Damp Wombat in Cleveland

Thanks to Andy the former track racer and stellar pack steerer, a quartet of us (Georgie the Tokyo bike messenger, Philippe the French sculptor and illustrator, Andy and me)  sailed thru the soft rain on the frightening roads of Ohio, no shoulder to speak of…and lots of semis passing us. Even now and then an irate motorist will lean on the horn. So far none of us has been hit, but  if you could see the scary roads we’re on, you’d probably be praying like I am.

It’s strange–we’re in a mega religious part of the country–the churches are everywhere. It’s …well, I must say that the huge black billboard near Feezle road in Pennsylvania that said “God Saw That”…unnerved me.
Bryan Reckham (sp?) the artist from S.F. was in front of me….a bird dived into his front wheel, and a mass of feathers bounced back out of the whirring spokes, a tiny body dropped onto the road. He hadn’t even felt it.

I feel a bit bad for all those squished turtles, moles, raccoons–whole family of them dead in the middle of rural Pennsylvania–and almost identify with them.  

Because I’m human,  I will not be pulverized into leather like the snakes, porcupines, and other vertebrates whose  white backbones and a mass of black-brown muscle and blood are the only proof that a little less fauna reside in the countryside here abouts.
IF someone is killed, it will wreck the ride.

If it is a drunk driver, it will be the ultimate irony.

All kinds of road signs state: “DUI : you can’t afford it”.
Then, a mile up the road there are other billboards offering legal assistance for people who have been ‘stuck’ with a DUI. They blare messages like “call 217-GET-FREE”  and show car keys dangling from a hip pocket.

Just got back from a great get-together with she-mail penpal Ann Henderson of Cleveland, and her girlfriend Mary, both avid cycle tourist/advocate/artists. If I can figure out how to upload pix I will put Mary’s custom “I love my bike” and “one less car” mudguards up…Ann sponsored me with a lavish Turkish supper at a nice spot up in Shaker Heights, a tree-lined hundred year old suburb with stunning old homes each finer than the one before. The rain had moved on, and now it was becoming a classic summer night, the kind that demands you explore the city on two wheels, preferably guided by fun loving knowledgeable hosts.

A far cry from our ride into town…They finished by showing me the Peter Lewis building by Gehry… the one that Howard Kunstler hates with an especial passion.

You decide for yourself.

~ by jacquiephelan on July 2, 2009.

6 Responses to “Damp Wombat in Cleveland”

  1. So happy to hear that you are not gear grinding no mo and that you are hooking up with a good crew. Stay away from those DUIs though!

  2. Must say I’m a bit surprised how little there is on the web about this ride.

    Good thing they have you….

    42 Ride South 131
  3. Hey Jaquie, good to hear that you are having a good crew to ride with. Careful on the road, be safe.

  4. Enjoying the reports. I used to live up in the midwest and know what you mean. Down here in East Tennessee isn’t much better. Have fun!

  5. Had great fun meeting you and showing you some of the city last nite! Here is Kunstler’s page about the Peter B Lewis building: http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_200510.html

  6. This is an awesome site/blog! i have a little wrapping to get my into the scene. i love Ur pixs, great story

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