Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slicing Through the Night on my Bike

So, instead of taking the boring 15 year old rust bucket of a car to the grocery store just now, I took my bicycle.  It is hard to explain just how slicing through the night on a newly fixed almost completely silent bicycle changes your mind into a mish-mash of euphoria that's part ninja, part tour-de-francer, part completely outsider, but it does.  See, on a bike, you immediately realize how pointless motorized vechicles are, both in individual size and in total numbers.  I mean, cars are just absolutely everywhere, and they are dangerous when you're on a bike, too, so you pay attention to them.  A lot.  The most dangerous is when they want to make a right turn.    The point is only that cycling seems a really natural way to push oneself through ever thickening air as compared to a car, and on average--of course, cars are nice when it rains, and when you've got a lot of stuff to haul.  But I'm certainly faster, intra-city anyway, on my bike, and I made it to Trader Joes in just over 10 minutes--a typical 20-25 minute ride in the car.  So, there's efficiency.  But there's something else.  Riding, last night anyway, changed my mental state.  And this change doesn't occur--simply does.not.occur.-- when I run or walk or do other physical activities.  There's something about the speed and fluidity of the bike that makes me actually feel graceful.  I'm really tall.  So running is strange for me.  In the saddle, all of my height gets transferred into perfect counter-balanced thrust.  Around a turn, slight up-hill, an explosion of speed, 30 mile per hour straigh-away, around a bus.  Bang, pot-hole jars you awake out of your dream, but what a nice slick dream it is--definitely the feeling of doing a drug and wondering why life can't be like that all the time.  I still wonder, but I know the difference.  I've fallen, after all.  And I've been hit, too, with a door--which caused me to fall as well.  Not pretty.  Still, the elegance of the bike is not something  I've ever really found an equivalent to, and even then, I make excuses not to get on it.  I mean, shit, here we are in June.  I should have been on that thing for 2 or 3 months.  There's a simple feeling on the saddle: of being home.  Totally wonderfully home.

No comments: