Our reputation precedes us (a dream)

Part of a series about riding Baltimore's streets.

Last night I dreamed about cycling for the first time. It started abruptly. I was in Seattle. There were cyclists all around and I was excited to be there and with them, though there was no clear purpose. A cyclist a bit younger than me walked by. He was wearing a big honeycomb-like structure on his wrist, attached like a watch, but just enormous. He looked at me.

“You don’t have a hold?”

“No, holds barred,” I responded. I really said this.

I could feel in the dream one layer of my brain approving of this response and another seeming to tell me it made no sense. Then I started over.

“I don’t know what that is.”

I asked him what it was for and he couldn’t explain. It seemed that he went on for some time about how useful it was but I couldn’t understand. The main purpose seemed to be that you knew to have one.

I left for some reason and later returned to the building because I had to relieve myself. I had to walk up four flights of stairs. On the way up some young guys were behind me and were making fun of my shoes and my clothes. I didn’t catch what they were saying but glanced down at what I was wearing and felt a spike of shame and a concomitant defensiveness even as I knew there was nothing wrong with it. I ignored them the way you try to pretend away a high school hall bully. I got to the bathroom. I tried to use a toilet but there was a guy in the next stall and there were doors between the stalls and he had cracked his open and was pushing against it and exposing himself. I left.

In the building lobby was a crowd of cyclists and bikes of all kinds. People were slowly gliding around and there was a loud freewheel clicking and I thought, “Wait a minute, I’m the one who likes that sound.” There was a carbon-wheeled unicycle. One of the cool cyclists had a bike reminiscent of those foldable travel bikes with a tall saddle except you could tell it went really fast. Nobody talked to me and they all seemed to know what they were doing and have some destination in mind as they filed out into the street. I left in another direction.

Cyclists are dicks.

Originally posted to Strava