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I am not a perfect cyclist by any means, but…

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For those who know me, or even have simply been to this blog in the past, likely know a few things about me, and one of them is that I don’t own a car and choose bicycling as my primary choice of personal transport (the other two are walking and public transportation). This said, I am not an anti-car person, it’s just that about 5 years ago I realized that not only I no longer needed one but that it was cumbersome to have one in my life.

I’d also like to add that I am in no way a perfect cyclist. For the most part I follow the rules of the, but still, I am not perfect (but who is).

Anyhow, thus said, I had gone out for coffee this morning to do some reading and writing at Sweetness7 and before heading home stopped at Westside Stories and purchased a book on the life of Bonhoeffer. So, in short, I was sort of caffeined up and blissed out as I pedaled and coasted. I was keeping pace with traffic as it had slowed because a driver next to me was making a left turn into a driveway. It was then that I noticed the car behind us turn into the bike lane behind me to pass the car on the right. Did he not see me? He sped ahead, narrowly missing me. He was so close I could feel the air move between us as he passed, the side-view mirror nearly clipped my handlebar. I yelled out–partially in anger and partially in fear–and he looked over at me with a quizzical look as he passed. I slammed on my brakes and stopped. A passerby who was walking saw it and inquired, “Whoa, dude, are you ok?”

Again, I am not a perfect cyclist, but today I was on a clearly marked bike lane when a car crossed into it to pass. Please (other cyclists) do not comment on this in a hateful anti-car way (as tempting as it might be), and pro-car people, please do not comment in the other direction. All I ask is that people in cars be aware. While my bike is heavy by bicycling standards (about 55lbs), your car weights a ton-and-a-half. To the person in the car whom which I refer, you are likely not reading this, but if you are, know that your actions today almost changed both of our lives.

Thin Ice, Blood Church, and a few other things I saw while riding my bike yesterday…

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Life is one long decay, no? There’s a lot of beauty in it.”

~ Urs Fischer

So I had yesterday off of work and had an appointment on Buffalo’s East Side. I love riding my bike through the neighborhoods for a couple reasons. One is that my heritage is there. I was born on the East side, and generations before me lived there. But also the neighborhoods. While the East Side is home to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in our city, I find it oddly peaceful to pedal and coast my way through the streets with often dilapidated buildings and urban prairies. I feel the presence of souls past as I coast through the quiet streets.

It was cold out (I was glad it actually felt like winter) and I was pedaling into a strong headwind, so for a bit of reprieve I stopped for breakfast at Mattie’s Restaurant on Fillmore and was served by Miss Mattie herself. And with a full belly and warm coffee I pedaled the rest of the way home and felt grateful to be on a bike, to be able to experience my short 10 mile round trip with all my senses.

Urban Simplicity.

 

Things that can be carried on a bike (#714) and a quote…

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[Commuting by bicycle is] an absolutely essential part of my day. It’s mind-clearing, invigorating. I get to go out and pedal through the countryside in the early morning hours, and see life come back and rejuvenate every day as the sun is coming out.”

~James L. Jones, Barack Obama’s former national security advisor


On the bike: 47 framed photos of various sizes on their way to a show.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#713)

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Two cardboard boxes…one containing approximately forty dollars in groceries, and the other is a case of red wine. Essentials.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#712)…

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A dozen framed photos on their way home after a month-long group show.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#711)…

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A plastic tub containing about $40 in groceries, a gym bag full of wet clothes, and a small Christmas tree.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#710)…

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A bin containing a few groceries and sundries; a cardboard box containing a pair of chef pants and kitchen clogs and a few items from the hardware store; a book bag containing a journal, a few books, and other things; and a new toilet seat.

More things on a bike.

Urban Simplicity.

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