Be Less Urgent

I couldn’t ride to to work today because, family stuff. I was struck by just how much of a hurry everyone else driving seemed to be in to get to their destination, especially given it was probably a job they complained incessantly about. I felt no such urgency.

Instead I mentally swiped left through these scenes from my commute home yesterday, a day when everything, everywhere just seemed right. The air, the temperature, the radiantly clear sky. The subtle breeze and intensely bright, warm sunlight. I’m sure my nature homies John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey or mix master H.D. Thoreau all have quotes that could aptly accompany these images, but I’m not well-read enough and my memory reservoir not deep enough to call any up.

Instead, I’ll borrow the words of my internet brother-from-another-mother, Slim Wonder and simply say I took the long way yesterday and here’s what I happened upon “getting around to getting home.” Don’t be in too much of a hurry, kids.

Low/High

An Autobiographical Photo Essay in Seven Frames.

I came home from work in a foul mood, even with it being Friday. Long story. I decided to head out and get what I could pre-Hurricane Dorian. My mood didn’t improve much when:

[Frame 1] 15 minutes into my ride I was smacked with an exceptional exhibit of just how stupid we humans really are. I rode on, sulking, and had a nice climb through some sun-doppled ferns [2]

where I alternately ruminated on our eminent demise and the beauty and silence I was immersed within. I apparently was too immersed however, and missed my turn – the one that led to the panoramic view spot I was aiming for and instead dumped me at a dead end clearcut. I bushwacked sideways for 15 minutes or so through dense woods (leaving a considerable amount of leg skin in the underbrush) to a singletrack trail I was familiar with. I rode aways and managed to score an alternate panoramic view [3].

The drawback to this whole detour was having to navigate a bunch of gnarly singletrack on an entirely inappropriate bicycle for such a task, undoing all the fine work my chiropractor has done over the last 2 weeks [4,5].

I quested on to try and find the original scenic spot I’d ventured out looking for but was thwarted by poor memory and decided to bail out down a monstrous, rutted, washed-out fire road downhill [6]

that was far better suited to a bike with any suspension as opposed to none. I can still hear my tires and rims cursing me from the garage. At that point, I popped out to a nice paved ride home into the sunset [7] in time for chili-dog casserole. The. End.

By Whatever Means Necessary

Sunday morning I was supposed to get out for the usual weekly ride with Titus, but it was pouring rain. We decided hesitantly to pull the plug. I don’t mind the rain really – it’s terrible for the bikes and means they would require more attention post ride – but when you get pretty much soaked and/or completely saturated within 5 minutes of leaving, it gets to be a drag really fast.

The TLDR version is I should have gone anyway.

The rest of my day went downhill from there – and my day started pretty early. So there was still a lot of downhill left.

Titus texted me later:

Titus: This one time, 
I'm glad we didn't go. 
It's still raining 
and it's cold and I 
am sore everywhere 
from farming.

Me: If you say so. 
I wish I'd gone. 
I should know better 
by now.

Titus: In all honesty, 
I live by that whole 
"one corrective 
action" philosophy...
it just so happens that 
for once it was the 
right thing to do 
to stay put.

Me: I should have learned, 
maybe have learned 
now that whenever I can 
ride bike, I should ride 
bike. Rest of my day has 
been shit. I should have 
gone even if it was just 
getting on my stupid bike 
with a basket and fenders 
and gone for coffee.

Titus: Sorry to hear that.

I have a bunch of bikes and quite the assortment of specialized and technical gear and apparel. Sometimes that all doesn’t matter. I’m always telling people asking me about gear or getting started cycling – “don’t worry about all that stuff. Just ride your bike. In whatever way you’re comfortable. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not going to ride and continuing to ride is the important part.” It’s still easy for even me to get caught up in all the trappings and bullshit.

Titus and I have developed simple philosophy/credo by which we feel most, if not all, of life can be navigated: ride bikes

As evening came and darkness was descending, the skies had somewhat quieted and my stir crazy was at a fever pitch. I basically jumped on a bike in what I was wearing and headed out. I texted Titus from the ride:

Me: Full Dirtbag Hoodride 
in effect. Hoodie, ball 
cap. Zero fucks given. 

Me: Considering an 
addendum to the Credo: 
Always.

Me: Always. Ride. 
Fucking. Bikes.

Titus: 'struth. 
By whatever means 
necessary.