The endless cycle
Returning home to Aspen for the summer of the 2012 end-of-the-world Gonzorama just days ago, I went to the farmers market. The first guy I see is Bobby Mason and then John Carter.
I then see a guy everyone knew back in the ’60s looking at me. He called me over and asked if I knew his name. Being senile, I couldn’t pull it up – it was Hodge. I asked him how he recognized me, and he replied, “By your walk!”
I thought to myself and out loud, “I walk the same 50 years later?” He then said to me, “I gave you your Aspen nickname.” I asked what it was. He said “Allan Half Gallon.” I had forgotten that he had done this, so we were happy to see each other, and we were going to get together.
Episode 2: Recently I was walking downtown in the morning, and just as I started to leave the curb, something whooshed by me from right to left and just nicked me. I immediately thought to myself, “I just almost got killed or severely injured” and “I was destined to die today.”
I still didn’t know what it was. I look up to see Hodge on his bike, and he came over and said, “Some guy just about killed or injured you and me, too.” It turns out it was a reckless bicyclist who suddenly U-turned, pumped up to breakneck speed and started going the wrong way. Hodge said it looked like he was aiming directly at us. Hodge said that when he saw it, he imagined going to The Aspen Times and the headlines would read, “Allan Half Gallon killed by speeding bike.”
The irony of all this is that Dede Gay and I started the Red Zinger Classic, and she filmed them roaring down Independence Pass. I have been a friend of bike riding all through the years, sticking up for them in the classic war betwixt cars and bikes that rages in every city – Boulder, Colorado Springs, Canon City, etc.
Be aware, reckless bike riders: You have now met your nemesis. I am now taking on reckless bike riders with a passion. I told my friends last night that “it was my destiny to die today,” and I meant it. I was in the Army and know the sweetest sound is a bullet that just missed you. I did know that I barely escaped death or permanent damage, and Hodge, too.
Hodge and I just met and wrote this down as a deposition of these events, and we signed, “Allan Armstrong and Hodge.” I’m typing it in the library right now.
In closing, my suggestion to bring safety to this whole bike-car war is for all of us to get a free newsletter called Gizmag.com. Every week, it features more bike-safety features, etc., than any other source. Get the mag, and start learning about this technology.
That reckless madman who did that should be run over by Buicks in China.
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