Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Copenhagen, the state, everywhere

Been watching the proceedings in Copenhagen for almost 2 weeks now and this picture pretty much says it all.

The message from industrial civilization to the living world: "Out of my cold dead hands."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Carbon Offsets, Me & Your Money

Hey Copenhagen! Car bombings in Iraq/Paki/Afghanistan, melting glaciers in the Arctic, and ice on the roof tops of this sunny little beach town I live in. Crazy times, eh? You know, there's been a lot of talk about carbon trading, carbon offsets, carbon credits, and whatnot. Some folks don't believe that planting a few trees in downtown L.A. makes up for all the diesel jet fuel burned by fat first world tourists traversing the globe to take pictures of places that their countries used to look like before they "developed" it; some folks are skeptical that investing in a wind turbine farm in Oregon can make up for the blowing up of an entire mountain in West Virginia just for some lousy, dirty coal, and a few hundred jobs. Some folks say it's too late to turn back the tide and industrial societies will simply keep burning fossil fuels until there's none left to burn. I say screw all that.

You CAN make a difference in slowing down climate change and the way to do that is to pay me. If you're tired of those pesky impersonal carbon offset front groups supported by the likes of Al Gore, and wanna help out a real flesh and blood human being attempting to reduce his carbon footprint, pay me. If you're sick of those generic letters boasting about how your money can go to support Greenpeace banner drops at climate summits or Peruvian basket weavers, and just wanna help a guy afford some decent panniers, start sending your money my way asap.

I sold my car years ago and ride a bike daily, even on cold ass days like this where anyone in their right mind would never leave the house. I tend a garden, chickens, own a rain water barrel, and a tuning fork for my instruments as I don't wanna purchase batteries for an electric tuner cuz' batteries have lithium and mercury in them or something. I've stopped using paper towels and dry my hands on my hair/clothes/or just wave them around in the air. I worm compost practically everything, thereby preventing landfill overuse. I even go so far as to pocket compostable materials and/or recyclable materials when proper disposable facilities are not available. I try to pee outside whenever possible. Yeah, I do a lot of utterly ridiculous things to try and "make a difference" and it's high time my efforts got subsidized.

So send me money. I tend to eat more food than my co-workers who drive and it gets expensive. I also wear out shoes a lot more often as I tend to go on nature walks, ride a bike, and do other outdoor activities whenever possible. It's freakin' cold outside these days and I need some wool sweaters, shirts, or gloves. I also need a haircut, bike tubes, a massage, and an accordion that works. You may be asking - what about other tools for sustainable living like a wheel barrel or solar panels? I'm one step ahead of ya. Because sustainable living isn't just about the reduction in energy consumption but also about owning less material possessions, when it comes to wheel barrels and the like, I simply "borrow" from my neighbors when they're not home. As for solar panels - yeah, I could definitely use a whole bunch of those.

Who knows? If enough of ya'll start sending me dollars (I'd prefer Euros), I might be able to go full time w/ this sustainable living gig and stop working for the man all together. In return, I'll do my part to not shop for frivolous things, grow my own food, brew my own beer, organize fruit tree picking expeditions, and generally spit in the face of every greedy capitalist swine whenever possible. No time to waste! The earth is in dire straits! Pay me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crappy Trader Joe's Parking


If you ride a bike and occasionally shop at Trader Joe's in downtown, then I don't need to tell you their bike parking sucks. It was only during a recent interaction though that it fully dawned on me how crappy bike parking equals conflict with cars.

For those unfamiliar, the downtown TJ's main entrance faces a HUGE car parking lot, with I'd estimate at least 200 spaces, bordered by Mobo Sushis, Longs, and El Pollo Loco - The facade of the former building has 2 bike racks. Yeah, you heard that right - approximately 200 cars spaces and 2 bike racks. These racks hold at the most 4 bicycles, and as you might imagine, are often taken, which puts folks like me in the difficult position of locking up to grocery cart racks and...handicap signs.

The latter of which I found myself standing at last week as a middleaged woman with a blue placard kept edging her white compact closer and closer to me. She looked wealthy and annoyed by my presence even though I was a good 2 feet away from the concrete parking buffer. I tried to make the best of the situation by signaling that she could come much closer but she barely budged. Finally, I ignored her, finished suiting up and left...feeling a tad guilty and like her, annoyed.

