Dear area car driver:

In the event that you, area car driver, happen to be dropping off a passenger, please execute the following maneuvers:

1: signal and get to the side of the road;

2: leave the turn signal on while you’re stopped.

As you can see, these are two steps.  Two very easy steps.  These two very easy steps are intended to replace the following alternative method of dropping off passengers:

–just letting out the passenger when already stopped at the light, without putting on a turn signal or moving out of the lane in any significant way, or checking the right side of the car first for passing bicyclists.

Why?

Here’s the thing, area car driver.  Your passenger has not been looking at the road.  He or she does not habitually look in the rear view mirror before opening his or her door, especially when getting out of the back seat.

Drivers such as yourself are well-trained in looking down the street for bikes, and those of us on bikes thank you for it.  You are also aware when there is a bike near your car, because you’re the driver and that’s your job.  But your clueless passenger is not aware and hasn’t had to be for the entire ride, and the curb is right there.  They are not thinking of the possibility that a bike is attempting to navigate the space between the car and the curb at the same moment in which they are opening the door.

Likewise, the biker is not aware someone is about to get out of the car because the biker does not know you have stopped to let someone out, because you have not stopped to let someone out.  You have stopped at the light.  There is no way to tell the difference between stopping for a light and stopping to drop someone off without using psychic powers.

Bicyclists do not have psychic powers.  In case you were not sure about that.

And finally

In the event you have neglected to pull over adequately or used a turn signal, and it is raining, and your passenger has opened the rear right door cutting off the cyclist that was at that very moment navigating that same space between the car and the curb, it would be in your best interest not to yell at the biker who had to use the side of your car to stop before he hit your car door.  Suggesting that the bike had plenty of time to stop just proves both of you knew the bike was there and decided to open the door anyway, which makes you look like massive assholes.

Addendum

When bike brakes get wet they don’t work as well.  Just like car brakes, actually.  If you, area car driver, ever find yourself saying, “the bike will have enough time to stop” you should re-evaluate your decision-making capabilities.

Especially when it’s raining.

You know you’ve been bicycling in the city for a while if…

…you know not to take a sharp turn across a manhole cover in the rain

…you can’t name most of the streets you travel on but you can describe the light cycle patterns of every intersection in great detail

…you’d consider a horror movie that began with the driver’s side door of a parked car flying open the absolute scariest way to start a movie

…you can name every part on your bike that has ever stopped working

…another bike passes you while you’re stopped for a pedestrian and you make it your life’s work to hunt down and pass that biker

…you’ve learned the hard way that the only way to cross embedded trolley tracks is at a ninety degree angle or not at all

…you’ve biked more than three miles while bleeding

…you know at least a quarter of the street lights in the city only turn green if a car is waiting for them

…you have ever ridden straight to the bike repair shop with something sharp in your tire, knowing it won’t go flat until you pull the sharp thing out

…you’re more concerned with the puddle in front of you than with the car on your left

…you’ve ever said, “yes I went over the handlebars but it was no big deal” and meant it

…a part of you really wants to see that guy on the bike going the wrong way without a helmet get hit by a car

…you stopped caring how you look in really tight clothing a very long time ago

…you don’t mind being passed by another bike as long as they look like they race professionally.  Otherwise, it’s on

…you know that the most important part of the weather report is the wind speed

…you know exactly what a chamois is

…there are very few things you find more satisfying than passing the car that gunned its engine to get by you a few blocks earlier

…you’re seriously considering breaking the rear window of the next Mini Cooper that tries to use your bike lane as a driving lane

And finally…

…you love listening to other people complain about how long they were stuck in traffic.

The city of Boston officially doesn’t mind

The intersection of Franklin Street and North Harvard Ave in Allston is busy.  Franklin is a little side street that happens to lead to a ramped footbridge that goes over the Mass Turnpike, which makes it an incredibly useful road for bikes, because on the other side of the bridge is the end of Harvard Street in Allston/Brighton.  It is probably the easiest way to get into Boston proper from North Cambridge.

