Where is the puke jet sound? I’m north of you.

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I promise people: The next posting I make will be poetic and positive. But for now, I’m opening the door of my hurt locker to allow you to look within. It is a desperate grasp for commonality that I can’t find in the people I see today. My hope in humanity is at an all time low.

I was in the area’s only bike shop yesterday, buying some brake pads for the ONE bike I’ve been hired to repair in the 7 weeks I’ve had a flyer up. (and there is NO bike ship in Mt. Vernon, only a ski shop) A guy was thinking about buying one of those TREK hybrid bikes and I said: “That one is a really good one because it had clearance for fenders.” He said:

“Why would I want to put fenders on a bike?”

[meaning: I don’t ride in the rain]

I hate this place. I am not making a negative commentary about an overall good experience. It sucks ass in Count Vermin. I’m in a lonely, alienated existence, which is dotted with a few simple joys like taking Lance out for a run to town on Sunday (the only day it’s not CRAZY traffic) and enjoying my coffee at the cafe before I go to the very enjoyable, quiet and warm law library (my house is neither).

It may make no difference to complain about this, but I’m incredulous as I climb the hill on the way over to the I5 overpass, being passed by one after another after another car as I get to inhale the fumes of their ill tuned engines (cheap to the point of total falsehood) and I ask, at the top of my lungs:

“Why doesn’t anyone here RIDE A BIKE?” I cannot answer that. I can only continue my careful preparations to leave, and make the case for bicycles where I am not the only fucking person doing it.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

44 Replies to “Where is the puke jet sound? I’m north of you.”

  1. I’m with leif. Baltimore is sucking me dry but I’m getting the hell out. Do the same for yourself.

  2. Seattle ain’t PDX, but it’s some pretty darn nice ridin’. Come on down and I’ll take you through many of my beautiful urban routes. Gorgeous hills, parks, locks, water and vistas abound! Then beer and grub at the Jolly Roger at the end.

  3. If you live in Seattle but “don’t ride in the rain”, you damned sure ain’t no cyclist.

  4. Pop up to the ‘ham. The riding is good and the beer is better. Being laid off allows for many hours of riding.

  5. Drive 30 minutes north to world class mt. biking in Bellingham, and quit whining.

  6. actually i kinda prefer Sculler’s IPA to Boundary Bay’s equivalent offering…but yes, we likes bikes here in Hellingham. and we have numerous bike shops to boot.

  7. Lots of people riding bikes in the fair county of Skagit. Wonderful road riding. I’ve been a mechanic for 12 years now, and you can’t let customer’s ideas and thoughts bother you. Just fix his bike, do a good job, and wish him well. Try a ride west of the I-5.

  8. First of all I AM NOT IN SEATTLE. I live 70 miles NORTH of SEATTLE. People here commute every day to SEATTLE and the highway fills up with cars on I5.

    It isn’t all bad. Of course there is great roads to ride on. However, in the city itself (where I ride) there are few other people on bicycles and the ones I have run into show no interest in forming community with me whatsoever. I’ve not been invited to anyone’s house not once, or to a group ride. Mt. Vernon has perfect weather to ride nearly every day, but people choose to drive and they compulsively do so every day. My housemate has not gone one day without driving his truck the whole 6 months I’ve lived here.

    Seattle is wonderful to ride in, I agree. I’ve been there three times. However, I do not live there and I need a reason to go that far.

    And lastly LET’S STOP CALLING PORTLAND PDX. PDX IS THE AIRPORT. How much harder are the two syllables in Portland to say than the three in PDX? I know of no other city named after it’s FAA code for its airport. Stupid!

  9. Oh yeah. Bellingham. Let me say sometihng about that city. I’m not young, female, or employed enough to even dream of finding a room, apartment, or house to rent there. Oh yeah, and I have a dog. I’m not picked. I tried for two months to get a place to live in B-ham but failed. There is more competition in housing in Bellingham than Portland. It’s too exclusive for me. Mt. Vernon is full of Mexicans. Bellingham is nearly all white privileged people. It is a wealthy college town. You may choose to ignore the reality of these dynamics in our society, or if you’ve suffered under them, so easily forget when you’re in a comfortable or socially fulfilling situation, but those towns and neighborhoods that you avoid because it is depressing to see them – they continue to exist despite your turning away.

  10. Fuck you, buttercup. I don’t drive somewhere to ride my bike. I have ridden FROM here TO Bellingham. I ride every day and haul water/groceries/packages by bike. I guess that makes me a POOR PERSON – not really having the time or the desire to go somewhere with my bike on my car just to ride.

