An excited mob of bicyclists took over the intersection of East Monroe Drive and South Michigan Avenue while I was on my way home from work. At first I thought this stream of noisy cyclists was Critical Mass out for their last Friday of the month, traffic-stopping escapades. And it might have been part of that originally. But this much smaller group of cyclists, hundreds rather than thousands, let me know they were an impromptu moving protest against the War in Iraq and the Bush administration. I hastily yanked the camera out and took a couple of quick pictures. Shortly after I did that the heavens opened up and drowned the Loop in heavy rain.
I don’ t think the two events– the protest ride and the thunderstorm– were connected. I write this will full knowledge that my relationship with bicycles has undergone a radical change since the brain injury. I used to view the bicycle as an excellent means of transportation. Light, fast and flexible– bicycles are not nearly as clumsy or loud as automobiles. No pollution, good exercise. Bicycles have a lot going for them. It’s just that they’ve tried to kill me. Twice. I was glad to escape this encounter without ending up back in a coma.
Even with the downpour I made it home with a minimum of sogginess. Safely. On foot.