Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Ready for Canada, eh!

Erin and I are getting excited about our upcoming tour of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. We have 8 days to explore the islands by bicycle. We look forward to being completely self-sufficient, pedaling our way through unfamiliar territory and making new friends. My first trip to Canada and it's going to be completely pedal powered - well, besides the ferry rides of course. 

Yesterday I got our bikes set up with racks and did a lot of much-needed maintenance, including changing out my brake pads and cables. Upon inspection of my rear brake cable I realized that it was, and has been, broken for some time. How I didn't notice is beyond me as I have been using the bike everyday for the commute. Suffice to say, I am really lucky and also relieved to have some proper functioning brakes.

This is Erin's first multi-day bike tour. She told me yesterday that she hoped to not become bored during the trip. With all that will be going on, and especially with the scenery I believe we will witness while there, I can't imagine that boredom will ever become an issue. Especially since we'll be in bear territory!
I plan to write in a journal daily so I can document the adventure and later submit it to various publications in the hopes of getting the story published. Whether that becomes a reality or not, it sure beats sitting behind a desk and doing the sometimes mundane routine of daily city living. It should also help me get my mind off the store clerk who was murdered yesterday about 10 blocks from our house. 

A young man sporting a Burton snowboard beanie and sunglasses and wearing a bandana over his face walked into the store during the early hours of a beautiful Sunday morning and shot the 28-year old clerk twice. And for what? A few dollars perhaps, maybe so he could get that next fix of some shitty amphetamine or maybe score some heroin. Taking an innocent man's life for his own "pleasure." I hope the cretin who perpetrated this crime is happy with himself and with the lives he has ruined, including his own. I digress.

Looking forward to the open road, camping out under the stars and working hard - or in this case, pedaling hard - for a cold Canadian brand beer. Eh!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blow Darts and Random Acts of Douchery

I read today that two bicyclists were hit by blow darts last evening. One of the victims was struck on the Ballard Bridge, here in Seattle, which happens to be my daily route between home and my workplace in Pioneer Square, in lower downtown.

Not only do we cyclists have to deal with angry motorists on a daily basis, many of whom would rather see us disappear altogether than deal with us at all, now we have to deal with a new hazard.

Perhaps there has been a surge in indigenous tribal warfare I am not aware of, or an expedition team of herpetologists accidentally mistook these bicyclists for a rare arboreal lizard or a common chuckwalla. Possible, yes. Probable? Probably not.

No, it was more likely to have been some teenagers or early 20-year-olds bored with the usual happenings in a city with about a million different options to partake in on any given day.

"Let's go see a movie, dawg!"

"No, that sounds gay."

"How about getting some beer and heading to the park."


"Hey man, check this out. I picked it up online recently. It's a blowgun."

"That's fuckin' sweet, dude!"

They probably tried it out a few times in their backyard. Their parents were inside watching Entertainment Tonight, mesmerized by Angelina Jolie shopping at a trendy boutique in Beverly Hills.

The blowgun aficionados quickly became bored with pegging the fence that separates the yard from the abandoned house or automotive store located next door.

"Yo, let's go fuck with someone, B."

Into the beat up Sentra they go. Right before clambering into the car that sports wheels worth more than the car itself, a cyclist passes by them in the bike lane, decked out in bright colored clothes and funny looking glasses.

"That's who were going to fuck with!" They've found a target.

As a former Marine, professionally trained in the peculiarities and use of a variety of deadly weapons, excluding the blowdart of course, I know how deadly flying objects can be. And in the hands of the wrong people, innocent bystanders can become targets, especially to dumbasses who don't know anything about respect, mindfulness, creativeness or even how to entertain themselves with a myriad of possibilities.

So, blowgunners, if you see me riding my bike and feel like you may have a chance to tag me in my skinny ass and then press the accelerator to the floor to get away, just let it be known, I know the city well and how to get around it quickly. Unless you have an open road ahead of you, clear of traffic, I have a fair chance of catching up with you.

I may just get your license plate number and call the authorities. I may not. When faced in a situation where another human is threatening my life, the life that I desperately try to sort out on a daily basis and attempt to find happiness as people like you grow in numbers each day, I may not be so forgiving. In fact, I can almost guarantee you that your actions will be held accountable.

It may be funny to you, but to me, it's life or death, literally and figuratively. I try to give people the respect we all deserve. If you want to shoot projectiles at people, grow some balls and join the military, the drill instructors would be glad to show you a few things about respect and how to use deadly weapons.

Let's hope you can pass the recruiters' newly lowered IQ tests. Somehow I doubt you could.

In summary, if I get hit by a dart during one of your foolish little pranks, you better hope you have a clear getaway. And you have plenty of gas in the tank.