  11. R U outta weed or sunpthin’. You sound like me when I’m snowed out of riding and refuse to adopt a winter sport for the short and usually crappy winter. Any little thing sets me off, just ask my loving wife. During those times I enjoy walking the dog a little further than usual.

    Where’s that leash?

  12. Breath. You’re living… and that’s a lot. And as I said before at least you’re not living in baltimore. Ha. Been here? No? Good…don’t plan any trips here unless you want to 1. be a minority 2. get robbed 3. get robbed again 4. watch your car get robbed. 4 watch your car get robbed again 5. smell the bay on a good day.

    although the crab is tasty you can’t ride bikes with em and after all the shit we’ve dumped or let drain in the Chesapeake Bay I’d rather chew on a shoe than eat anything outta there.

    So 70 miles north of PDattleX sounds pretty nice to me. AND Mexicans know how to drink and ride bikes drunk. Pretty friendly too. Best of luck

  13. Building on what Loren says

    Sounds like you need a PowerBar & a big steaming mug of “harden up”.

    We all make our life choices & we all have the ability to do something about them.

    Take care out there

  14. It would be easy if I was one of the average humans out there – lazy as fuck, doing the minimum, doing what I’m told… living the LIES.

    The fact is that human behavior such as the incessant car use I see every day is KILLING THE MOTHER. Even most people who are aware of this continue the behavior that is KILLING THE MOTHER. Slap some environmental bumper stickers on your car – that aught to change the world!!!

    To some degree, I’m forced to also cause damage to the Earth, but I do so as MINIMALLY AS POSSIBLE. And talking about this, bringing these issues up… is so offensive to people. I do harden up. I’m a hard cunt, mother fucker. I ride even when my body is in pain. The car is there – it’s sitting right there and I just don’t feel the urge to drive it. I feel like a jackass when I’m in that school of lunatic fish driving driving driving.

    No treatment program exists for the addiction of CAR ABUSE – but there it is, a problem; a disease – right in your face in every city in the US. I heard that in a town in Spain they started using donkeys again to round up the rubbish. That would NEVER happen in the USA, where people think that to drive a big fucking truck is an expression of their FREEDOM. What idiotic people do not realize is that every time a gallon of gas is burned for fun, or for very little, or for nothing, or even for some ‘reason’… we get closer to losing that freedom. Irresponsibility is not congruent to expressing freedom, it’s just irresponsibility.

    I call it what it is – insanity. I live in a country where every man and woman uses a 4 wheel power plant weighing 40 times more than a person to move their asses from A to B to C. Only place in the world where it’s considered a sacred right, and we program our 16 year-olds to go out and serve shit-burgers or scan plastic crap across a laser to save up enough to buy a shitbox and be just like every other American.

    I propose a SCHOOL OF NOT-DRIVING because rehab is badly badly needed, but I’m the lunatic for saying so. I’m the lunatic for being out on my bike instead of doing what everyone else does. It’s hard to not feel hatred and anger. I don’t always feel it, but when it’s a harrowing experience just to cross a fucking street because the sheer multitude of vehicles on College Way, and it just amazes me every time I see someone accelerating toward a red light. I just don’t understand why this is not yet considered mental illness.

  15. Given that the majority of us look upon things from a Christian point of view, yes it is.

    You are responsible for your own actions.

    Onto a topic that I’ve been thinking of late, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, we are fucking lucky that we won otherwise we’d be facing war crimes charges like you would not believe.

    What gives me the shits is that the majority of the dead or wounded were the elderly, women or children as most able bodied men were away at the front line.

    Yes, tell me that I have no idea, I spent 15 years, (which should have been the best years of my life), in combat. I was fucking robbed of my youth.

  16. LJ you sound like a seriously unhappy dude.and the fact that the “average american way of life” sounds like it drives you mad it seems you can have it one of two ways:

    1. follow the advice here and harden up, or
    2. follow the advice here and get out of there

    to stay where you are and make yourself miserable by projecting your hate on the people, and lifestyles around you is sure only to add to your dismay and do nothing positive.

    finally, if your emotional well-being is dependent on the driving habits of your roommate/neighbor, or people asking you to go on group rides, then you are in for a long haul.

  17. What you need is a nice ride in my boat. I tow it to the lake with a big ass truck. It’s very relaxing. It’s also how I choose to live (at least for the moment), and your whiney, bitchy ass most likely won’t change that. I live secure in my knowledge that the day will eventually come when the government makes that kind of recreation “illegal,” mostly due to people like you crying out for freedom by curtailling the options of others. I’m ready for that…I love to bike, as does my wife, so I’ll adapt. However, getting to work on a sub-zero morning in the dark with ice on the shoulders of every road I need to commute on and 6 inches of snow on any bike path…I’ll take the Jeep, thank you very much. Perhaps you, too, should just adapt…either that, or move.

