Seattle is my home now, and Count Vermin fades in rear view.
I have found it. Poised to be a real bike city.
Not that snobby, I find. With dirty pants, I ride in traffic all through North Seattle, loving the new-ness of every corner and hill.
It is not California, and not Oregon. That much is enough.
I’m going to become a strong climber. Seattle:
a big up and down, a well designed town
envisioning closing off the block and having GS races
around the gorgeous street circles.
Portland is great. Yeah, I know. But so unhappy.
You can have your bike path through chemicals and dust.
I’ll take the streets, geeks, and the athletes of Seattle.
Haven’t been yelled at once by a car driver yet.
Haven’t been spurned on asking for directions yet.
And I pull some shit. I ride like I belong. In descents
I take the lane; I bank and crank. I’m clear. I climb. I’m ignored. Good!
The manic stopping, the unsmoothness of drivers in a dinky city
reacting to me on a bike that is not crawling along the sidewalk
this shit will bother me no more. I’ll ride in Seattle and survive there.
I’m in love with the ride, every time. I am IN THE ROAD.
Can arrogance and elegance exist so well together?
I am *tuned* to my bicycle, and to the gray avenue.
Going strong, spoke springing, chain destroying,
such torque in such small legs! Alas, the top-end is lacking.
I feel pavement like it is my calligraphy paper
my wheels bouncing over root bumps and cracks.
Lifting my thin front wheel and letting it drop
or sometimes briefly letting go to see it dance over rugged spots
That gyro trust, the wrist saving looseness, the knowing…
Then leaning forward, gripping my old good grips,
remembering: “Push, PUSH your leading edge.”
Control through saddle first, handlebar second.
The lesson is: “Choose the safest line.” and
“Make your actions and reactions instantaneous.”
I smoke people on carbon bikes with my tactics
and with grace, I smoke cars and buses in traffic.