circling back, I decided not to risk being harassed for the rest of my existence for telling representatives of the peace and safety realm what they surely already know.

Completely unrelated item: as many of you must also, I can see the names of a number of wireless networks in the area when I connect to my own (my computer shows anything within range, locked or not). Of late, a new one has appeared. Its name is "White Power." This disturbs me to no end. I wonder if: a) they are too stupid to know everyone can see it; b) perfectly aware that everyone in this diverse community, which includes a number of ethnic groups as well as nationalities, can see it, and they are offering up this ugliness to affront and to intimidate.

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