Perfect Days

This morning I was riding my bike with the sun on my neck and golden leaves in my face. It was a perfect temperature and the rays of sunlight coupled with fog patches in the trees were ethereal.

I thought about taking a picture and acknowledged that no iPhone snap could actually capture the magic or essence of the morning, so I rode on.

This afternoon, the skies were still blue and the sun was warm again as I made my way home. It was just too perfect, so I opted to take the long way home, weaving through downtown Anchorage’s “rush hour” traffic to catch the west end of the green belt trail.

This time the picture lined up. All I can think is, hang in there fall, let me soak it up just a little bit longer.

Stop the madness.

My mom called me the day other day, and when I answered the phone she started sobbing. She said she just needed to hear my voice, and how worried she was about me and Adam, bicycling and being in harm’s way.

I knew what prompted the call as soon as she said ‘bicycling’. In the final days of April, a local cyclist was hit by a midsize SUV crossing an intersection in midtown Anchorage. Serendipitously, a local news car was driving by with their dash cam on and caught the entire thing. My mom saw the article and the video (note – not for the faint of heart) and in her own words, ‘it took my breath away’.

I am sick and tired of headlines, articles, stories, news flashes about cyclists and pedestrians being struck by cars in intersections. It’s ridiculous that in 2017, when cars and drivers should be getting smarter, instead people appear to be even lazier. It’s infuriating that the supporting article from KTUU is filled with tips for cyclists to make themselves safer. This is bullshit (if you’re reading this, Grandpa – sorry for swearing – I took out all the other bad words).

Where are the articles with suggestions for driversLike, stopping before the white lines of the intersection? And looking both ways before pulling forward? Perhaps just waiting patiently for the light to change?

The frightening reality of driving is that it allows us to feel invincible, isolated, disconnected from our surroundings, and like we’re the center of the universe. No one else could possibly be as hurried, no other task as urgent as what you, the driver, need to accomplish. Adam and I have to actively practice safe driving skills. I catch myself coming up to intersections too quickly, or pulling through without a second glance and I have to stop myself, and imagine how upset I would be if I was riding through and witnessed those poor driving habits. And even worse, what if someone was hurt on account of my actions? What if Adam or I were hurt by someone else’s shitty driving or one moment of lapsed judgement?

I don’t know today how that bicyclist or driver turned out. I know that Anchorage has a ways to go in creating safer roads for all.

Commuter Chronicles: Little Dog Dreams

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This blog post doesn’t need a lot of content. I’ve always dreamed of owning a little dog named Fang, who will be my best friend and adventure buddy and we’ll do everything together.

With authorization from the owner, I tossed my recent dog ward into my backpack and road to work. Augie Doggie was so chill – he settled in quickly, made no noise and rocked the ride downtown. Whenever I glanced over my shoulder, he looked as happy as a dog in a top down convertible.

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I’m going to get me a little dog… 2018!