So lots of bikes go along this little road, and more will be taking it in the future now that there’s a stand for the city’s new Bike Share Program a block away on Western Ave.

And it’s not a terribly safe intersection.  It had a blinking yellow light for years, so bikes and cars coming off of Franklin had to look for gaps in traffic along North Harvard in order to make it through.  So when the city elected to put a stoplight there instead, it made a whole lot of sense.

Here’s the problem: the light never changes for bikes.  It’s linked to a pad below the street so only something as heavy as a car will trigger the green.

Just to review

I have waited at that intersection many times.  I am usually there with another bike, and only occasionally with another car.  That’s because cars have little reason to come down the street.  Cars can’t use the footbridge at the end; most of the people driving down the street are coming from their homes, and there’s almost no through traffic.  But now, if I want to get onto North Harvard within the official laws of the road, I need to wait until a car comes up behind me and triggers the light.

And if a car doesn’t come along?  Well, I’ll have to run the light.  Clearly the city doesn’t care either way.

 

Other reading: Bikes and Red Lights

Counting red lights

If you ask a biker– any city biker– about bicycle safety and traffic laws, they will all start with the same line: “of course I stop for red lights, but…”  What will usually follow is a complaint about the many cyclists they’ve seen that were acting stupid, or reckless.  And if you ask me I’ll probably tell you the same thing.

But here’s the truth: We all run red lights.  All the time.  Just not all of them.

On my way home last night– a 17.5 mile trip that takes about 90 minutes– I counted the number of times I technically violated a traffic law by traveling past a red light or through a stop sign, and lost count after fifteen.

And I’m a safe biker.

One more time

Now, when you tell someone “Oh, I ran a red light” what the person you’re talking to is thinking of is probably a busy X intersection where running a light means careening through two-way traffic.  To bike through that kind of light one would have to force cars to stop for you, which is dangerous and stupid.  But those aren’t the kind of intersections I’m talking about when I say “I run red lights.”  These are:

  • a T junction, where I’m going straight across the top of the T
  • during a walk signal, when there are no pedestrians in the street
  • a delayed green, where the opposite side has a left turn signal but there are no cars there to turn left
  • a light that will not turn green unless something as heavy as a car rolls over a pad under the street
  • A stop sign leading to a one-way street with no cars or pedestrians on either street
  • a light where I’m turning right without crossing the path (or the potential path) of any cars

I slow down at each of these intersections, and stop if I need to in order to assess the traffic flow.  And then I go if the way is clear, whether the light is red or not.

And any biker that tells you they don’t do this is either lying to you or hasn’t been biking long enough to figure this out.

But there are laws!

I have heard much hue and modest amounts of cry lately over bikes in the city, with the most heinous being this Boston.com piece. (*See footnote)  One thing most everyone seems to agree on is bikers should be forced to follow traffic laws.

Well, this is a stupid point.  Here are plenty of reasons it’s stupid:

  1. A reckless biker can get himself killed, but a reckless car driver can get himself and a shitload of other people killed.  This is why police are always going to care more about cars breaking traffic laws than bikes.
  2. As we all learned from the end of E.T., even if a cop wanted to stop a bike, doing so while in a car is extremely difficult.
  3. The vast majority of the time, a biker violating the law is getting out of the way of your car.  Do you want me to stop and take up space in front of your fender while waiting for the light when I don’t have to? According to the state of Massachusetts, bikes have equal claim on the road– the entire road– if needed.  If you want me to act like a car, you’re going to have to live with the fact that I’m not getting out of your way and I’m not going to be going much faster than 25 MPH.
  4. Have you, as a pedestrian, ever walked across the street on a Don’t Walk signal?  Or stepped out where there was no crosswalk?  There are a lot more pedestrians than there are bikes; should we give all of them tickets too?
  5. For that matter, as a driver, did you ever take a right on red even when a sign told you not to?  Ever rolled past a stop line to see up the street?  Turned without signaling?  Gone through an intersection just as the light has gone from yellow to red?  Done a rolling stop at a stop sign?  Put down those stones.

