Well, things have changed and I love York Street now, because the lanes are skinny. Skinny lanes make taking the whole lane a no-brainer for me now and there's nothing scary about York Street any more. My memories of York were from a time not so long ago that I always rode on the right edge of the street; never in the gutter, but on the right 2-3 feet from the curb. Here's how I ride York Street now:
Taking the lane like that on any street will get you all kinds of liberating passing clearance from cars. What I like about York, though, is that the lanes are narrow enough that I think way more motorists "get" why I'm doing it. That makes me feel like less of a jerk, so skinny is good.
Now, before anybody starts in on me in the comments, I know full well that I or anybody else who takes the lane is not a jerk, but somebody who is making everything more safe for everyone on the road, whether others know and appreciate it or not. The trouble is that like most people, I generally prefer that others like me. A wrong or misinformed opinion that I am a jerk still counts as some other person thinking I'm a jerk. Call me what you will, I don't like that. Should I care what some-jerk-who-is-definitely-a-jerk-because-he-thinks-I'm-a-jerk-when-I'm-not thinks about me? No. But I do... I think a lot of us do.
Now all of this sensitivity to what strangers think of me rarely adds up to me riding somewhere I know is less safe, especially in the last couple of years, so in terms of safety I'm all good. What York offers is the opportunity to ride safely with less self-perceived jerk factor, which makes the ride even more enjoyable. So that's the skinny on York: skinny is good.
I bet you thought I was done. Not yet! I've also got the skinny on me being made skinny, so here's the skinny on that:
In a comment or post somewhere I recently mentioned that I could stand to lose about 30 lbs, which is true. One of my regular readers and the author of Imagine No cars was kind enough to send me this rendition of a slimmed-down me that you see above. I appreciated his effort and got a laugh out of it for sure, because it reminded me of "Kid" from Kid n' Play; I had to look that up though, because I couldn't remember his name, just his hair. It also reminded me of Mr. T a little bit.
When I decided to write about it, of course I went looking for images of those guys. I was staggered by how similar we really do look, even without the skinny treatment! Check out these good looking fellows... if their skin was just a little more greyish in tone they would be just about as handsome as me!
See? Crazy, right? I know! So, that was the holy-crap-I-look-like-silly-yet-handsome-looking-famous-dudes-of-yesteryear skinny.
I bet you thought I was done. You thought right. Until next time, I remain:
R A N T W I C K