Yesterday’s ride, in which I make a movie in my mind

FADE IN:

EXTERIOR  OLDER, VERY TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH — LATE AFTERNOON

A man approaches, looking out of place in spandex bike clothes. He reaches for the door, then hesitates, as if expecting lightening to strike.

Nothing happens.

He opens the door and enters.

INTERIOR

The man approaches the confessional, walking awkwardly in his cycling cleats. He enters the dark, narrow booth, kneels and crosses himself.

Kindly FATHER O’MALLEY slides open the confessional window.

BIKINGINLA

Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

FATHER O’MALLEY

How long has it been since your last confession?

BIKINGINLA

I’m not sure…I think it was during the Bush administration.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Well, that’s not too b…

BIKINGINLA

The other Bush.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Oh.

BIKINGINLA

But since then, I’ve been good. Really. Almost a saint. I hardly ever take the Lord’s name in vain. And like St. Francis, I try to be kind to dumb animals, especially government officials and bicycle traffic planners.

But…I kinda lost it today…

FATHER O’MALLEY

And what was it you did, my son?

BIKINGINLA

I made an obscene gesture, father…a bad one. Three times.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Ah, now that’s bad. Very bad. And is there a reason why you did it, now…something the boys down at the 57th Precinct might call “mitigating circumstances?”

BIKINGINLA

Well, see, I was riding down the hill on Montana Ave., doing about 25 on my way to the coast. Then without warning, this woman makes a right turn directly in front of me. And instead of going into the traffic lane, she just drives right down the bike lane, and jerks to a stop when she sees a parking place. So I had to jam on my brakes and swing out into traffic to avoid hitting her.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Tsk. Tsk.

BIKINGINLA

A few blocks later, a car pulls out from the curb right in front of me, and sure enough, he drives down the bike lane before stopping to make a right turn and blocks the lane, even though he could have easily moved out of the way — and shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Then there was the woman in the minivan… 

FATHER O’MALLEY

Oh my.

BIKINGINLA

But at least she honked to let me know she was going to run the red light — after I was already in the intersection.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Well, it sound like you might’ve had some justification there. So for your penance, say three Hail Mary’s, and attend the City Council Transportation Committee meeting this Friday.

BIKINGINLA

Thank you, father.

BIKINGINLA gets up to leave, then pauses.

BIKINGINLA

Oh, and I voted for Obama, too…

FATHER O’MALLEY

Ah well, you know the bishop says I have to condemn you to eternal damnation for that one…‘cause of the baby killing and such.

BIKINGINLA

Yeah.

FATHER O’MALLEY

But…promise you’ll pray for Notre Dame to beat USC next week, and maybe we can knock a few years off that.

BIKINGINLA

Oh. Okay, thanks.

FATHER O’MALLEY

Though I’m not sure all the saints and angels in paradise could pull that miracle off…

FADE TO BLACK

 

L.A.’s Streetsblog cites a report that says cyclists need safer streets, while Damien continues his series of biking issues on the agenda for Friday’s Transportation Committee meeting. And speaking of Streetsblog, they also had a link to a great N.Y. Times article about Britain’s attempt to bail out its own auto industry. A biking blog in my old home town — with one of the best taglines on the interwebs — reports on the sentencing of a drunk driver who killed one cyclist and injured another, and offers a breathtaking photo from a group of fat tire fans who hit the trails at 4:50 am (one look at that photo, and you’ll know why I miss it). And MIT announces a pilot study of a new technology that will allow cyclists to track their rides and automatically exchange information with other riders.

3 comments

  1. Enci says:

    Delicious! You are awesome! I’m going to smile all the way to the Transportation Committee tomorrow! :-)

  2. Dude, if I were a studio exec I’d so greenlight a series pilot on that scene alone!

  3. SoapBoxLA says:

    Awesome post. Great to meet you today! Thanks for joining us at the Transpo Committee.

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