Bikes terrify people

Most of the time I am harassed when I’m riding, it’s while I have right of way and am not doing anything illegal whatsoever.  Last week I had a driver turning left in front of me lean on her horn and scream because I zoomed past her and she had to stop.  But I was going through a green light at the time, it’s just there were no cars going through it with me.

A few weeks before that I got stuck behind a car that was trying to get around a parked city bus.  The guy went extra-super-slow because he thought he was going to get clipped by the people speeding past him (in cars) on his left, so he took forever to get past the corner of the bus.  Once we both got past the bus the car behind us leaned on his horn and started pointing fingers at me.  Why?  I don’t know; he apparently didn’t like being behind me, even though it was the car in front of both of us that caused the slowdown.

And just last night, I “cut off” a car turning right.  Except I didn’t do anything of the sort.  He was going straight and decided to turn right without bothering to use his turn signal or checking his mirror to see if I was there.  I sped up to get past him before he completed the turn– my other option was to skid, which is what happens when you try to go from 20 MPH to 0 MPH immediately on a bike–forcing him to slam on his brakes and honk.  This was not my fault.

I have hit intersections just as lights turned green and gotten honked at by the cars at the head of the traffic who were startled when I went past them.  I have had people stop their cars dead when turning left after discovering I was on their right and turning left with them.  I have had cars wait until the traffic was clear on the other side of the street so they could give me a six foot berth before passing.

This is the real reason people consider bikes a menace: it’s not because all of the bikers in the city are reckless– although some certainly are– but because most of the drivers in the city aren’t expecting someone on a bike.  

I too drive

I am a driver too, and I grant that it’s startling to have a bike suddenly fly past the right (or left) side of the car when I didn’t know they were there.  But that isn’t the biker’s fault.  It’s mine, for not expecting them or looking for them.

Yes, I agree there are more bikes than there used to be, and I have lost chances to turn and missed green lights because they were in front of me.  But as a wise bumper sticker maker once wrote “Bikes aren’t causing traffic.  Bikes ARE traffic.”

*   *   *

*Footnote: it’s possible the writer of this piece was shooting for some sort of Swiftian satire, which would mean we don’t have to take anything he wrote seriously.  But to be Swiftian it would have had to have actually been in favor of bikes in the city, and it is clearly not.  Also, this writer isn’t nearly as talented .  He may not believe what he wrote, but he knew fully well it would resonate with some portion of The Common Man, because if history has taught us nothing else, it is that, by and large, The Common Man is a fucking idiot.

I’m already dressed for the Pride march

I have a mental list of things I will never wear when biking, but that list is getting smaller each week.  The problem is that on a long bike ride there are certain things one might not otherwise ever consider.  Like that loose shorts chafe after a while.  Or that crotch sweat is an active concern.  Or that the spot where the bike seat meets my ass can actually become painfully swollen after a couple of consecutive rides.

There is clothing that resolves many of these valid concerns, but that clothing is… well, it’s really, really gay.  I say that without meaning to disparage anybody; it’s just the best description I can think of.

How I got to this point

I was fine wearing shorts and some basic wicking workout shirts to and from work when the ride was shorter, but once it grew to the current 17.5 I realized I was going to have to do something about my butt.

Now, there is such a thing as padded shorts, clothing I once mockingly referred to as “poopy pants” because, well, that’s where the padding is.  Plus the shorts themselves are the tight ones you see bikers wearing and can’t unsee even if you really desperately want to.

It was clear almost immediately that I had to get a pair of these.

Bike shorts shopping

[Warning: this section will be using various euphemisms for "testicles".]