    For the record…I, too, hate where I live. Picking up and moving, however, means putting 12 people out of work…not an option in my eyes, especially not now. Eventually, however, I will be there. And that keeps me going.

  18. Shit man, if you plan on living in the PNW for a while you better adapt to gloomy the winters here. And riding your mountain bike in the forest once in a while will save your soul. Just sayin.

  19. Apart from all the location issues, (for which I have neither knowledge or advice to offer) you must take heart that you’re in what must now be less than .5% of the MTB population that still KNOWS that the XC Pro thumbie is the apogee of light, graceful, bombproof shifting for anything 7 or 8 spd.


    ..and don’t the XT units just look slovenly by comparison? capable and bombproof sure, but swollen and ugly held next to the Suntour bits.
    ‘scuse me while I go all ‘nostalgia, back in the day..’

  20. LJ, In many ways you aren’t wrong in your rants, but all at that comes through is “WAH, my pussy hurts” when you attack every commenter. Maybe you are tough about commuting in all weather, but you sure are a ninny-bitch in how you tell the rest of the world. Your life isn’t any harder than anyone else’s, and there’s probably more people posting here living a low-car life than at many other sites. Do something about that which you hate. Going through life angry will just drive your friends and family away.

  21. el jefe…word. little jar…i read your post this morning. i’ve had a couple of hours to stew over it. i usually don’t come out swingin’ but here it goes.

    stop being so fucking self righteous.

    i don’t get to ride my bike…like ever. i’ve got six of ’em too…nice ones imho. my world is a little complicated right now so i won’t get into it…plus, it’s nobody’s fucking business.

    my friends in “sea-tac” and “pdx” ride…all the time. with fenders too. they understand some people don’t ride bikes. they don’t like it either. but they do their thing and don’t say a fucking word…they just ride. live their life by their rules. some say they’re leading by example.

    you wanna play activist like your boy on youtube…go ahead….the boeing plant is just down the street. end up in the stir for a stretch. no bikes in the stir.

    if you’re free as a bird of obligations like a wife/husband, kids, etc. with wrenching skills and you’ve got the world by the tail and you wanna live in bike riding culture utopia…move to fucking belgium/holland/sweden. they ride bikes there…whole countries full of bike lanes and people that use ’em. you can find a job there too. just like i did once.

    pissin’ and moanin’ about how fucked up the USA is regarding bike usage on this blog is preachin’ to the choir. like i’m so fond of saying…”it’s like pissin’ in a dark suit, gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices.”.

    everytime you take a shit you fuck up “mother” some more. your little turd goes down the drain and into pipes built by big fucking ugly filth puking machines driven there by bigger, uglier machines made by big fucking ugly plants powered by coal fired power (or maybe even nu-cu-ler). and your bike with/without fenders…made and provided to you the same.fucking.way.

    get over yourself..ride your bike cause you can and shut up about it.

  22. LJ, at least you are sharing with us all, gives us a chance to rip ya a new one. Many people just keep it all inside and get no other perspective.

    Move on my son, find your happy place, keep pursuing the end of the rainbow. You will find it. Be optimistic and never ever give up riding. You, like many of us are missionaries spreading the bike religion. Saving one soul at a time. Occasionally you have to ride with the choir, recharges the batteries if you will. More often that not you need to be among the uneducated masses, working on the poor folk driving the coffins. Your work has not gone unnoticed, I will grant you a ray of sunshine and a brief tailwind – sometime next month.


  23. The last thing I’ll say on the subject… I understand rants can be cathartic, but they aren’t a way to live (and maybe you don’t, but that’s what we see…) You aren’t going to recruit people to your cause or build the bike commuting community by telling them how impure their actions are… well at least not often. It’s not up to you, or any of us, to save the world. It is up to us to work to make our piece of the world better for us and those around us. Lead by example. Shit is fucked up, but most of that is out of our control.

    If you want a cycling town in the US that isn’t a big city, try Davis (CA). When I lived there bikes outnumbered people. Laser leveled flat and hellishly hot summers, but everyone rides. Spent a summer bike commuting into work at the Capitol building in Sac for an internship… But then CA’s money is on fire…

  24. Any day one can ride a bike, regardless of conditions, is a good day. Should we all just leave it at that?

  25. I spent eight miserable years in a place I totally could. not. stand.


    What the hell was I thinking?