I'd only locked up to the handicap sign because two other bikes already were latched to the grocery cart stands and it looked crowded. But why this vying for space to begin with?

I bring this up with a friend while riding. He says in a better world, the property company that houses Trader Joe's would take out 2 car parking spaces and install a covered bike corral or pavilion which could house upwards of 30 bicycles. I say, from a business perspective, this makes perfect sense - the average car parking space houses one customer, while the same amount of space could house 10 on bikes. So why the crappy bike parking situation?

My friend shrugs, says people would worry about homeless folks or whatnot, usual Santa Cruz boogeyman factor. I laugh and point out that as it stands, the new Southern California looking ugly ass shrine-to-over-consumption Safeway building off Almar and Mission has more bike parking out front that Trader Joe's. In fact, the schmucks have actually put up a sign boasting how dedicated Safeway is to saving the earth. Sheeeeit. Earth to Trader Joe's, you gonna let Safeway out eco you?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Ride Report

Yesterday morning heading south on Murray I pass two people sleeping across the railroad tracks in sleeping bags. One has his/her arm over the other in a tender manner that juxtaposes nicely against the scattered bits of trash and newspapers.

Tuesday night by Soquel and Frederick, some douche in a big black SUV with his cell phone up his ass, coming in the opposite direction, makes a left right in front of me. I brake enough in time and he speeds up to get out of my way. I get home and recharge the batteries for my lights.

Saturday morning by Broadway and Ocean, in the bike lane (as usual), no helmet (not as usual), bright beautiful day - white compact on my left slows to turn into driveway, i assume he sees me, he doesn't. I brake and fumble for my bell, i miss the bell, and end up yelling the first thing my brain can come up with: "Whoah, whoah! WHOAH!" He slows down just in time for me to pass - maybe a foot away.

Whomever said separate bike paths (i.e. away from car dominated roads) aren't necessary is clueless.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Give me good bike parking...or else

I meant to take this pick months ago when I first noticed that the Mission Street strip mall which houses Coffeetopia, La Mission Mexican Restaurant, and Ristorante Avanti, had taken out a single car parking space and replaced it with 5 bike parking rings. This can house at least 10 bicycles - though a better rack could probably fit in at least 5 more. No complaints though, whomever made this happen deserves much props....

Poetically enough, the day I took the former picture was right after that powerful (global warming induced?) storm about two weeks ago. The latter picture here is what really peaked my interest.

I've seen a lot of local gas stations close down over the years - the site of Fin's Coffee on Ocean St, the empty lot on the corner of Water and Ocean that used to house a Shell, the one near Almar and Mission that keeps opening and closing, the former corporate station gone "Bio-Diesel" on Ocean/Soquel that never really seems to have any business - But from what I can tell, these have all been due to crappy economic times. The station above was only temporarily shut down after the storm caused the roof to collapse - still, I always like it when mother nature strikes back.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bike Parking In the SC Boondocks

Conversation w/ Barista @ People's Coffee:

Do you want a receipt?
yes, please. So, you the owner?
I'm the manager. The owner will be in tomorrow.
Any chance we could get some better bike parking out there?
Yeah, well, a rack wouldn't fit on the patio and the cars need access right around there...
Yeah, but I had to lock up on the railing, i don't wanna block foot traffic or anything...
There are racks across the parking lot behind the market
Hmmmm...that's still kinda far, why not take out one of the car parking spaces and put a bike rack there?
*stares at me blankly. shakes his head*
i take my coffee and go

Monday, October 19, 2009

Balloon boy b.s.

Over the weekend the headline reports on CNN radio where all about the balloon boy.

I think it's safe to say issues like global warming and peak oil and resource wars are never gonna be dealt with in a serious manner by the media. At least not the U.S. media - It's completely defined by triviality and commercial interests. What passes for mainstream "news" in the United States these days is basically a corporate-version of Pravda - well produced, entertaining, grade A bullshit.

Pity the rest of the country isn't watching any serious material like this:

Longer lines at New York food banks - Al Jazeera English
Food security in the US has been steadily worsening, with millions of Americans having to rely on charities and aid organisations for their next meal.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Transitions & Harbingers

Got a dehydrator over the weekend.

