I live in an inner suburb of one of the worst cities in America for walking or riding a bike. I work downtown and have to get there somehow. So, I try and take the scenic route.

The
Obstinate Commuter
Taking the Long Way Home

Today as I meandered my way through the Dallas Arts District on my way to the office, I happened upon slight idealogical scuffle. On one side, the meager Occupy faithful, decrying the evils of corporate greed and big oil. On the other, a menagerie of geriatric adults, dressed to the T in tuxedoes and boas, flourishing humorously large cigars and champagne flutes while chanting “It’s a class war and we’re winning” and “Fracking for your own good, get a job or two!” with obvious amusement. Their signs, bearing such phrases as “Global warming=better tans” and “Clean air is a quaint idea” blew about in the breeze as the scruffy crowd opposite chanted “We don’t need the bourgeois” through well-used magaphones. The bike-mounted police milled about unconcerned. One complimented me on my ride as he peddled past, heading for a vacant park bench. I soon followed his lead, leaving the chanting in the distance, slightly disconcerted by what was either a tasteless jest or an ineffective attempt at satire. It just seemed like everyone was having a bit too much fun.

"Who knew that our suburb to the North would be leading the pack in regards to bicycling advocacy, and infrastructure? In a relatively short period of time, Richardson has become one of the best places [in Dallas] for an active cyclist to live."
— Bike Friendly Oak Cliff names Richardson "Most Bike Friendly Neighborhood" in Dallas for 2011. Victory fist pump!

Yesterday I forewent the bike in favor of two feet, which I haven’t done in a long time. It was bitterly cold and desolate, as most people in my neighborhood were probably in cocoa-warmed bundles reading US Weekly or watching Cheers reruns. A lady stepped out of her house with exclamations of “looks like it might snow!” and asked me if I knew where Kroger was.

Point. “Half a mile that way, turn left at Centennial.”

She trudged on. I saw a couple pushing a stroller, the man walking 5 paces behind the woman with headphones on. I wonder what he was listening to.