That “Dude”

We vaguely describe someone when we might be lost for words or just lazy as that “dude”, which is something different from the dude, because the emphasis is on an archetype, for instance, that dude who drives the unmuzzled Harley in your neighborhood or that dude on the fourth floor office who smells like cigarettes in the elevator or that dude who got caught in a Ponzi scheme.

That dude lying on the ground across the street from Catholic Charities was paying no never mind to the me or the wind. I had been riding by this spot on my way out of downtown St. Paul for months now when I noticed the encampment and crowd of people and bikes. That dude is a homeless dude of course. So yeah, this is the side of life people want to avoid seeing, just send a check and be done with it. But, I had to stop with my sense of the street episode being that I would regret the opportunity since I had tried to ignore it previously. In the background hanging on the fence are bikes, the owners waiting for something little that will make their day better. That dude who rides a broken  down bike with a scraggly seat, you’ve seen him. Have you seen the aluminum gatherer who rode by on a tire less rear wheel rolling along on the bare rim? That dude was a crazy MOTHU! In all seasons I have seen that dude who is down on their luck riding bikes in every sort of weather. It is always a dude. And they are mostly meeting up with other dudes to hash out the day, finances, food and drinks or a place to stay. That dude in Chicago last week that I gave a sandwich and chips to, nice guy, just walking by and was in need. No biggy.

Equal time for the pretty dude. That dude who dresses for the ride, has money and time to kill. We know that dude, we could be that dude. That dude is the poster boy for the bicycle industry that can’t promote bike riding for transportation because they want to sell racing bikes and all the $hit that comes with it. Business can’t make a dime of that dude with charity. So it goes in American biking today. Two ends of the economic scale doing the same thing. That dude riding a bike is always the one who the 99 percent think is a little crazy or snobbish or whatever those dudes want to pin on bike riders. So for that dude that thinks bike riding is for crazy people, rich people and people go take a ride and see how much it will change you.


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