This means that all those extra the tomatoes we've been growing won't go into the worm bin.

I consider it another small step in the so-called "transition period" my generation is going through - getting ready for the post-peak oil world, global-warming disaster preparedness, simple living, self-reliance, DIY homesteading, yada yada.

To date, I've sold my car, acquired a bike trailer that's been used to haul many heavy things it shouldn't have, use two worm composting bins, learned to identify a ton of edible and medicinal wild plants and herbs, learned how to fix up a bike pretty well, acquired a rain water barrel, learned how to grow a decent garden, and the list goes on.

In retaliation, the capitalist system, vis a vis things like inflation, stagnant wages, and free trade agreements has pretty much stopped me from participating in things I used to enjoy like: sushi, record stores, concerts, eating out, movies, and buying the occasional t-shirt. Honestly though, I only really miss sushi.

I guess this is my way of saying for every little step forward, there's a lot of things, a former middle class rat like me leaves behind. I know I'm not alone in this predicament - All my friends who're still employed have had their hours cut back or furloughed - and at least half these folks are professionals.

Thankfully, there's a growing movement of people who seem to be cognizant enough to read the writing on the wall, check this out:

Reskilling Expo
Sat. Oct 17th
United Methodist Church in Santa Cruz

Of course, my acquaintances at Transitions SC still aren't grappling w/ some of the bigger issues we're all going to have to address sooner or later. For instance - How does one reconcile working 40 hours a week and raising a sizeable edible garden? I know in my instance, the biggest issue is labor time - harvesting the greens, washing them, and then prepping them for eating.

What happens if you wanna kick it up a notch and start raising chickens too?

The other ugly thing to consider is the fact that if certain appliances (think refrigerators, microwaves) we've come to rely on become too energy intensive/expensive, what simpler options do we have? Can you still even purchase an ice box anymore? Can you even buy ice by the block?

There has to be a point where people working on transitioning into what will undoubtedly be a slower, more austere way of living will have to face the contradiction of coming home in office attire then quickly changing into gardening, or bicycle repairing clothes. Imagine this happening day after day, for years on end. I'd say it's a strain many of us are already feeling right now. Something's gotta give.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fremont Autoplant Shuts Down

I really like the headline for this article:

"The end of the line for California automaking"

Toyota Motor Corp.'s decision to abandon its assembly line in Fremont marks the end of large-scale auto manufacturing in California, which over the years boasted a dozen or more plants building vehicles ranging from Studebakers to Camaro muscle cars.,0,1022235.story

There are so many interesting angles here - from the last autoplant in California closing, to the converting of the dead factories into even deader shopping malls (anyone from L.A. knows the City of Commerce's "Citadel Mall" is an eyesore Godzilla wouldn't bother pissing on). Then there's the last ditch attempts to bribe, i mean "give incentives" to keep toyota here by democractic and republican politicians alike.

Is it too early to say we're in the midst of an apocalyptic industrial collapse? Probably.

Those factories are just going to move elsewhere, where workers are less demanding of a better life, or according to the logic of capitalism, labor is cheaper and the cost of doing business is "more competitive."

*I grew up across the street from a dead autoparts factory. It's closing brought about all kinds of strife - crime, vandalism, litter. It also for a while opened up a space for my dad to show me how to ride a bike, and for my family to walk across an abandoned parking lot to visit other family members in the neighborhood.

*Back in the 1970s, my dad also worked briefly in a UAW represented autoplant before it closed down and relocated to the former slave territories known as the South. He described it as "back breaking, exhausting" work and he was glad to get out of it.

If you read the linked article, on the 2nd page, it quotes a manager of a bar located next to the closing plant, who says he "would lay off a single mother who worked an early morning shift that caters to the plant's overnight shift, and he could lose two more employees."

Wait, rewind for a second - a single mother gets laid off to keep a business running, and it's just another casualty of downsizing? Gotta love the premise of capitalism, it's a lot like living on a boat that constantly leaks so people have to be thrown overboard in order to keep afloat. This is how the system works in bad times as well as good. And the worst part is, most people accept this as moral and legitimate.

Check out the last quote from a soon to be laid off worker: "As for the future, I am going to do a lot of fishing and a lot of praying."

