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Jan. 6, 2006

Three recent moments:



I'm walking down Glenwood and admiring my new lobster-claw gloves. They form a Vulcan salute -- two fingers, two fingers, thumb -- that make them warm yet dextrous.

I'm also reviewing the debate I've just had with a fellow cyclist regarding a rider's responsibilities vis-a-vis red lights and stop signs. His thesis was that if cyclists obeyed the rules of the road, drivers would be inspired to follow suit. My counterargument -- that he was a fantasist and an apologist -- was as inarticulate as it was ineffectual. It is only later, in the townhall of my mind, that I am a master debater.

And I'm thinking about the cyclist who was killed this week in Bucktown. I'd seen him at Critical Mass but never knew his name until now. Isai Medina. He rode a homemade chopper bedazzled with blinkies, and he always had a smile to share. That's the chopper for you: It sucks the mean out of anyone. Wednesday night he was standing on Western Avenue when a car hurtled onto the sidewalk, killing him. It was a freak accident, but it has nonetheless made me sad and angry.

I'm walking and admiring and reviewing and thinking when I see a car barrelling down the cross street. I step into the crosswalk, defiantly enough to say, "Piss off and slow down, 'cuz I'm not afraid of you," but hesitantly enough so that I can ditch in case the driver doesn't see or doesn't care.

Which he doesn't. He breezes through the stop sign and turns in front of me. His window is inches from my nose when I scream, "Gonna stop or not, asshole!?" Then I reach up to flip him not one but two middle fingers of righteousness.

Except I can't. The gloves. The lobster gloves. All I can do is wag two claws of powerlessness.



Sign I have too much cycling on the brain, latest in a series: I see the headline "Ted Koppel to join Discovery Channel" and think, "Isn't he a little old to race?"



The new 11-7 hours are killing me. I'm seeing my friends more, including the casual, chance encounters that are so important, but two nights in a row my eyes flutter while I'm reading and I'm in bed by 10. That hasn't happened since -- since when? Junior high?

I wasn't born to be this normal. Or maybe I just wasn't born to be this old.