Friday, December 11, 2009
Little victories and righteous anger
These are the dark times in North. It doesn't last forever but whilst it does it can beat you down. It messes with your sleeping patterns and with other parts of your mind. Humans only came to these latitudes recently in evolutionary terms, we evolved under African suns. Today, in the north, the sun rose at 9.15 and it will set at 15.11 but you don't see it anyway as it's so low and hidden behind a thick smog of grey clouds. It snowed a little through the night and it is brighter now for that, but yesterday the dusting of snow didn't even settle everywhere, and was dripping and melting where it had, only adding to the damp, cold, claustrophobic dampness of it all.
I rode my bike because I hadn't for over a week and felt bad about it, not because there was much pleasure to be had from it. A certain grumpy, bloody-mindedness is probably the right the attitude to get you through these weeks, and for that you need little victories and a pinch of righteous anger. Fortunately biking can provide both. First the victories - I went past 3000 kms ridden this year on my commuting bike yesterday. I was just coming out the forest and into Pasila when my bike computer clocked the big 3. I must have actually done 3000 kms ridden this year a couple of weeks ago as there a few hundred more kms logged on my other bikes' computers, but somehow seeing it on that display felt good.
The next thing was the righteous anger: I climbed up over the bridge that crosses the railway at Ilmala station, turned south again next to YLE and started the swoop down the hill that takes the cycle path down over the level crossing and up into Pasila station. Going downhill, picking up speed, round the corner and there in the middle of the cycle path blocking basically the entire track -crash-barrier to bank- is a cherry picker. Somewhere high above some blokes were working from the basket on the side of the Fennia building. Fortunately between disc brakes and studded tyres and I managed to stop and had to duck to get under and around the bloody thing. Yet again, cyclists get treated as if they don't matter. If some other vehicle needs somewhere to park, you just block a cycle path because, who gives a fuck? They're only cyclists aren't they... So if you're the people working on the Fennia building with a hired cherry picker from Leino Lift, you are antisocial idiots of the highest order and you could try having a bit of common respect for other people.
Now I'm glad that I got that off my chest.