Saturday, October 07, 2006

God in Lycra

I had joined The Sweetie for part of his commute the other day. We were taking it easy, heading home on a combo trail/road ride following a passageway through the labyrinth that makes up the Grand Rounds. Work wasn't so bad on a day like that one, regardless of whether one was in a car or on a bicycle. Car windows were down, trail users were out. Everyone was enjoying one of the last days of afternoon sunlight and warmth.

We were on the Minnehaha Trail closing-in on the intersection of the Parkway and Cedar. The light was green for us, and traffic started rolling through. An old VW van in the street next to us was making its way slowly at about the same pace we were going. Sweetie, ahead of me, and I both checked the situation: no blinker, driver looked at us. Sweetie rolled off the trail and into the crosswalk.

At the same time, VW took its right turn into the crosswalk.

I grabbed for my brakes.

Perhaps it was Sweetie's high-vis jersey that caught VW's eye. The driver's face showed its realization at the same time his passenger gasped a breath and grabbed at him. The van braked.

Ohhh Dude. I said it out loud. It wasn't accusatory, wasn't directed to the driver...but I wasn't talking to Sweetie either. The van's windows were open and it was close enough for those inside to hear me. The driver's silent eyes Yeah. Dude. darted from Sweetie to me at the curb.

Ohhh Dude.

Who was I talking to? Was it an expression of relief? a prayer? an "oh man, what coulda been"? I grew up in a home where saying G-O-D wasn't appropriate outside of church and prayers. Who then do I exclaim to during tough situations? Who do I talk to under my breath? Whose name do I take in vein when I cuss?


Is DUDE some supreme cyclist who reigns on high? Is it DUDE who watches over us during those near-misses? Is DUDE really G-O-D but in lycra? is the idea of GOD-in-lycra sacrilege? If so, is s/he a dirt-lover or a roadie?

- The Bag does DUDE look like Sheldon Brown and rule from atop a Fizik saddle wielding a scepter of triple-butted steel with a blue Park Tools handle topped off by a Dinotte?


Shawn Kielty said...

Have you noticed the trend to call chicks "Dude."

Dude you're scaring (the philosophical) me.

Didn't you see the Big Liebowski?

Absolutely great, Jeanne.

senioritis said...

Dude. You both survived. Most excellent.

the old bag said...

Shawn -- everyone is a dude these days it seems.

Senioritis -- Way.

Emma Pod said...

Sounds like an OH SHIT!!! moment. I hate it when people don't use their blinkers. I'm glad you're both OK!

gwadzilla said...

was the driver Cheech or Chong?

either way
each of them know who "the dude " is

the old bag said...

Emma -- it was an oh shit but the van's speed was quite slow after starting from a full stop so it probably wasn't an OH SHIT moment.

Gwadz -- Chong...hadda be.

Marie said...

Dude, I was just gettin the whole 'God in Lycra' title to your post--checking out Zeus or whoever in that painting, thinking to myself, " Yeah, full cotton sheets just wouldn't be that comfortable, fabrics are the bomb for reaching out to the heavens an all"

Brandon said...

TOB- There actually is a "Dude" his name is Jeff Lebowski. He stars in one of the funniest movies of all time/...

the old bag said...

Brandon, I'm embarrassed to say I haven't seen it, but it's on my Netflix list!