    Then I moved to a city with lots of bikes, great weather, beautiful women, but still plenty to complain about.

    I shoulda done it eight years sooner.

  26. go find a great city to live in (there are even a few right here in the u s of a!)…or do as my mom does, and go live in the woods where you can truly love MOTHER – she lives in upstate new york, without electricity, without a flush toilet, miles from the nearest town. she owns a car, but often rides her bike 30 miles to work, just because she loves too. she has metal studded tires for riding in the winter. she’s found a local cycling community in the closest “real” town because she’s made an effort find it and to get involved. life’s hard, but not that hard.

  27. I fucking HATE this town. Podunk little backwater shithole, it is. Chockablock with inpred pigfuckers in their F-Shitfifties, seeing how close they can buzz a brother on the road. Supposed to ride on the buy-sickle path, dontchknow. Roads is made for vee-hickles and I ain’t a vee-hickle because I ain’t got a motor.

    Hell, I had this one cousinshagger buzz me t’other day in his pickumup truck. Flipped him off. Cletus jams on his brakes aways up (was probably doing 45-50 in a 25 mph zone), backs up within about 20 feet of me, puts it in drive and goes back up the road a-spinnin’ his tires. Gues he though he was gonna spray some gravel on me or whatever. Meh, I was about home so I turned up the alley and forgot about it.

    Unbeknownst to me, Cletus pulled over aways up, got out of the truck and had a fucking BASEBALL BAT, can you believe it. Stood there a-yellin’ and a-cussin’ about how he was gonna fuck me up and shit. Unbeknownst to Cletus, (and to me for that matter), my lovely wife was driving by, saw the whole thing and got the license number.

    I turned the number in to the town cop (such as he is) and stopped by to see if he got a name. Deputy Fife claimed it didn’t show up; “musta copied the number down wrong”. Bull SHIT, I know who copied it. She don’t make that kind of mistake. “Dead tag then. West Virginia and you know how THEY are.” Whatever. Barney just didn’t want to do the work or it turned out him and Cletus are buddies; one. I’d bet the ranch.

    As to people to ride with, there ain’t none. Oh, I could go ride back and forth on the local flat, paved bike path, (you know, the one I’m supposed to use in lieu of exercising my legally protected right to the roadways), but that lot all go somewhere to ride their bikes, where I ride my bike to go somewhere, fuckyouverymuch. Bike culture? In this town I’m it.

    But my home is here. The wife and the kid and the pets-THAT’S my home. The buildings and the people outside my window? Infrequent distractions, and minor ones at that. Looking for happiness? Overrated. I’d sooner take it with me, wherever I go.

  28. Oh, and dustin? The inhabitants of our nation’s capitol may very well be 37% carfree, but it seems half the world drives into the city every mornin; out every evening. While they are there they set ste the bar for douchebaggery at a dizzying level. This I do know, for I have seen it. I suspect this is true in most American cities.

  29. “Mexicans know how to drink and ride bikes drunk.”

    the kid speaks truth. We all should acknowledge that some of the bestest, most elite dunk cyclists are Messicans who lost or never had their license.

    “Hiroshima & Nagasaki, we are fucking lucky that we won otherwise we’d be facing war crimes charges like you would not believe.”

    Hurben— have you read Paul Fussell, _Thank_God_For_The_Atomic_Bomb_? He makes a compelling argument and comes from a background similar to yours.

    And I must offer a small clarification on cycling in Seattle: I never START a ride in the rain, but I often ride in the rain.

  30. “Onto a topic that I’ve been thinking of late, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, we are fucking lucky that we won otherwise we’d be facing war crimes charges like you would not believe.”

    We’d be facing war crimes ??

    OK. That happened 19 years before I was born. I’m now 46. Everyone involved is either long dead or infirm.

    Who you arresting dough-boy ??

  31. Damn.This sounds like me,what I have been thinkin of this “place” where i live,and,have been trying to get out for over a year.Some really good advice,heart felt advice that had some tears rolling before the end of this.

    I see the same madness here,mostly,but the more i blame and judge the more I know it’s me that needs to change and move forward.

  32. @ColonelSandersRetired

    I’m 55 so closer to it.

    I’m not a dough-boy, I’m South African who spent a large portion of his life in combat, so I know what it’s like, Fuck you.

    My dad spent his youth fighting in North Africa & Italy, fucking amazing how each generation seems to go through the same shit, don’t we ever learn ?

    ‘Who am I arresting ? ‘, none because I note that they are still tracking down Nazis, but they are not tracking down those who dropped hell on the aged, women & children because most able bodied men were off fighting.

    Happy to discuss offline.