One day last week at 4 AM I was awakened by the sound of a train thundering by the house. I thought it strange being the nearest active railroad is over a mountain nearly twelve miles away. I eventually awakened sufficiently to realize the sound I heard was the snowplow going by. I closed my eyes and said to myself that I wouldn't be riding this morning.
Over the past few weeks I have been noticing some things that aren't riding related but have stuck with me long enough to write them down. They are non-riding observations and they probably say more about me and my problems and prejudices than they do about the people and situations I have observed. So here they are.
LAYING ON THE HORN
Standing by the Vespa at the local Sunoco station adding a gallon of premium gas to the tank my concentration is interrupted by a car horn. Not a honk but a continual piercing blowing. I look up and see a minivan hurtling towards a car pulling out into the road. The minivan is sixty yards away from the car and is speeding up. The horn continues to blow. The car hurries to accelerate in front of the racing mini-van. The horn is still blowing as the minivan brakes hard just short of the car's rear bumper horn still blasting. Taking this all in I can't help wonder how a driver can become so offended by an interruption in progress.
2000 CALORIES ISN'T MUCH
A New Year's resolution to lose 15 pounds has me recording calories. My goal is 2000 calories per day. Since the beginning of January I have meticulously recorded everything I eat and right it down on a 3x5 index card. Every morning when I sit down to write in my journal I record my weight and calorie intake from the previous day. I'm paying attention. Not worried about the quality of what I eat right now, just the calorie content. And after a month of this I can tell you that 2000 calories of food isn't much. Not much at all.
Every morning as part of my riding decision-making ritual I check the weather online. Before I get to the forecast details I see a display of the RealFeel® temperature. I'm not sure if the forecasters think I am an idiot and can't discern what the actual temperature means in relation to other factors or maybe they think I'm too busy or lazy to think for myself. The predictions of social impact of weather are so distorted that I wonder why I look at all. An inch of snow is a major disaster. And this isn't Virginia.
There is no better display of faith in fellow man than in watching a tailgater. I wish my faith was so strong that I believed nothing bad or unpredictable was ever going to happen to that car in front of me. Or maybe it's not about faith at all. Maybe it's a display of selfishness and fear that someone will get in front of them and destroy their hard won self esteem.
RUNNING STOP SIGNS
Walking across the street in front of my house the other day with my dog a car almost hit me when they decided not to stop at the stop sign. This isn't a straight through intersection but a T. And as the woman flies by me after her rolling stop (15 MPH) she gives me such an evil look that I figured I must of done something wrong. I thought about it a second but most of my thoughts pondered the effect of rice in a radiator.
WALKING ON SNOW AND ICE
Just this morning I sat in a local coffee shop. After a night of sleet and freezing rain things were a mess. Only two cars were in the unplowed lot. A cafe worker was busy throwing salt and gravel in a wide swatch between the front door and my car. I suppose to make sure I would be safe. I just wondered what all the fuss is about with a little snow and ice. Maybe it's lawyers. Or maybe it's a high percentage of fancy shoe wearers who can't navigate in foul weather. I sure hope it's not because we've forgotten how to care for ourselves in winter.
Anyways, things just have been popping into my head lately and thought I better release them. Now they're your problem. Rode to work yesterday. Routine and ordinary. Cold, clear, and 21 degrees F on the way to work. It was 33 degrees on the way home. I stopped at a park to watch the sun go down and appreciate that it was 5:30 PM and there was still some light. Spring can't be far off now.