“In this static period even the domestic livestock – horses, sheep, goats, cattle – have sense enough to take it easy, relaxing in the shade. Of all the featherless beasts only man, chained by his self-imposed slavery to the clock, denies the elemental fire and proceeds as best he can about his business, suffering quietly, martyr to his madness. Much to learn.”
At the time of this composition the sun’s rays are beating down on the remnants of what was a lovely winter snow. As the cars of Longmont zip here and there, what was a pristine white blanket over the world is turning into a gray slop of dirt, motor oil, and sand. “So it goes,” as some fellow said once.
Some are more in love with the gray slop than others though. These brave souls are not content to allow the natural course of weather to play itself out. No, these fearless citizens of the Great Auto Majority (GAM) will not be deterred by the nervous chattering of meteorologists, nor the stayed caution of elected public officials urging their fair-minded constituents to stay home and avoid the roads during inclement weather.
“Please,” GAM’rs hear the cowards say, “stay off the roads during this heavy snow fall. Let the snow plow drivers do their work and clear the roads. In this way we can all enjoy plowed, de-iced, safe streets.”
The retort of a GAM’r contains phrases not printable in this family-oriented blog, the gist of the message being “**** *** *******, I gotta live my life.”
And what a life it is! GAMr’s spare no expense when it comes to procuring the latest German engineered traction control, climate control, and bank account control automobile technology. If it was tested on the Bavarian stretch of the Autobahn or was seen being driven in an episode of Alaskan Bush People then its good enough for the GAMr. Only the finest four-wheel drive pickup truck, SUV, or armored personal carrier will do when it comes to helping them check of items on their very crowded to do list. Such important tasks include:
1. Peruse clearance endcaps at Target, buy nothing.
2. Haggle with Bed Bath and Beyond store manager over accepting expired mailer coupons
3. Grande Almond Milk Flat White with two pumps sugar free cinnamon syrup, gotta watch the waist line!
4. Go to Autozone to complain about new winter windshield wipers and how they can’t seem to hack gale force wind during a Colorado blizzard
Whoa! What pressing tasks to be achieved, no matter what the state of weather, road ways, and collective common sense. GAMr’s have to drive because that gas isn’t going to burn itself. So off they go into the winter storm, boldly compressing the snow beneath their tires into an ice skating rink. So what if they have to dodge the grumbling snow plow drivers, so what if a tow truck driver has to winch them out of a ditch, so what if the highway patrol officer catches pneumonia standing in said blizzard while directing other GAMr traffic around the grizzly scene of an overzealous and under performing traction control equipped car.
“Should have paid for metal studded snow tires bud,” you’ll hear other GAMr’s shout as they floor the accelerator of their respective C-Class past the carnage trying to make up lost time.
Weather be damned, safety be damned, they must drive at all costs.
And what of the humble bicycle commuters? Where are they during the snowpocalypse? Well, generally speaking they are at home on the stationary trainer, maintaining fitness and sensibility in a senseless world. Upon emerging from their home, you will find them gingerly picking lines in the snow pack, dodging the icy patches, and cursing the GAMr’s for not having enough sense to let the plows clear the roads.
It is from this vantage point that I write these words. The avid cyclist, just trying to find the right line for my commute. Today did not go so well as the slowly rising bruise on my hip indicates. GAMr’s tamped down the snow into long shaded swaths of unplowable ice, the likes of which no road salt or sand combination will penetrate. In short, it was a sure-fire biffing and so I did bif it and I am bitter enough about it to write this verbose post.
So, come on friend, do me a solid, stay home during the blizzard, snuggle a loved one, curl up with a good book, hibernate until the snow stops falling. Learn to relax and have a snow day, let the snow plows do their job, and revel in the good karma you’ll reap for making a bike commuter’s life easier.