I've been commuting again the past month and a half or so and settled into a new route suggested by Mr. T. It's fast, heavily trafficked, and devoid of the Dregs that throw shit like phone books, baseball bats, and flailing right hooks that never land. I'll roll through their quiet streets in the AM on occasion. While they sleep. Taking swigs from my H2O bottle. Not frontin'. Never have.
The new road to 9 hour days takes me through Brookfield, Riverside, Berwyn, Cicero, and North Lawndale to the Near West Side. I like the route. It's uncomplicated. I also get to go by places I never would see if I didn't ride a bike. Like the gateway to hell on Ogden Avenue (westbound). The potential of western Chicago gentrification. And the fact that Cicero has a town hall that is probably ten times bigger than necessary. Money well spent if you ask me. It'll make swell kindling when the zombie apocalypse hits in 2012.
Along this new route there is a park that hugs up to the boulevard where the early risers stretch, jawg, shadow box, and walk dogs. Mostly yappy dogs that bark at everything that moves. Some don't bother to leash them up and they get pretty close to the street as I go by. They're hard barkers. Brash and excitable. And they'll piddle all over the place if you're not careful. The outdoors is the best place for them. Preferably under a bus. Or the wheel of a bunny hopping 225 pound Greek/Argentinian (what an explosive combination!) on a Merckx Strada done up in Motorola hues.
Still, dogs are trifles compared to the Range Rover ghouls patrolling the Dunkin Donuts and Clark gas stations though. 32oz. coffees in one hand (they don't speak no Italian Venti shit, and the metric system is too complicated) and their finger close enough to diddle boogers as they text with the Isumthingtotallygay to their face (I can see the soft glow upon their glazed cheeks).
Rolling along alone with my thoughts and all of these peculiar observations makes for a longing to enjoy the moment with other like minded folks. I know Pheeves would eat it up. Old DOC too. Clean? Absolutely. Mel? For sure the parts his hair would look cool in. Mitch, Jeff, Bob, Marilyn, Dee, Snakeydoodle, BufNStuf, and Brad? High five and hell yeah. Trapper would go Curly through every intersection and Smithy would throw water bottles and maybe a Gios. And when things mellowed out, we'd laugh our faces off.
Such is the way of the urban commuter and dreamer in 2010.