A couple of weekends ago we went to REI and I picked up a couple of pairs of off-brand padded bike shorts, which I did not try on.

It turns out it’s actually possible for bike shorts to be too large.  I didn’t learn this until putting on one of the pairs and biking to work and back, where I discovered that while they were tight enough around the thighs, my Bojangles were bouncing around just enough to be seriously uncomfortable.  The shorts also didn’t breathe.  And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like trying to pedal home with loose, sweaty Kiwis flopping around.

So I returned them the following weekend, meaning to trade the two for at least one pair of higher-quality shorts that were A: ventilated better, and B: fit.

I got something infinitely better and worse at the same time.

Bib shorts

Bib shorts are like regular bike shorts except they come with a sleeveless elastic top that leaves the chest area open.  They are impossibly comfortable, partly because the top half helps support the bottom half so the waist doesn’t need to be as tight.

The problem is, when I wear them– and I will not be providing a photo of me wearing them as long as I’m alive– I look like the gimp on summer vacation.  They are, yes, really, really gay.

Naturally, I am wearing a shirt over the top half, and I expect to always be wearing a shirt over the top half.

Unless it gets really hot.  And I lose another ten pounds.  Then we’ll see.

A new wheel

I rode to work yesterday on a new rear wheel.  The old wheel had a problem whereby the tire attached to the wheel kept exploding at inopportune moments, like when I needed it to not explode.  The first time this happened was because the wheel’s rim had worn out.  The second time was on the new rim, which wasn’t wide enough for the tire.

Anyway.  New wheel.  I got it last Friday and yesterday was my first commute on it.  I discovered almost immediately that while the wheel did not have any exploding tendencies, the brakes were squeaking loudly.

And I use the brakes a lot

The brakes are kind of important to me, especially when I’m descending the 1,000 foot hill on my route home.  So I called the bike shop and asked them about it.  They suggested I come in and have the brakes adjusted.

An unorthodox solution

Biking with noisy brakes is an irritating thing.  If I applied the brakes gently they didn’t squeak, so I tried to get away with that for a while, but the consequence is I ended up going a bit faster than I might have ordinarily been going with non-squeaky brakes.

I think this was the reason I ended up going over my handlebars, but the truth is I can’t recall exactly what I was doing or why when it happened.  What I do know– because I have bruises to remind me– is that I caught a car’s mirror with my left hand.

I was crossing the bridge leading to JFK Street in Harvard Square at the time, going through two lanes of traffic that were stopped for the light.  I was trying to get to the front of the line because in another ten seconds the walk signal was going to go, which would give me the chance to cut through a dangerous intersection and to a bike path off the left side of the corner.

Unfortunately, at the time my left hand caught the mirror it was holding onto the handlbars, so the front of the bike turned 90 degrees and over I went.

I’m fine

I’ve done this a few times, and it’s not so bad.  I rolled onto my right shoulder and ended up with a couple of scrapes and bruises.  My left middle finger might be sprained, but that’s the worst of it.

The bike had issues though.  I had to straighten one of the horns on the handlebars, and the front wheel came partly out and was stuck on the brake, so I had to lock it back into place.

And then I waited for the next walk signal and continued on my way to the bike shop.

But here’s the weird part: the brakes stopped squeaking.

Apparently, smashing your bike down on the street is the way to fix squeaky brakes.  I’m thinking this is not something that shows up in most repair manuals.

Committing to foolishness

In my continuing effort to see the weight reading on the scale descend consistently, I have committed to a fairly stupid commute by bicycle, a journey of 17.5 miles.  Each way.  Five days a week.

I have not yet done five days, but I have done four in a row, and am getting there.

A few observations:

World’s worst crossing guard

At an X intersection in Roslindale I saw a crossing guard help a fourth grade child across the street by the employing the following technique: standing on the sidewalk and shouting, “COME ON, HURRY UP!”  The target of this advice was at the opposite corner on the diagonal, meaning she would have had to cross– alone– through the only part of the intersection without a crosswalk.  And the light for the main street (Washington Street) had just turned green.

