Wednesday, November 07, 2007

November Rain

Jets of steam are rhythmically expelled from my face as I watch the hand flash. Its solid. 5, 4, 3, 2,.. crank! The last of the left turners scoots through across my path. My front end skips across the grooved intersection like the needle of a turntable bumped by a drunk girl dancing up front. I'm completely out of harms way and halfway down the block when the machine I last challenged cuts in front only to be blocked by another. Around on his left. Its safer this way. The machines in front will not be merging back left, but have an infinitely larger number of opportunities to cut right. Into a parkade, halfway. the nose of another nudges out trying to establish space. I steal that space for 500mS, pet the nose, and continue on. I don't have time to hang around in your line up. If you fit through you wouldn't wait either.

An obscure handsignal as I brake in anticipation of the slick white lines. I lean in, and expectedly both tires have lost adhesion. A quick weight shift, and I'm on the front tire. The back end will have to wait to the end of the corner before it can lay down the power again. This is a bike lane? The manhole covers are just as dangerous as the white lines, thankfully they're mid block. Mid block is blocked by more machines. A south road bar width gap appears and I steal it before its gone. Onto the next.

A fine German machine passes, starboardside. The owner visibly upset that I should be faster than he. Why else would he be charging straight through from a right turn only lane. His machine makes him misbehave. Rather, its the other way around. Given the chance, that machine would rather be on a winding mountain road, with only frost heaves and guardrails to worry about. Instead it is locked into the life of city drudgery at the hands of a master who doesn't understand the physics behind a properly apexed corner. For a brief moment, the German machine's master is triumphant, and can freely accelerate. Three Red brake lights remind him that time is up, and his machine comes to a halt behind an american one. I get a view at this 'master'. He doesn't look happy. He doesn't look like a master of anything. I probably don't look like much to him, So I flash him a large smile and thumbs up. At least I'm enjoying the ride. I'm definately enjoying myself more than he.

I'm also having a better time than the souls trapped in the 135 omnibus. I can see them stewing in their own heat through the glass, as I pass by mere centimeters from them. They cannot feel my presence as they're emersed in the sounds and smells of the diesel and flesh. I hope their leader can sense me, but I don't count on it. I duck as I pass under his mirror. He's now aware of my presence as I accelerate on, past his next group of followers, 0.5watts of light emitting diode pulsing further into the distance.

I'm jolted awake by a pavement seam that caught me off guard. Was I daydreaming, or simply watching the other machines around me? No matter. My machine is a spring, and after the harmonics subside and the rattles cease, everything is stable. I am stable and spinning somewhere in the neighbourhood of 130RPM. Somewhere in the poorest neighbourhood in the lower mainland.

The machines are more docile on this side of the city. Their masters are scared. Scared that those without machines will suddenly do something to put them (or their machines) in peril. Nothing is sudden around here. The zombies move in slow motion. Everything moves in slow motion.

I'm almost out of the heart now. My trip into the city has not been entirely successful from an erranding perspective, but has been perfect emotionally.


So never mind the darkness,
We still can find a way.
'Cause nothin' lasts forever,
Even cold November rain.

6 comments:

midnightsimon said...

Sweet post man - It reads like the opening of a Gibson!

nikcee said...

did you write this with pants on or off?

and yes... way to eulogise 2.5hrs in the rain.

riding down main north of 33rd t'day was like playing mario kart, complete with powerslides and weird vehicles...

gabrielamadeus said...

sucker! I've only had to put my rain pants on once this year! w00t!

mander said...

Nice one Lyle.

morgman said...

Very enjoyable read. Regardless of my disdain for Guns 'n' Roses, I've been looking forward to the cold November rain. Friday's ride fell into the same category, and I enjoyed it immensely.

traveling wyatt said...

cool rain ing here lots to.. not the same tho not to half the extent