Today was my first commute of 2008 and in a word, it was cold! 27 °F and dark too! Back to that in a second. It appears that some busy-body, no-account asshole intent on keeping track of peoples’ comings and goings decided to single me out for scrutiny. I was told that I was creating an impression of taking too liberal a view of working out at lunch. The regulation (yeah it sucks working for da guv-ment) clearly states that I can take an hour-and-a-half 3 days a week to workout (GWB’s initiative to keep us all from dropping dead). So, I had been combining my workout with my lunch hour to get a few miles in. Actually, I was only riding for little over an hour on my riding days for about 20 miles or so. Well, this just didn’t sit well with some no doubt fat-chain-smoking creep, and now I’m told to correct that perception. So, in a few words and reading between the lines that means, “stop riding your bike at lunch.” So, if I want any miles during the week, I either commute, or ride after work in order to comply with the request from on-high. Ya know, I watch all these smokers around here take time away from their work at least 10 times a day for 10 minutes at a crack, to suck down a proven cause of cancer, and the leadership tells me I can’t go for a ride to keep myself healthy. What bullshit! But, being the good trained soldier, er uh, retired-military dog that I’m am, I just shut my mouth and implemented plan B. One thing that I learned as a graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School (TopGun for all you Tom Cruise fans) is to always, always, always…have a plan B.
Note to self: plug in battery to fancy, expensive, flame-throwing light BEFORE early morning commute. Hey, what do these two red lights mean? Yep, 5 minutes out and on a dark bike trail with no street lights, I’m riding blind! Helen Keller Mozam, Whoohooo! Quick thinking on my part to switch on the backup light kept me from endo’ing on the upcoming rock (we have a lot of those here) in front of me, and directly in the path of my front wheel. There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush like that at 5am to get the ‘ole ticker going! The song, “What a dumbass” kept playing in my head over and over again followed by an encore of “Color Me Stupid”.
It has been awhile since I rode so early in the morning and in such darkness, and I was reminded again of how much more attention you have to pay to drivers at such an early hour. The one’s that really getcha are the numbskulls that pull out of side streets 90 degrees to your path. They do that, “maybe I’ll stop here, but not really, look in the opposite direction first kinda thing” while rolling through a stop sign. Makes me wish I had a hammer so I could put a big fat dent in their hood as I pass by. Oh well, off into the concrete combat zone on my trusty two wheeled steed I go! “Know thy enemy, know thy self”.