Monday, July 28, 2008

First Epistle Unto The Cyclists

This was from a trip Kent Peterson and I took down to Olympia to lobby our fine elected officials. It's archive, but it needs to be somewhere and it's a pretty good read. Count the flats just for fun.

Chapter 1: Wherein three wise men embark upon a journey to the temple of the Caliphate; much adventure ensues.

1. On the 6th day, in the month February, three wise men did journey to the temple, yea that temple of justice on the mount Olympus to transact their business with the Caliphate.
2. Yea, it was a long journey, a journey of exceeding greatness, a journey to show the whiteness of their souls, and to bear witness of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
3. Before the first hour, as he is wont to do, Kent did hear a voice, a voice of great passion, a voice scratching on the window, asking for food.
4. And it came to pass that Kent did arise and did attend to this voice which did bid him. But behold the voice was not there, but was the voice of the eternal randonneur.

5. For Kent was a man of honest heart, a man who did walk straight in front of the Lord and with humble equipment did Kent walk before the lord, even did he ride before the Lord.
6. Yea, before the first hour did Kent arise and mount his bike, for a great trip awaited him to the temple this day to commune with others of the bicycle way.
7. Yea, In that morning hour, Kent rode his bike into the valley of Kent, nay, this great valley was not named for Kent but for some forefather who also rode straightly before the Lord (or did perhaps own a coal mine in the days of the forefathers)
8. Kent rode upon his bike to the Kent Station which, though with that name written upon its face, did contain none of the substance for which it was formerly known for it had reached a fallen state of a strip mall.

9. When Kent had arrived, he alighted from his saddle and did fall upon the neck of Michael, the second wise man.
10. And there was great rejoicing in the valley of Kent for where once was lost, now was found.
11. And so, the two wise men set upon their journey, each in turn leading the other until they had reached the plains of Fort Lewis upon the shores of Lake Gravelly.
12. On the shores of the Lake Gravelly, Kent and Michael did meet a man who was sore afraid, yea sore afraid that he had somehow missed the call of the Lord to go to the temple of justice.
13. And when Kent and Michael did cast their sight upon this man, yea, they did behold that it was Brad, the third wise man who did seek to travel with them.
14. And it came to pass that there was great rejoicing on the banks of the Lake Gravelly, on the plains of Fort Lewis, for a brother had been saved from despair and woe, and journey now could be made.
15. And it was the first hour of the morning of the 6th day, in the month of February that this did come to pass.

Chapter 2: Great trials and tribulations befall the three wise men, their mounts are enhumbled, an angelic visitation, the greater understanding in the Marvin Forrest.

1. The three wise men did mount their bikes and travel to the highway, on the road to the temple of the Caliphate.
2. But they were sore afraid, because the highway was busy and many highwaymen did leave pieces and scraps along the banks of the highway where the three wise men did ride.
3. And upon the banks of the highway did the three wise men ride today, casting their eyes low for fear that their tires would become planted upon those banks.
4. For a tire, ridden along the side of a freeway does ride quickly and lightly, yea, lighter than along other roads, especially those of chip seal, but by and by this tire is found planted by the scraps of the highwaymen and is shortly whithered and rotten.
5. Yea, this sore planting did happen not one mile from the banks of the Lake Gravelly on the plain of Fort Lewis.
6. And there was gnashing of teeth and mocking words of derision but Michael did throw himself upon the mercy of Brad and Kent so they did wait, seemingly unto the morrow.
7. But behold, it came to pass that an angelic minister came down, with a halo of yellow and orange light, yea, an angelic minister in the form of a DOT support truck with a bum knee came down and did offer protection to the three wise men.
8. Michael however, was wroth and stiffnecked, and swore that he had never been befallen with this horrible pestilence, thus angering the Lord of Tires, amusing the angelic minister, and striking fear into the hearts of the the two other wise men, for the randonneur walks gingerly before the Lord of Tires.
9. But it came to pass that when the tire was fixed, many words were spoken, and the three wise men bid farewell to the angelic minister and did set upon their way.
10. But behold, the same tire was planted a second time, and now a tube would have to be mended, yea, pronounced clean by a Livite (randonneur), and made whole again.
11. And so it came to pass that Brad did repair both tubes for Michael and there was great laughter and rejoicing as the journey did commence again.
12. Down into the Valley of Nisqually did the three wise men go, yea even down to the level of the great sea as in those journeys down to Jericho, and great speed was attained therein.

