Monday, December 14, 2015

Bus Racing

I started out on my way to work. I 28x zoomed by on a cross street. "Catch my dust". I went down a parallel street, but it was still ahead. We jockeyed for position. Then finally around 70th I pulled ahead. I wasn't going to let it beat me. Then up ahead, I saw little brother, the 28. I passed it somewhere on market.
"You passed my brother, but there's no way you'll beat me downtown. I know that hill will slow you," it said.
"Forget about it!" I said as I passed it.
I got stuck for a while at the light on Leary. It passed me shortly after I turned.
"Haha!" it gloated.
Then it had to stop and pick up passengers, and I got the last word in.
I kept to the Leary route, but then did a "cheat" taking Phiney down to the secret bike way to the Fremont bridge. Ole Mr. 28 was mad at that one. He even called his cousin, the 26 to race ahead down Dexter. Not a chance. The started to pull up close, but as soon as they stopped on one of the islands, I whizzed past. By the downhill it was all over. They weren't even in sight when I crossed the finish line at 5th and Bell.

On the way home, I was hoping for a nice leisurely ride. My back had acted up a little after I crossed 105th a few days ago. I thought an easy route with minimal hills might be best. I kept an easy pace up and down Dexter (and actually got decent lights at Mercer and the Fremont bridge.)
Then I crossed the Fremont bridge, and what was waiting there revving its engine? None other than Mr. 28. He seemed to be waiting a long time there letting off passengers. He was waiting for me.
"Hey! You think you are all hot stuff beating me on the downhill. Remember how I creamed you last time going up?"
"That was unfair. It was late in the day, and your driver barely had any passengers he needed to let off."
"Oh yeah? Unfair. You just mean your slow. I'll race you now. Peak of rush hour. Full buss. No excuses!"
It took off. It passed my for a second on 36th. Then it stopped to pick up passengers and I was ahead. It required some huffing and puffing, but I was not going to let him pass me. The first part is not too steep. However, it starts to get a little steeper approaching Market. The light was red, so I tried to time it to get to Market around the time it turned green. No need to work too hard to get to a red light. (But I have been burned before taking it too easy.)
As I was approaching the light, who would turn right on market? It was none other than big brother, Mr. 28x.
"Ready for a race? You, me at the QFC"
"Your on! I've already left you're brother way back there."
He seemed to wait extra long at Market. He was egging me on to pass him. As soon as I did, he tore ahead.
"I don't even have to stop at 60th! Hasta la vista Baby!" He was gloating as he zoomed ahead to 65th. This seemed to be a hard stretch. That 65th light always seems to be super short - except when it was long. And today it was long. And 28x barely made it before it turned red. D'oh!
I kept pushing, but got stuck on the next cycle. 28x was laughing at me again. I almost caught up at 80th, but again he barely made the light I missed. It was almost a tease. Now it was starting to level out. It was may chance to gain ground. I was close to catching up at 85th, when none other than little brother himself pulled up across the bike lane to let people out. Uggh. Luckily there was enough space to pass the bus and wait for the light to turn green.
I gunned it at the green light. This was the final downhill before the stop sign and the uphill slog to QFC. I had them beat!
Then right as I was passing under Holman, "kerplang, boom!" No! My foot had kicked the pannier and it flying down. There were some things in the street. I had to make sure my gloves and hat were there as well as other things that I keep in there. (Duct tape is a life saver. Some of the other stuff I wonder about.) As I was gather things up and putting it back on, both the 28 and 28x went by.
"Haha! I told you we would win!"
The snarls on their little bus faces almost made me think they were involved in making the pannier fall. (Would I have been so careless to let my heel bump in such a key part of the race?) Oh well. I made it up to the QFC after both buses had already cleared out. And then my back started hurting.