Sharrows, a mini-review

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Seattle 2011

In the vein of my as-if-they-were-rock-albums bike route mini-reviews of last year, here is a general and biased, yet heartfelt, review of sharrows.

Sharrows are the Jordan Catalano of bike infrastructure. Remember how you gazed at them across the classroom for hours, drawn to them, longing for them? And then it turned out that they were way easier to get than you ever expected or perhaps, in your heart, wanted — all you had to do was make the first move.

Once you’re together, though, you don’t have much to talk about. He’s either leading you astray, taking you places you aren’t ready to go and way too fast, or your paths are diverging in such painfully slow motion that you can’t help but notice, even through the haze of all that kissing, that you were never really coming from or going to the same place anyway.

Later, years later, replaying these events as an adult, you realize that you forgot to ask yourself why you wanted him. You see that you never really even knew what he was all about, or knew how he felt about being poor or about being popular or about being the foil for your confused sense of self-worth. Maybe he aspired to be a fancy Dutch woonerf or that curly-haired upper middle class nerd that you actually had things in common with. But all you could ever see in him was that one string that had come loose from the collar of his plaid flannel shirt.

Meanwhile a little voice in the back of your head cries “go now, go!” Listen to it, experiment, find out how it all works. At this point it’s still just paint.