Peeling back a corner of the universe to glimpse the utter chaos that lies behind.
Jul 15, 2008
There I was...
Downtown Minneapolis, at 5:15 PM. Rush hour was building, and the heat in the city was so thick you could wander in and get lost forever.
I wheeled my trusty mount out of the IDS Center and picked my way south on Marquette Ave. and east on 10th Street. These are busy streets with stop lights on every corner, so it's pretty slow going and you've got to keep your eyes open.
I make it over to Portland Ave., a long, straight and monotonous route that cuts through south Minneapolis like gash, but it's got a dedicated bike lane and and it is fast, so I tend to ride it a lot. As I pull through the intersection of Portland and 10th, I note four other riders waiting at the light, so I file in behind them and get in line.
The light changes and we roll forward, but before we are through the intersection, I have to tap the brakes because the group of riders is moving slower than I anticipated. Cars pass by my right elbow and there is no room to pass on the right due to parked cars, so I have to soft pedal several blocks to the I-94 overpass, where I can finally get around them. To my horror, I find myself thinking rush-hour thoughts ("C'mon buddy! Move over, for pete's sake - you don't own the lane!").
I've gotten used to having my own lane, and now that more people are pulling bikes out of the garage and riding them to work, I think I own the lane. I guess I may be a hypocrite. Sheesh!!