Quote of the Day:
“I think of poets as outlaw visionaries in a way.” Jim Jarmusch, independent filmmaker (Coffee and Cigarettes and others)
TB don’t wear no helmet. I am an outlaw bicycler.
The other riders twitch their heads, do a muted doubletake in surprise at first, then I get a little bit of a condescending sneer as they zip by. I keep my eyes straight ahead, staring blankly but taking note of them through peripheral vision, spandexed and brightly jerseyed. I nod at them or more often just cut my eyes and lift a finger to wave as if I am oblivious of their judgment. All of this transpires in under two seconds. My baggy shorts flap with the breeze, weighed down on the left side where the headphones disappear into my iphone because I haven’t invested in an arm band like everybody else, my t-shirt catches wind at the neck and waist, slowing my progress imperceptibly. I ain’t aerodynamic, I’m an outlaw. Hey, there is some of that ground cover like I’m trying to get to take in my back yard. Makes a real pretty purple flower. I oughta’ come out here on a Wednesday and dig some up. That’s right, I’m an outlaw bicycler and crime is on my mind. I ride this trail a lot, rarely on crowded Saturday mornings though, and the more or less affluent white fliers around me somehow collectively and silently recognize me as a threat, though they can’t seem to put their finger on why, exactly. I look like them for the most part, but my oversized gut is concealed, comparatively. I have a water bottle, sure, but it’s plastic and unadorned, I got it for free and it doesn’t look right sharing the beautiful day with the sleek, colorful steel Siggs, and hey I dig those too, but I find my plastic is easier to snag on the go. No backpack for me, but if I were on a trail longer than eight miles I might use one. The guys hunched over like Lance, efficiently attired with wraparound shades, matching helmets and pro-riding faux-uni’s all have backpacks. It tells me they want me to think they are on a hundred miler and at some point they are gonna need a power bar. What do I care? They too tired to wave or what? I give everyone I see a nod and the finger, at least–that’s how us Goula boys roll–not THAT finger–the companionable, index finger mini-wave–I’m an outlaw, not an asshole. Nobody waves on the trail this morning but me. It drives me to make eye contact more often. Up ahead are two yuppies in LL Bean ball caps, spread out and covering the whole damn trail, just ambling and oblivious, guided by their Chow on a long leash. The mutt’s gonna stray in my path. I’m ready so I easily avoid him, but they are lucky I’m an excellent rider, observant too, and so am I since I don’t wear no helmet, but I glare at ’em like it was a near-miss and they cower in apology and embarrassment because they can see they’ve had an encounter with an outlaw bicycler and they can’t know I’m only diggin’ on some Cat Stevens at the moment instead of AC/DC or some such, and contemplating the arrival of Spring and the beautiful pure blue sky above me, that’s all, ’cause I ain’t really keen to be mad at anybody this fine mornin’. You can’t pigeonhole an outlaw bicycler. What’s this? A text from TDW. Overslept. I figured. Too bad. I can’t visualize Wit in spandex, you know, and this probably would have been a lot funnier if I’d had another outlaw along to help me observe the intricacies of a Saturday morning bike ride through suburbia.
Nice how you also wrote this is a thick text block — rebel style. No single sentence, easy to read paragraphs for you.
Sorry I was a no-show. I blame it all on my 5-year old.
was going for the stream of consciousness effect. It really was a nice morning. I did about 70 minutes, probably had 80-90 in me. I think I’ll try to get out early on Saturdays pretty regularly–it was worth getting up–so any time you think you might wanna go, just shout. Maybe we could eventually work up to a long enough ride to justify backpacks and power bars. But spandex, never.
And I do not wear spandex or a helmet or anything cool or supposedly cool.
Funny you write about helmets today. I was riding my bike yesterday, leisurely, through the neighborhood to my parents. On the way home I looked down and noticed the admonishment to wear a helmet (which is imprinted on the bike itself) which I would never do. Back a few years ago when I would ride my bike to work I was told by so many to wear a helmet but I can’t imagine the helmet that would have room for all my curly hair and my head. Some things were just meant to be set free.
No helmets to fit that mop , dude.
I laughed out loud at “I’m an outlaw bicycler and crime is on my mind.” About stealing flowers. Love. It.
But as per uj – another great post.
I think that this might be one of my favorite posts of yours. I gave someone the finger today, a tiny little wave from the top of the steering wheel..I of course thought of this post and had myself a good laugh.