Mind The Gap
As a young boy, without a keen understanding of my cycle destiny, I can recall learning the term "Ghost Ride". While not a scientific term, per se -- This was the moment when was proven the gyro-effect of the spinning wheel to right itself and maintain trajectory. By pushing a bike forward without a rider, or better, dismounting a fast rolling bike it would be possible to explore the physics of a sustained upright coast. It's not clear whether the Ghost-Ride's appeal was Sadistic fate of the bike or the comical collapse of the bike when the spin wore out and the turning bars collapsed the bike into a heap, like a bad guy being shot in the back. So what becomes of an adult with a background in bikes, and a rare affinity to everything cycling, when madness strikes? Who could ever consider wanton abuse of a bicycle? When a seasoned rider dismounts their spinning bike to ill-effect, opening the Torpedo Tube, and letting it coast to it's destiny, there must be a good reason, right?
Well, that would be called a Ghost Ride.
One Meter may be the ideal ask for a subculture of us who use surface streets without a motor. Personally I feel like it is a pipe-dream to have such breadth between the truck who wants to smear me, and the rapid door job; but if it were to materialize then I'd be both impressed, and thrilled. Whatever part of the Meter rule which remains after Snow, Piled leaves, Piled Icy snowy leaves, Pot-holes, Questionable Sewer Grates, Bottles, Cans, and general detritus, is generally reserved for Lyft, Uber, The rare Taxi, and of course Yoga Mommies. If each were to occupy a few inches, of the one meter we are supposed to have to ride in, then there would remain a line the width of my spokes upon which I would ride unfettered.
I've recently decided that all vehicles should be Chrysler Pacifica Mini vans or the like. The reason for this is the obvious life saving traffic side sliding door. If another Tesla X swings its wing door up into my One Meter in front of the Dance Studio on my commute home, I may need to bury my Stoner-bike into it.
It's not that I want to Crash my P.O.S. into anything, but with questionable coaster-braking, I may not have the fortitude to reign in the blue torpedo before costing some yoga mommy excessive repair costs. For My twenty bucks, (the resale value of my Blue Bike), it would serve as an indelible reminder of the One Meter rule when a $100,000. SUV suffers the fate of a "ghost-ride", and can no longer close it's precious side door in inclement weather. I'm generally cold when the temp hits below twenty, and my fingers get numb, so I'd need to practice the dismount. In recognizing the frosty ride home, A contingency which may not have been apparent, is that the SUV Driver may have a colder ride home if the wing door cannot close. I hope that the typical latte-clutching driver does not take too much offense if the blue bomber makes contact, it's nothing personal, just a statement.
If you ride every day, or even every week you can appreciate that there will always be a rift between the "haves" and the "have-nots". The "haves" are those who ride, and the "Have-Nots" being those who don't. Those in possession of a bicycle weapon have great responsibility to daily ignore a smear campaign against them, the middle finger (whatever that really means), and the Horn Blast which means I am entitled to the entire roadway, We all know that Pedal-Powered People should find another way to work, thank you. Without a second thought, the typical bike commuter generally shrugs off between 2 and 10 more of less lethal brushes with vehicular madness by the next larger species on the route home. For every ten we dismiss however, there will be one which doesn't go without notice, or merits an equal and opposite reaction.
Within my pencil line that we may call a "one meter rule", We have very little time to consider the political correctness of our actions. Even the most peaceful creatures have a tipping point, and when stressed, the margins and time scale are simply too narrow to avoid altercation in all cases. If one needs to swerve left to dodge someone who could have waited to open a door, What remains to their left will determine their fate, and often there is no escape trajectory, except to abandon. Certainly Mommy in the least could have checked the mirror, and opened her door slowly. In surviving passing this lady, I've made ovations to correct behavior with, "Please Look", "Hey watch out!", "Mind the Gap!", and Just "Hey, ...Shit!", but today the door entered my One Meter gap, ....again.
So when a rider is tested, and there doesn't seem to be a clear escape path; Then a kiss with the blue steel ghost ride may become a stoner-bike's destiny.
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Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.