Leapfrog with city buses

Buses and bikes probably shouldn’t share a common street.  They basically travel the same average speed because while the bus can drive faster, it has to stop every two or three blocks.  This means I sometimes go three or four miles playing leapfrog, where I pass the bus at a stop, it passes me a block down the road giving me time to catch up and pass it again.

An unfortunate variable is the double bus.  Some maniac in the mass transit system got the genius idea to take the front off one bus and shove it into the back of another bus.  It’s impossible to tell if you’re being passed by one of these until the second half goes by you.  Since biking in the city is all about timing and anticipating the motion of the much larger vehicles around you, not knowing you’re dealing with a bus that looks like it came out of the movie Inception can be problematic.

Turkeys would make excellent crossing guards

At the same intersection in Dedham on two different mornings I saw traffic stopped by a wild turkey that stood in front of the lead car and stared at the grille for the entire light cycle before eventually wandering off to the side of the road.

Hell is other bikers

The Boston area is introducing a bike share program in the next year, and if you’re a driver in Boston and find this notion terrifying, well, it’s just as terrifying for those of us already on bikes.  Last week I saw a woman on a touring bike with one hand on the handlebars and the other holding the cell phone up to her ear as she had an animated conversation about something that was clearly more important than her impending demise, which nearly happened twice in four city blocks.

At one intersection I came to a stop at a red light, in the crosswalk.  (I was on the right side of a four lane road.  I stopped there so cars turning right could still do so behind me.)  She reached the intersection and stopped, reluctantly, a full bike length past me.  Oncoming traffic– a large bus– had to honk at her to get her to back the hell up so they could go.

Imagine this girl (who is probably dead now) multiplied by 1,000.  And imagine half of them doing the other deeply annoying thing I’ve seen from my fellow bikers: going along the wrong side of the road.

I’m so not looking forward to this.

To the gentleman crossing the street in Jamaica Plain yesterday during a DON’T WALK signal, who nearly got creamed by an SUV legally traversing the intersection, and who then turned to the cyclist that STOPPED two inches into the crosswalk SIX FEET AWAY FROM YOU and declared, “better stop for the red light, buddy,” and then, when it was clear the cyclist did not know he was being spoken to, added loudly, “pedestrians have rights too, you know!”

You, sir, are a moron.

No, I’m sorry, you are not A moron.  You are THE moron.  You are what happens when God looks down upon the Earth and says to Him/Herself, “I have created many, many morons, but I feel that I have not yet created the ne plus ultra, the ultimate moron to which all other morons would be compared.”  And so God reached down and blessed this world with you, THE moron.

A moron might attempt to cross when he does not have the light and nearly get run over by an SUV turning with the light.  A moron might see a bike stop at a red light and decide that this was the moment to berate the bicyclist for running the red light he did not run as if he represented all bikers, everywhere, ever.

But it takes THE moron to combine these two inestimably moronic acts and perform them successively in a matter of seconds without the slightest hesitation or, one presumes, a working brain containing the definitions of hypocrisy and irony.

Thank you for your time.  You may continue with your moronic day.

Sincerely,

The Cyclist

Never assume the French make sense

In World War II, prior to the Normandy invasion, the Allies sent planes with cameras over France to take photos of the countryside.  This was important and dangerous intelligence-gathering which provided invaluable information to the Generals planning the attack, but it had a few drawbacks.

The Normandy countryside is full of hedgerows.  (Americans would probably call them bushes, hedges or shrubs.)  The English, when looking at the photos, assumed these hedgerows were like the ones in their country, i.e., a couple of feet high.  But the French hedgerows were ten feet tall, two or three feet deep and thick enough that they were impossible to push through with anything that wasn’t a tank.  And the planners of the Allied invasion had no idea, because the photos they used were taken by cameras looking down from directly overhead.

