Category Archives: Images of My Suburban Dreamworld

Images of my suburban dreamworld: 10


This is my 2013 Jamis Commuter 1 propped up on its seat and handlebars for its monthly chain cleaning. Don’t ask my why I love this bike so much. It’s cheap, heavy, slow, and has required a lot of maintenance over the past few years. Nevertheless it gets me 7 miles to work in the morning, and 7 miles back home in the evening. It’s got a rack for panniers and a chain guard so I don’t have to roll my pants up. It’s so cheap I really don’t have to worry about it being stolen. It’s my bad weather bad neighborhood, leave it at the train station all day and ride it through the rain any time I want bike. When it breaks I’ll get a new one.

I sometimes wonder why people buy mountain bikes for commuting, especially full suspension mountain bikes, especially poorly made, and quite frankly dangerous full suspension mountain bikes from department stores. The Jamis Commuter 1 is cheap and heavy but it’s also simple and well-made. Front shocks are meaningless on suburban streets. A rear suspension on a bike that costs under $2000 is absurd. I suppose it’s all about the “cool factor.” Department stores like Walmart sell dangerous, $200 dollar full suspension mountain bikes because kids like to pretend they’re riding state of the art $2000 dollar full suspension mountain bikes. Then these bikes don’t get used and get sold to very poor people for $25 dollars. I’ve seen Hispanic restaurant workers riding $25 dollar used mountain bikes in January through snow packed roads. They put me to shame, but they’re something to aspire to as worthy in their own way as Chris Froome or Peter Sagan.

The Jamis Commuter 1 will get me through snow-packed salt and brine covered roads this Winter.

Images of My Suburban Dreamworld: 6


My life right now might best be described as a Manchester by the Sea kind of awful. A few weeks ago, my mother, who broke her hip back in March, developed an intestinal blockage after undergoing hip surgery, and then brain damage as a side effect of the procedure to clear the intestinal blockage. Apparently this is common for elderly people under anesthesia.  In any event, she’s now almost completely disabled and will require my brother and me to liquidate her property to pay for a nursing home or a twenty four hour home health care aid. In one “stroke” (pun intended) my family has gone from petty bourgeois to fully proletarian.

This morning I looked out of the window to see tulips in the backyard. How is this possible? I didn’t plant them. I don’t know anybody who did. Is there such a thing as a wild tulip? They have renovated the house next door. They have done landscape work to the park down the block. So it’s possible tulip seeds blew over onto what will soon not be my property, and bloomed this morning after the big rain storm. What do these wild tulips symbolize? Are they nature telling me that Spring always follows the Winter? Or are they nature reminding me that I’m living on a piece of property that will soon have to be sold? Are they flowers of hope? Or are they flowers of evil? I’d like to think that the yellow tulip is reminding me not to be a coward.

(Thanks to the people who got back to me and reminded me that tulips are grown from bulbs and not seeds. So someone planted them. I just don’t remember their being there.)