13. But in the depths of the Valley of Nisqually, Michael's tire was planted a third time and the wise men were sore afraid because they knew that they had offended the Lord of Tires by their loud laughter and bold speaking.
14. And it came to pass that along the highway, on the road to the temple of the Caliphate, the three wise men did alight from their saddles and ponder their fallen state.
15. And great gnashing of teeth ensued at the bottom of the Valley of Nisqually, and sack cloth and ashes were worn by Michael who found that his tube stem had taken ill and ruptured its innards.
16. But owing to the great condescension of Kent, a new tube was made available to Michael who was joyous and saw to it that Brad rebooted the tire.

17. Yea, and Brad did cast off the tire shield, spit out from his mouth the bedraggled tube and spewed forth the wisdom of the Tire Gods, showing forth the tire irons of righteousness, and with great thunder and applause, did set Michael right in his ways.
18. Properly chastened by Micahael's plague of plantings, Brad and Kent began to looked heavily on their own rear tires for fear that they might too be stricken with the same plague as had Michael.
19. Having found anguish and woe on this highway, the three wise men left the highway and sought refuge in secretive pathways toward Olympia so as not to cause disturbance and make their presence known to the guards at the Caliphate.
20. And thus was the second hour of the morning of the 6th day of February.

Chapter 3: The three wise men meet with the Caliph, whose heart is softened by the cries of the children. Much rejoicing ensues.

1. And it came to pass that Kent, Michael, and Brad did meet before the Sanhedrin (House Transportation Committee), did speak to the Caliph, and did speak with the spirit of the Lord.
2. And it came to pass that Brad did utter these words "For the children need to know that cycling is good for the body, bringing understanding to our souls, and should be promoted throughout the kingdom. For I work with the children and their hearts are turned towards cars and speeding. Stiffnecked are they for they will not hearken unto my words. Please make a decree that all cycling and walking and busing should be praised in the land but first in Seattle and Spokane as a pilot program".
3. And these words were met with incomprehension among the Sanhedrin,
4. But Brad was undaunted.
5. And it came to pass that Kent went up to speak before the Sanhedrin, and his words were wroth, for a spirit of Satan had come over the room in the form of an attorney from the AAA.
6. And Kent held forth with these words "Yea, it can be done, for I have done it, and have ridden my bicycle for many years, and have turned the hearts of my own flesh and blood to the joys of intermodal transportation choices. Fear not, for the day will come when all can partake of the goodness that is walking and biking".
7. And it came to pass that with these words, the judges of the Caliphate were somewhat swayed but the power and spirit of Kent and the love for his children, for they saw that he was a good and wise man.
8. With a start, the sorceress Barbara, came in with a flash and mesmerized the Caliphate with her powerful words of saving and opportunity cost, placing a great exclamation point on the words of others come in supplication, for Barbara's own flesh and blood had witnessed the transubstantiation of money not spent on cars being converted into money better spent on housing.

9. But with great power, Michael showed forth his wisdom and and led the judges and the Caliph to greater light and knowledge,
10 For thus saith Michael "yea, I once was as a little child, even as you are. Yea, I have driven many miles and continue to do so as a professional highwayman, but lo, I have taken these truths into my heart that cycling should be promoted and have live in accordance with these teachings"
11. And thus the hearts of the Sanhedrin were softened, and the bill before the judges was deemed a powerful salve to the needs of the younger generation, that the hearts of the children would be turned towards pedestrians and cyclists.
12. And it came to pass that it was the sixth hour of the afternoon of the 6th of February and all was found good in the eyes of the Lord.

Chapter 4: Great Rejoicing and the trip back to the land of Seattle

1. For it came to pass that after the meeting had closed, the sorceress Barbara did carry Brad and Kent back to the land of Seattle on her magic carpet (what? you thought we rode home too? Pshaw!) for they were enhungered and did not want to suffer the vagaries of the highwaymen one hour longer.
2. And it came to pass that Barbara dropped Brad off in the land of Lakewood, close to the shores of the Lake Gravelly, on the Plains of Fort Lewis.
3. And it came to pass that Barbara and Kent made it home without great sacrifice, and all was good.

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