I'm afraid praying ain't gonna be enough this time homes. Time to form communes. Time to get organized. If we aren't in the midst of an industrial collapse, it may be around the corner.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One car goes off the road

Monday, a friend tells me her family has downsized to one car - husband, wife, and child will now coordinate transportation to school, work, and play. Sharing basically. I told her that's sweet, and she should consider getting a rack for the car, so whomever's on bike can always meet whomever's in car for dinner, groceries, etc...

Same day I put in a call to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District - See, a friend owns a car that's in its death throws and I mentioned that years ago when I was selling my car, I'd considered participating in the DMV dying vehicle buy back program, where the state will offer you up to $1,000 to take your car off the road - forever.

Well, as it turns out, the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (VAVR) program, as executed by the California Environmental Protection Agency, has a certain level of restrictions - one of which is that if your old car does pass a smog check, the county in which the car is registered determines if the car can be "VAVRed." There are many counties that participate in the VAVR program - San Mateo, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, but Santa Cruz (as part of the tri-county area of Monterey and San Benito) does not.

Can anyone explain this to me?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hipster Bikes Go Mainstream

First Kafias, now this. Urban Outfitters, the ultimate purveyors of commodified irony and sincere insincerity are selling made to order bikes. Not just any kind of bike mind you. Hipster bikes. You know, the kind you (I) laughed at years ago when folks hacked out these tiny handle-bared, bare-bones, single-speeds - Just the kind of ride that's good for showing off one's skills in chopping, but that's about it.

In retrospect, I can give props to the folks I know who actually build these things for the sheer novelty and impracticality of it. Handle bars the length of a ruler? Hey, I'm no weekend warrior but even I know your handle bars should match the width of your shoulders - you just breathe better.

But this made to order crap - where the only skill you need to buy let's face it, a pre-chopped hog (to use Hells Angels slang), is an ability to match colors and a working credit card; well, it demeans the whole point of learning how to work on a bike and out sources a really cool skill to have.

Only a culture sucking corporate leech like Urban Outfitters could think to pull this off with a straight face. Just like Harley Davidson, and to a lesser degree, mall franchise Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters' business model is based on co-opting counter-culture symbols of rebellion and creativity, and mass producing it, thereby killing the original meaning, or to put it crudely, cutting its balls off. But whereas Harley Davidson had a few decades to perfect and sell the image of working class biker attitude to white collar men in the throws of a mid-life crisis, Urban Outfitters' turn around time is much faster.

Still, there are plenty of folks who'll undoubtedly say "well, at least they're getting people on bikes." Okay, sure. But isn't this just a scenester version of a weekend warrior ride? I mean, Urban Outfitters and Aristotle/Republic Bikes are essentially selling toy-like accessories. More lifestyle shit for a generation of lifestyle consumers. Whycome none of the pictures depict racks and baskets for carrying groceries? Or what about kids trailers? Oh yeah, right - cuz' Urban Outfitters doesn't cater to that demographic. The best thing I can say about these glorified hipster toys is that they're employing people within the United States to build bikes - that's good.

But to me, the over-arching danger here is simply that this will become another fad, and like the weekend warriors, who play dress up in spandex on the weekends, but see no problem with the very existence of 6 lane freeways, this week's "made to order" bike will be chucked into the garage and sold at a yard sale once the next fad hits.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Empty town, empty racks

Rode without a helmet this morning. It happened by accident - one minute I was running to get under the closing garage door, the next I realized I'd left my helmet inside. Too much of a hassle to get the keys, go around the back, and risk waking everyone up, so I got on my bike and figured today is as a good day to die as any.

On the road, the streets are empty. Schools out. Fuck yeah. It's nice and quiet. I pass a dead skunk on the road. Poor little critter. Fucking murderous cars. I pass the morning drunks out by the train trestle, getting their Coors light on. I consider joining them, ya know, cuz, alcohol and weed are cheaper than the therapy that office jobs inevitably drive us to. But they're bros and hobos and a lot tougher than me and besides, I don't drink Coors.