Why do I bring this up?  Because Google Maps tried to kill me.

My last day after over a decade

I am writing this from the desktop of a space I have occupied for nine years, in a building I have worked in for eleven years.  My office is moving today to a location about twenty-five miles away.  (The towns, if you wish to look, are Medford and Norwood.)  For the past four years I’ve biked to the office– 4.2 miles from my front door– about nine months out of the year.  The commute to the new office is 17.7 miles.

I’m totally going to do this.

Trial run

Google Maps is one of the most useful infuriating things I have ever used.  Let’s begin with the online version, which has a wonderful Bicycle Route option that I will never, ever try and use again ever.  The option is wonderful if you’re going on a jaunty little tour of the local public parks, have a lot of free time, and are built out of spare parts of Lance Armstrong.  Otherwise?

The first time I plotted the route it gave me a path that was 18.9 miles.  It had directions on it like “Left on Left Street” because it was sending me along roads that did not have names.  The algorithm is apparently weighted in this order:

  1. get the cyclist to the nearest bike path at all costs
  2. if there is no path, take the shortest route possible, even if this means zig-zagging through a neighborhood, because cyclists love stopping every fifteen feet
  3. make sure the directions are much too complicated with entirely too many turns on it to be memorized, because cyclists love navigating via printed paper maps

I figured out point #1 early on and adjusted the map accordingly.  It turned out Google wanted me to go way the hell in to Boston just to hook up with a four mile public park.  When I eliminated that park and made a few other adjustments I got the path down to 17.2 miles.

And then I discovered the real consequence of #2: Google Maps thinks the Earth is flat.

Hell is littered with hills

You may be thinking, “but Gene, I can see the contour maps when I go to Google.”  Yes you can.  But the algorithm clearly ignores these.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t consider the three mile path with the forty degree incline preferable to the four mile path that goes around that incline.  “Just go over the hedgerow,” said Google Maps.

And then I got lost.

Part of the problem here is that after carefully studying my route on the printouts I made from Google Maps I then left the printouts at home.  But I don’t honestly know how I would have fared with them, given where they were sending me and how complicated the directions were in the first place.

But I had a backup plan, which was the Google Maps application on my iPhone.  Unfortunately, and for reasons that I’m unclear on, the bicycle option doesn’t exist in the iPhone app.

Still, it could tell me where I was and how to get where I was going, provided I was walking there.

There is such a thing as too exact

Google Maps is overly-obsessed with exactness.  Example: say I’m heading straight along a road we’ll call HellOnEarth.  According to Maps, in 3/10ths of a mile I’m supposed to take a “slight left” onto a street we’ll call SatanicMotherfuck.  So upon reaching SatanicMotherfuck, I take a slight left accordingly.  

When I look at my phone again to determine how far along SatanicMotherfuck I am supposed to go before doing something else I discover that I’m supposed to still be on HellOnEarth.  It turns out that a teeny tiny portion of SatanicMotherfuck actually intersected HellOnEarth, and the “slight left” was an infinitesimal involuntary muscle twitch of a left turn when kissing the perimeter of a rotary.

This happened to me at least three times.

But I did get there

It took me about two hours, and I died twice, but I got there.  And then I took a good long look at the map again, cursed Google about fifteen more times, and headed back.

The whole trip there, I kept getting directed to Washington Street, which I thought was kind of weird since before I began my trips along HellOnEarth, SatanicMotherfuck and the Arborway, I had left a street called Washington Street.  Was it the same Washington Street?  Of course it was; my entire side jaunt to locate parks I never found and along “short cuts” that are only short cuts in the sense that Everest is a more efficient way into China could have been avoided if I had just stayed along perfectly straight, only-one-hill-to-speak-of Washington Street.

And so this is what I will be doing, possibly starting next week.  The route is 17.7 miles long, wonderfully dull, and should take me about 100 minutes to complete.  (This is how long the train would take to get me there, by the way.)

