Sunday, April 22, 2007
Look what I did yesterday.
Spur of the moment, after several beers @ YiaYia's, but really I've been thinking about it for years. Maybe one would've been enough, but I do tend to go overboard.
We made the rounds for the rest of the evening (Zoo, Duffy's, even Knickerbockers), me showing off my blood-tinged new art to friends and strangers alike.
So this morning, nursing a hangover, a ginormous blister and a brand-new tattoo, at the last possible minute, I decided to speed up to 84th and O to meet a friend and a group of his friends who ride the MoPac every Sunday. Only they let the forecast wuss them out and didn't show.
I rode anyway, in the wind, uphill, both ways. Aiming for puddles rather than skirting
them. It felt great except when it didn't. Not a long ride, but a lovely Sunday morning, getting good and muddy.
Earlier this week I also launched my plan to ride my bike to work at least once a week -- at least one emissions-free day in seven.
The morning ride was lovely and leisurely. First an appointment to get my hairs trimmed, took my time getting downtown, still arrived earlier than I'd planned and had time to bop into Footloose and Fancy and get these:
Hoping they'll make good cycling shoes, as they'll protect my toes without boxing me in. My feet get extra claustrophobic in summer.
So far, so good. But the ride home was a whole 'nother story.
Early evening traffic is, apparently, fueled by the testosterone of 16-year-old boys. I don't think I encountered any 16-year-old boys, mind you -- they were just being channeled by the drivers I did encounter. Two irate honkers: three close calls with purposeful sideswipers: (including two soccer moms in SUVs, one of whom also was a honker). I play by the rules; I don't even ride on busy streets (except for a brief stretch on K, source of most of the troublemakers).
It's not that any of it surprises me, sadly. Just that I personally rarely encounter any such bad behavior.
Worst of it was, in the end I had to go back down to the office, after dark, thus negating the emissions-free plan.
Though the next evening I had to leave my car downtown and decided to just walk to work instead of hitching a ride (in Miz K's lovely new Saturn, name TBA!). A perfect day, took only 45 minutes including two stops along the way (Ideal, library), and reminded me so much of that summer in Oaxaca, when walking was virtually my only transportation. Lincoln's a whole different town seen up close, on foot. I like it. I'll miss it.
It does not sound like the elections went well in Nigeria. Towns that never got ballots; towns where ballots were taken away, already marked and counted for the majority party, before anyone arrived to vote. A failed attempt to blow up the election commission office. Multiple international observers documenting these and other problems, and yet the government says elections were the freest and fairest yet.
Reuters has a good page with continual updates on Nigeria.
I hope the situation doesn't blow up. It bodes so poorly for all of Africa's other hotspots if every attempt at democracy fails.