Monday afternoon, at the bike rack by the bus stop on the corner of Mission and Bay I noticed two mountain bikes completely stripped down. Okay, well...their wheels and seats were gone but the handle bars and brake pads were still there. Around the area were multiple bike locks still clinging to the rack - no bikes though; and one lone front wheel - It wasn't even locked to anything. It was a sad sight and I thought, "yup, schools out." I thought, "bike vandals are like baby pigeons, you know they exist, but you never see them." I thought, "The cops will cut a lock to take away a striped frame, but what happens to the locks that have no frame or anything attached?" And then, I kept riding.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

King Street Bike Boulevard Dead in the Water

The headline in the Senile today reads, "King Street Bicycle Boulevard on Hold" but the article itself doesn't back that claim up. If anything, the King Street Bicycle Boulevard that many of us fought so hard for after 2 people died on Mission Street, is dead.

Noticeably absent from yesterday's Public Works Department wish (a.k.a. Capital Improvement Projects) list presented to the city council, the King Street Bike Boulevard has been put on "indefinite hold" due to a budget deficit the size of the grand canyon...or Ryan Coonerty's gut. But budget issues only tell a part of the story - political will, priorities, and the fecklessness of our so-called "progressive" city council is the other part.

This isn't simply a defeat for bicyclists. It is a defeat for folks concerned about oil dependence, global warming, and yeah, bike safety. Public Works Department assistant director Chris Schneiter claims that accidents on King Street are already low so it's safe for bicyclists to ride but that's not the issue. The issue is accidents on Mission Street being high, and likewise the need for an infrastructure that encourages more people to ride/walk while simultaneously discouraging driving. The interests of bicyclists verses automobile drivers here are mutually exclusive.

Even at a deeper level this illustrates the fundamental flaw in approaching something like a bike boulevard as being solely an issue of transportation when in reality it involves ecology, mental health, safety, and sustainability. So the King Street Bike Boulevard is dead....and wouldn't you know it? It's Earth Day today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama, Trains, & Hobos

"Eat shit boozshwa pig!"

Railroads. James Howard Kunstler has been talking about this for years. Namely, the United States' myopic reliance on building a bloated and costly auto-infrastructure while neglecting rail lines. From an anti-capitalist perspective, both of these forms of transportation enable the exploitation and export of life we humans refer to as "resources." Today though, I'm gonna look the other way and say that Obama coming out and supporting railroads as an alternative to a 100 years of car-addiction is a step in the right direction.

Considering yesterday's idiotic tea-parties, Obama has my least for this week.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cannondale layoffs

two words: fuck globalization

Apr 3rd, 2009 | BEDFORD, Pa. -- The company that makes Cannondale bicycles is eliminating 200 jobs at a south-central Pennsylvania facility that will no longer make the bike frames...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why so serious?

"Add a little anarchy into your day."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Beer + Bicycles = : )

Stepping out of a party late friday night, a friend asked jokingly, "you okay to drive?" We both laughed as I clearly wasn't but then again i wasn't about to get behind the wheel of a car.

Call it an unspoken perk of riding - being under the influence simply isn't as big of a deal. In fact, it's rather enjoyable. It's also a de facto sobriety test, you have to be really fucking wasted not be able to ride. That is to say, you'll find out real quick if you're too drunk/high to ride when you can't get on the saddle. At which point, you'll be forced to a) call a cab; b) wait till you sober up; c) walk home. Either way, you won't have to deal with the b.s. that comes w/ worrying about parking tickets and picking up your car the next day.

Of course, there are plenty of pro-bike anti-fun folks who will cry "think of the children!" (helmet nazis I'm talking to you) but such priggishness belongs at a Pilgrim convention.

Let's get real - You're just not as likely to maim, kill, or die in a drunken biking accident as you are in a drunken car accident. It's a difference of technology. Bikes are light, small, require a certain level of dexterity to operate, and don't go too fast (unless you're Lance). Cars are heavy, large, simple to operate, and very fast. That's why I don't think bicyclists should have to adhere to the same vehicle laws that cars do and why most of us don't.

Cruzing through the Santa Cruz streets past 1am, feeling the sweet ocean breeze, what a fantastic feeling. And yeah, I made it home just fine, just a little sweaty.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pulling flats

One of these days I'm going to listen to my inner voice and put a little extra air in my tires before heading out the door...that, and verify that I am carrying tire irons. Between 3 bicycles, it gets to be a pain in the arse making sure each has a lock, patch kit, working lights, and yes, tire irons...and well, sometimes I get neglectful. But flats are to bike commuting what dings are to a car's paint job - inevitable I suppose, but why do flats come in series?

