Category Archives: Bicycling

Entries having to do with bicycling, bicycles, bicycle commuting, cargo bikes, folding bikes, biking with kids, any and all manner of bike related subject matter

#121: Poem (Johnny Depp’s New Movie is a Flop)


What follows is a strange little thing called a New York School poem, of which type, while I didn’t know its name until today, I have seen from time to time in my travels as a poetry reader.  Apparently, there’s even a recipe for such an animal! I used some of the items from this particular recipe, but mostly I took my cue from a Frank O’Hara poem and I wrote about my school’s neighborhood, some colleagues of mine, and the disparaging headline I saw today about Johnny Depp’s new movie.

after Frank O’Hara

Johnny Depp’s new movie is a flop!
I was riding my bike up Roethe hill
against a severe headwind and
away from the neighborhood strip bar
(has The Dolphin finally shuttered itself?)
and you mentioned later how impressed
you were as I turned into the Putnam
driveway that I did not seem to be struggling
and you wondered if I was in some kind of granny gear;
no, numb nuts, I was just in a hurry
to begin my day with teenagers a whole block
away from strip bars and Pogy’s Subs and
Little Caesar’s and the Plaid flipping Pantry
and almost immediately after my arrival
I saw the headline on The Huff Post that
Johnny Depp’s new movie was a flop
and I thought to myself who gives a shit?
And while I think you’re a fine science
teacher and a guy I enjoy being around,
I’m not always sure about your politics
and I’m not always sure you mean what
you say or if you’re just trying to get a rise
out of people, like Tom or Chris, mostly Tom;
I’m no Drew Coleman, but despite the cold outside
I was hot from the ride and I took off my gear
and thought, oh, Johnny, everybody flops
and you’ll probably do it again and none
of us holds it against you.





Filed under Bicycling, Culture, Poetry, Teaching

#70: Chicken Cordon-Bleu Road Kill

How it might have been

How it might have been

Chicken Cordon-Bleu Road Kill

On the way to work I lost my lunch.
I was bicycling, and, as the result of some
user-error, I suspect, some packing mishap,
my lunch went flying out of my pannier
and into the middle of the road.
I had packed Chicken Cordon-Bleu,
a beautiful and abundant serving
from a previous evening meal,
inside a pyrex glass container.
No, problem, I thought, optimistically,
as I turned the bike around for a rescue mission.
It was then that an oncoming car
mowed over my lunch bag and that’s
when I heard the popping of airtight padded sack
and the crunching, glass shard-in-chicken
explosion of pyrex. I retrieved the
corpse of my lunch, set it safely (this time)
back into the pannier and rode it to work
for safe disposal. Thoughts of a lunchless
work day haunted the remaining leg of my ride,
but a simple email sent from work and a quick
response from my lovely and generous wife
brought remedy and a bonus feature to my rescue.
My wife and I, lunching together in the staff lounge
on subway sandwiches, a bag of chips, and root beer for two.
And this resultant poem.


Filed under Bicycling, Poetry

Hey, That’s My Bike


I could not remember the title (Reality Bites); all  I could remember was that some character in a film I saw a long time ago had a band called Hey, That’s My Bike, and one, I thought that was the coolest band name in the world, and two, I couldn’t stop thinking about this phrase as I tossed and turned all night in one of those states you sleep in when you’ve got a head cold and your brain is in a fog but at the same time you’re obsessing over some damn thing you’re excited about, namely, a new bicycle.

My new Edgerunner from Xtracycle arrived yesterday and Eric, from his shop The Bike Commuter, posted a picture of it on the Mighty Social Network website the kids call Facebook.  Christmas came early, and today, Friday, after the last day of work before the holiday break, I planned to get a ride to the bike store so I could ride my new baby home.  But the weather outside is frightful, downright shitty, and I’ve got a cold all up in my head and nose, also shitty. So you’d think I’d wait a couple of days, until things dried out in the weather and inside my head.

One of my chief personal weaknesses is my inability to wait very much longer than a couple of minutes for something I want.  It’s embarrassing, and it’s not a trait that I am particularly proud of, but delayed gratification and I–we don’t get along well.  So I weathered the weather and the stuffed-up head and the tickle in the throat that wants to become a cough, and I asked my wife and son to drive me to the bike shop. They dropped me off and I rode my new bike home for a half hour in the rain.  I had my gear on, so I was protected pretty much, except for the new white bike, which was getting muddy, and my cheeks, which were freezing off.  But I kept saying, hey, that’s my bike, and I smiled all the way home–and now, for the time being anyway, I am none the worse for wear–and gratified.

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Filed under Bicycling, Self Reflection