I will probably die several times, and there is an outside chance that if I do not die, I will not be cogent enough to write persuasively.  Fortunately, the blog tour is coming up next month, so I don’t have to do a lot of writing.

Also, and this is fortunate, I don’t really use my brain at work.

The eyes having it

I spend five days a week looking at a large computer screen, and when I’m not looking at that large computer screen I’m looking at a smaller laptop screen, and when I’m not looking at that I’m looking at an iPhone screen.  Or reading, which is thankfully still a low-tech book printed on paper.  At night, I’m looking at my laptop screen, my iPhone, or the television.

The fun thing about all this close-up screen staring is when I stop doing it in order to go places and do things, because for about ten minutes my eyes will decline to focus on distance.  It makes the car rides extra exciting.

So it seemed like a good time to get my eyes checked.

Hoping for good news

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but it turns out staring at a screen for twelve hours a day is bad for your eyes.  The ophthalmologist was rather adamant on this point, and insisted that I take time out every twenty minutes or so to stare at something distant, which is funny coming from someone who works in a tiny office in the back of an eyeglasses store when spoken to someone who works in a cubicle.

But anyway.  I knew she was going to tell me that because that’s what her predecessor told me two years ago, and her predecessor two years before that.  What I wanted to know was how bad my eyes were and if I needed a new prescription.

Because I wanted to buy sports glasses.

Biking with glasses

I’m nearsighted, with a touch of astigmatism of the kind that makes it nearly impossible for me to get contacts.  If I don’t wear my glasses I can’t see distances, which by the way is how it should be.  I don’t understand farsightedness.  As you get older you can’t jump as high or leap as far, so of course you can’t see as far either.  This makes perfect sense to me.  But being able to read a street sign a block away and not the book in your lap?  That’s insane.  Farsighted people are aliens.

Anyway.  I need to wear my glasses when I bike places.  But your average fashionable pair of eyeglasses are entirely too delicate to deal with sweat, twenty mile an hour winds, rain, bugs and so on.  Not to mention the straps from the helmet drive the arms of the glasses right into your head, which gets painful after a while.

The problem has been, every time I returned to the eye doctor either my vision had worsened enough that I needed new everyday glasses or my glasses were being held together by paper clips.  (All glasses on my face eventually fall apart because I have a crooked nose thanks to an errant elbow– not my own, obviously– to the face in seventh grade.)

But the glasses I’ve had for the past two years have held up nicely.  And according to the doctor, while I wear them I can see 20/25, which is Good Enough.

Sports glasses and Challenge Accepted!

So now my new prescription is going to a pair of sports glasses that will stay on my face thanks to an elastic.

They are a sort of burgundy color.  Actually my high school prom date wore a dress of iridescent crimson and black that is the exact same color.  I don’t think this is why I picked this shade– I didn’t think “now I can wear my high school prom date’s dress on my face”– but just the same in hindsight I’m thinking I should have gone with black, which would have matched the helmet and…

Right.  I’m now color coordinating my bike outfit, which is stupid because the bike is canary yellow and my windbreaker is bright orange, and anyway I may never get to ride my bike again.

As you know, I’ve been bike commuting for the past four years.  A month ago it was announced that my entire department is being relocated to a far more distant locale.  Specifically, I am going from a 4.2 mile morning commute to something in the neighborhood of 18.  Rationally, I should not be doing this.  I can’t expect to succeed at both making that trip each day AND working an eight hour day AND getting anything whatsoever of use done in the evenings, which is when I write.  Plus the facility I’d be going to does not have a locker room or a shower, and I work with other human beings.  (And also, farsighted people.)

But the glasses are pretty, and I want to wear them muchly.  And the only excuse I have to do that is to use the bike.

They should be here in three weeks, more or less at the same time the office moves.  Challenge… um… accepted?

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