Finding myself walking my bike a quarter of a mile in the rain twice within the last two weeks wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the bloody cars. The noise is unbearable and stains whatever natural beauty I can take in on a crisp Santa Cruz morning.

Still, there's so much to be thankful for...

US Automobile Sales Plummet

Demand for Oil Collapsing

Many many years from now, I will sit with my grandchildren around a campfire, surrounded by wild grasses that have almost completely erased the semblance of the parking lot beneath us, and I will tell the story of the mechanical monster that once tried to own the world and devour everything it could see....Forests, mountains, rivers, oceans, everything. Then one day, it was eating too fast and started to choke. Many whom had fed off the scraps that the monster had let "trickle down" its massive mouth, panicked and tried to stop the monster from choking but it was too late. Yes, I hope to tell that story many years from now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tour de Biotech Part I

Riding in the rain Sunday, soaked to bone, a longtime friend comes along my left flank and asks my thoughts about all the local hype over the Amgen tour coming through town. He points out that Amgen is a biotech firm and this is a part of their public relations scheme - you know, sponsoring bigtime bike racing while taking us further down the Frankenstein rabbit hole. I nod, point out that the Dr. Frankensteins behind UCSC's temporarily postponed bio-tech "Guantanamo bay animal detention center" probably have a boner over these guys being in town - not to mention the fact that most weekend warrior types are precisely the kind of yuppie shit that would work in bioTech.

So of course, I had to wikipedia it - Amgen stand for "Applied Molecular Genetics." They're a HUGE employer in the cushy Thousand Oaks area of Southern California and started sponsoring the Tour de California only 3 years ago. As to the "public relations" intentions of the bike tour, considering how American culture views science and technology as synonymous with progress and freedom, it's hard to say whether or not this industry really needs to groom its image. It's not like they're a peanut manufacturing company or anything....

Still, what's particularly interesting about this is that while SC is known for eschewing genetically modified food, bio-pharma riding through town seems to have artfully dodged any local scrutiny. But more on that later....speaking of artfulness...

There was at least one sight I enjoyed downtown Monday besides seeing the streets devoid of cars:

From the Art Department at UCSC - These students got commissioned by the city to produce this bike-powered sculpture. Calling themselves the "Disconnected Art Collective," this kinetic piece is made entirely out of donated bike parts. Nice stuff.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On your knees bracero!

riding by railroad tracks
and open fields
the outskirts of town
i see the ocean far off
and pass a family
parked by the side of the road
mother, father, & child
the holy trinity
de la gente
de la tierra
sitting in a car
a window covered by a towel to
block out the sun
if they try to spend the night here
the pigs will come and
write them a ticket
even though they clearly
cannot pay
the judge will issue a warrant
and call it

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Riding in the rain, no helmet, no brakes

It wasn't until i was maybe 100 feet away from where i knew the road would begin to descend that i remembered the townie's brakes weren't the best in the rain. Not that i had expected it to rain like it did - In fact, i'd figured it wasn't more than a dense fog i was facing when i headed out for a midday errand, and that i'd be damp but not soaked upon returning. watching the untrued front wheel spin like a slightly warped record, i recalled how badly i needed to install the new fenders on my road bike...once i finished assembling the wheels, once i finished truing them, once i finished getting some decent tires. but that thought was quickly replaced by the feeling of my wet hands squeezing the brakes as i picked up speed heading down Mission towards the clock tower and not getting the best results.

No helmet today - too cold, beanie won't fit with it on, lost the balaclava, i have a death wish. okay, not really, maybe i'm just lazy. somedays i wear one, somedays i don't. today, i wish i had.

the bike is slowing down for the red light ahead but not enough. the trunk of a car is looming closer, then closer. i'm squeezing the brakes with all my might but the rain is showing no mercy. i'm going to hit the car i realize, not too hard, but not too softly either. i step off the left pedal and put my foot down with all my weight - the sound of wet rubber skidding on wet cement then ...silence. i breathe deeply. tomorrow i'm bringing the rain gear, that and a helmet too.