Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Me and my trusty old bike are so incredibly happy of late to be spending so many of our mornings, afternoons and evenings gliding along the lakefront path. We’re happy to share it with mom’s (or are they Gold Coast nannies?) and their strollers, walkers, joggers (some of their expressions are priceless!), rollerbladers, police cars, tourists (in those damn bike “cars” they rent from somewhere at Navy Pier, where four people can peddle at once and always get me to imagining that they must be fun for roughly 10 minutes or so before over 75% of the renters think, “Gee, this isn’t as fun as I imagined it would be”), vendors, lollygaggers, sunbathers, etc. Cathy’s heard it’s the most used bike path in the US. I doubt Burnhamwas thinking, “Bike paths, yes, we must have bike paths!” but sir, I bless your crazy ass audacity and grand success!

As I made my exit from the path this afternoon (there’s a pedestrian exit just past Foster ) a man was out walking his buddy, a fat ‘ol wiener dog that quivered out of some path lining underbrush- and I’ll tell you what, it was a Gary Larson-like scene of joyous proportions! We even share the lake front path with fat ‘ol wiener dogs.

It’s my knees that suck. Grrrr, knees. Where exactly did these bad knees come from? I thought this only happened to football players, you know? What did my last doctor call it? Sunburn of the knee? Of course there was a more formal name for it and whatever that was- it’s hampering my style! How am I ever going to be able to cut loose when that testosterone really hits and pace myself with all those Lance Armstrong bike short ‘n shirt wearin’ wannabees?

And look, I’ve positively got to keep riding my bike. It’s so great. This morning a nerdy woman (and I mean that in the most endearing and non-condescending of ways) passed by me with a smile and a hearty “Good morning!” Oh, if you could have seen how her legs were pumping! Like an extra in one of those old Keystone Cop shorts, moving at 16 frames per second. “Good morning!,” I called back. Thank you for being so kind and weird!

It’s the heady fusion of movement, sweat and those magical endorphins that cause my senses to burn like flares. It’s the Annie Dillard effect- where you’re overwhelmed by the poetic grandeur of minutia. The waddle of that wiener dog.

In other news, why didn’t anybody tell me just how good Modest Mouse could be? Kinda reminds me at times of XTC, the Pixies, Mercury Rev and Wilco run through the blender and nicely cracked in all the right places. Not bad at all.

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