Sunday, January 18, 2015

Loose Tools

According to Green's Dictionary of Slang, tool has several meanings. In the current context it would probably mean "a stupid, useless or socially inept person". The first citation for this dates from 1656.

Riding bikes in January with friends. It has a certain south of the Mason-Dixon line feel to it. But Denver's Washington Park on a beautiful (if blustery) sixty-degree afternoon? A gift. An amazing gift. The park road, mostly closed to cars, is divided by a double yellow line. Bikes going counter-clockwise and peds going...wherever they pleased. The people watching? 

An amazing number of loose tools. There was:

A cyclist who felt compelled to mention to pedestrians strolling in the bike lane that it was a bike lane. That was okay. When he started blowing a whistle at people (and clipped an unsuspecting in-line skater) that was a little much. His fashion faux pas added to the ambiance. Cycling shorts and a t-shirt under a windbreaker. Aren't a cyclist, don't get the picture? It leads to a phenomenon called "Bad Crack."

The aforementioned skater. "On your right, on your right" but she still weaved back and forth across the lane like an octogenarian jogger on a cruise ship. Of course - ear buds plugged into music. "ON YOUR FUCKING RIGHT!" would maybe have gotten her attention. But there were a ton of kids present.

Skater number two - decked out in bright red shorts, simulated cross-country skis humming along the bike lane. Well, okay. But the ski poles increased his wingspan until he took up the whole lane and.... I could just envision being impaled as I went by. "Sir, I can't make it for my first day in my new job. They are removing a ski pole from my calf." Fortunately, the judicious application of "God Voice" (thank you Matt, Beth and Katy) moved him temporarily out of the way. Although the dirty look was uncalled for.

An unsteady  cyclist riding a bike that sounded like a one-man band. Every joint on his machine creaked and groaned. The chain may have been lubricated at one point - perhaps when it was manufactured in the 1990s. We passed him quickly and gave a sigh of relief. Until he passed us right back. Okay, I digress for a moment. That is a challenge. Some guy is noodling along slowly, oblivious. We pass him. Awakened, he passes us back. Aroused, we ride nose to tail and drop his dumb ass like a 16 ton weight. There, I said it. Only, my riding partners today are great people who chuckled at the wonder of it all. So we returned to chatting.

Finally, a squirrel with a death wish. You'd think the critter would have more experience. Two of us almost clipped him - I don't know how I missed him...or he missed me.

Today was a great ride with three fabulous cyclists. But, somebody had spilled the tool chest.

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