Saturday, May 4, 2013

Final Drive: Commuting and the March of the Ants

Most of my riding is commuting, although at times it reminds me more of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain than actually getting somewhat and at other times, most of the time it reminds me of Ants Marching like a herd of biters on The Walking Dead. I would also say it's worse on the way home as opposed to on the way to work, although all sorts of reprobation, mass destruction and mayhem from johnny playing the hand flute to Carol high on a veritable Brompton's Cocktail , who goes the wrong way on the freeway, probably because she didn't want to miss Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Some of my personal favorites are: Reading the paper, putting on make-up, the driver getting a blow job, talking on the cell phone and texting. What's even more amazing about talking on the cell phone is that a lot of these idiots have cars or trucks with bluetooth/hands free capability and yet they have the phone glued to their ear with their head against the side window or they are talking to the phone like a communicator from Star Trek. Either way, they aren't paying enough attention to the most important task at hand.

One of the biggest dangers I face going to work (as well as coming home from work) is that I use the HOV lane and there is always some idiot that is late for work, wants to get home so they don't miss Dr Phil or their kids baseball game and they cut into the HOV lane without looking to see who already occupies that lane. The other day some steampunk dread looking asshole cut into my lane and when I honked while hitting the brakes and moving over the shoulder, he gave me the finger and was yelling at me. I scooted away and made as much distance between us as I could. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. What is even more incredulous is that more often than not, there is only one person in the car and they are trying and often do use the HOV lane illegally. Sometimes I wish I was a cop, as I could make a pretty good living at it based on the jackassery I see everyday. It wouldn't be difficult to find work to do. Like the other day...

The other day I was riding up 87 on the way home, which is my favorite part of the ride. Some guy in a 2000ish Impala is wandering in his lane. As I pass by the ersatz Tommy Chong has a blunt the size of my middle finger, sharing it with his friends. Again, I made way to get as much distance between he and I as possible. The week before, I encountered the second coming of Bob Marley in an old Chevy van on University, near 40th Street. This guy was all over the freaking place. I would have thought Stevie Wonder was driving the van. Once past Mr Doobie, I made sure the distance between us grew. It isn't always like this. Most of the time it's just bumper to bumper traffic on the 202 and it's a de rigueur chore to wade through the marching ants to get to the HOV lane, which while adventurous in some ways, it's a lot easier on the clutch than having to ride in traffic and when it get hot out here, it's a blessing. You haven't lived until you've ridden in bumper to bumper traffic when it's 110˚F outside.

And so it goes, day after day, navigating my way through the morass of cagers, just trying to get to my destination safely. Like Rick Grimes stuck in Atlanta in Days Gone By, riding to work  can be a challenge sometimes, if not entertaining at other times. The thing for me to remember is that job # 1 is to make it to my destination safely. Not too long ago I would have ripped someone's arms out and beat them to death from some of the cager antics i still experience, but with age comes clarity. It isn't worth it. At some point I realized that it was no harm, no foul, let it go and keep going. I'm supposed to enjoy the ride...How about you?

Thank you for reading this blog.


Trobairitz said...

Ahhh the joys of commuting. Seeing things like that you wonder "where is that traffic cop" when you need him.

I am continually amazed at the ass-hattery of some drivers. I guess I am lucky to have a 3 mile commute. It sounds as though yours is a lot longer.

Jim L said...

My commute is 27 miles each way. Seems the only time I find a cop is when it is for me. :) Anyway, off to do my 18K mile service.