Solstice Errand Run

The longest night of the year draws in a deep, chill breath.
Perfect for a trail ride, but it’s not OK to ride on narrow trails here. Shame on the authority of the County for failing all these 30 years not to address and accommodate this expanding group of outdoor people.

But at least running’s legal (note to historians: the Ho-Has –hateful Old Hiker Assn–tried to ban running in the early 1970’s when THAT boom hit. No success, since joggers could just say they were walking fast, and resume speed after talking to the ranger. But there were indeed rangers out, citing runners for disturbing the peace! Good practice for the early 80’s….

I chose to just do errands with the bike trailer because the air was so sweet and crisp, I couldn’t countenance car travel. Yes, i had a hundred pounds of junk to deal with, but that’s what trailers R 4! Watch those tight turns, though.

After dropping off the unneeded clothing, knicknacks and books at Salivation Army I bought 50 lbs of ‘food grade’ salt (it’s been stripped of its minerals to be sold back to us in supplements! Canny, huh?
Funny, canning’s what I had in mind..
Hoping groceries had the little 2-lb boxes of pickling salt was getting tiresome.
And while I was there (Chinese grocery kitty-corner from Salivation Army) why not a 25 lb sack o’ jazzmin rice for he who must eat no wheat. Thus laden I aimed homeward.

Third street in San Rafael is a four lane one-way freeway funnel route, and the alternative route is super crowded shopper-packed Fourth. I almost always opt for the four-laner…but hadn’t done it at 9 mph in a couple years.
You know where this is going, right?
Mid-block between A and B streets, I hear a honk. The light’s green, I’m in the far right lane, and traffic passes me on the left doing 35 (the limit is 25mph). The motorist in question rolls down her passenger window and blasts at me –over her elderly passenger’s head–“You shouldn’t be on the street!!” before peeling away.
I can only smile and wave (very uniform reply adopted early to save skin).
The light goes red , and I’m not my usual self with that load on my ass, so I don’t have to get a lecture at the next place they have to stop.
An old man crosses the street, smiling broadly. He hadn’t heard the honk, or the little screech of indignation…he was just checkin’ out the custom trailer, a yellow and red circusy looking thing that I ‘ve been known to pick up little brothers from airport busses with.

“We should ALL have those!” he beamed.

And on the way home I thought, “that pretty much sums up the county. Half the people are truly wounded that you’re in their way, and the other half are cheering you on.”

One always prays the former don’t clean you off the road with their bumper.

And maybe one even wishes the latter dig their old dustcycle out of the basement….and may the hateful hikers someday lighten up a little. The unshakeable opinion is such a chore to maintain in the face of global change.

~ by jacquiephelan on December 21, 2007.

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