Carless in Miami

A recent car accident took out my car, and I’ve been using my parents car, as they were out of the country. They returned on Wednesday, but I’d decided to try living completely without a car. I’ve been commuting mostly by bike for about a year anyway, and this seems like the next step. It’s an ideal time of year to try it. I’ve figured out a lot of the practicalities of getting around on a bike, such as dealing with breakdowns (knock on wood) and hauling moderate loads.

But of course there’s a big difference between getting around mostly on a bike and relying on it as one’s sole transportation. There are rainy days, large packages, and days when you just don’t wanna. But part of the joy of riding is overcoming obstacles, so I’m looking forward to dealing with all of that. Let’s try it for a few months and see how it goes.

Bicycle meals of Georgia and Florida

I was saving this one. OK, going 80 miles on a bike every day means you get to eat a lot of food. In a weird way, my trip (first two slide shows here and here) ended up consisted of biking, sleeping, and eating. There was plenty of shitty fast food, and an inordinate amount of convenience-store junk food (often a good source of easily-digestible carbs, so actually healthy in this context), but at least once a day something semi-miraculous landed in front of me, and as much as anything, the food made the trip worth it. I took photos of most of these restaurants, but in the end I decided to leave the slideshow be just of food. Here’s one that I couldn’t resist sharing, though. Click it to see the food:

Singleton's, Mayfair, FL

By the way, Singleton’s is actually more legit then it looks in this photo. There’s a fishing boat moored out back, and inside it reeks of fish in a slightly unpleasant way. You get acclimated, but I’m just saying. Sometimes the first-off-the-boat touristy place is actually the real deal.

Testosterone at its finest

Friday I was riding my bike South down Pine Tree Drive after the rain had stopped. I’m dodging puddles, mud, and slippery wet grates, and so I’m farther from the right curb then I normally would be, but no worries — there are two lanes going in every direction, and the namesake pines give the road a relaxed sort of mood. Suddenly comes honking from behind me. Incredulous, I turn around, flip off some asshole in a silver sports/luxury car, and move farther over into the lane, just to make it perfectly clear that I have a right to be where I am and he needs to back off or get over and pass.

Dude chooses the latter, then merges over and proceeds to mess with me by braking in front of me, fist slowly and then when that doesn’t particularly faze me, sharply. I move over to pass him on the left (the rest of the cars have passed now) he moves over too, cutting me off. I then stay on the left side of the left lane. There’s a big median with those big pine trees, and now I’m not really letting his shenanigans get to me he, unwilling to actually run me off the road, speeds off.

As it happens the red light up ahead is a long one, and I pass him again, zipping by his driver’s side window and shooting him a dirty look. I run the red light but now I’m in a bit of a dilemma, with no good idea of what this guy is going to do when he gets a second chance to pass me. I move over to the sidewalk for the next block. Sure enough, he slows on passing me.

“That’s more like it,” yells he.

“You’re a real tough guy against a bike, asshole,” yell I back at him.

And he zips off. Good times. At Washington Avenue I cross a bridge that’s under construction and closed to cars, and I’m almost home, crossing another intersection when a car standing at the red light on the cross street pulls a few feet out into the pedestrian cross walks and honks a few times. I’m light wtf, but then I look up, and it’s the same dude, who I guess had to go the long way, except now he’s suddenly my buddy, smiling and giving me a thumbs up. I give him a quick nod and I’m gone. Whatev’s.