Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bikes Don't Kill People... Winter Does.

Not to be redundant...but I'm just not built for winter.
Though, to be clear... what I really mean is that I'm not built for the winter I currently inhabit. It's less of a weather thing... and more of location thing. I have no doubt that at some point, mounds of snow would vex me in all the same ways that they don't... but there is something about slogging through a long spell of short days of the exact same banality...but colder... that is somehow even more taxing and draining than the most hostile of blizzards.

Snow transforms a place.
The shitty suburban street that you live on... the one that on a good day sucks the life out of you, and on a bad day makes you bareknuckle box windows, walls, ghosts (and yourself)... is suddenly transformed into something... magical.
Walking to the corner bar morphs from a resigned, sad ritual of keeping the void at bay... into an enlivening adventure, rife with the joie de vivre of existence.
Riding loops around a country-club neighborhood... the one that fills you with angst and disquietude because you can't wrap your head around the fact that people actually make enough money to afford living there... becomes an invigorating snowy-fun-time-odyssey-of-wonder.

As opposed to yet another confounding circumnavigation of pedestrian ennui manifest.

Yet another trip up the mountain with your boulder. Sisyphus of the suburbs.

CAUTION: Existential Crisis Ahead

What I'm really trying to get at is that if there was a layer of snow on the ground that stuck around for a few months... I'd take it. And I'd recreate appropriately in it. Whether it was on a board, or on a pair of skis, or on snowshoes... or on a fatbike.

There is a light that never goes out.

Unless you knock it out.

Because a fatbike, contrary to mundane opinion, is no dumber than any other bike. Certainly no dumber than a fixed gear. Or a gravel-grinder. Or an E-bike. (That's actually a trick. There is no bike dumber than an E-bike.) In fact, if you bother to observe it unhindered by the lens of your own ass, you start to realize pretty quick that everything dumb about a fatbike...or any bike... is really just everything dumb about people. That we can't create our own identities without props or foils. Dealing poorly and ambiguously with absolutes. The vexing and hackneyed sentiment that some thing is either the pinnacle of existence. Or the nadir.
You're the fucking nadir, you fucking morlock. #fuckbikesgetlaid

I don't even know. It's these tachyons. They're muddling everything up.

You know what? The Velominati are wrong. It's not about the bike. And if it is... then you're fucking boring.
And I say that as a person whose existence is so rooted and mired in bikes that I can't think of any other way I'd rather spend my life.

But there is no zealot like the neophyte. (Or the troglodyte.) And the bike... is a powerful deity. But at some point, if you have any depth at all, you start to examine your deities a little more critically, and truly reflect on what they ultimately really mean to you. And your relationship with that idea gains a significance and profundity that extends far beyond some frenzied initial furor... and evolves past some identity you want to project...or some inane hashtag you purport to live.
Unless that well you're tapping is little more than a shallow hole...And I have my theories.
Much time...  We're fucking doomed.

In my own arbitrary and warped canon, one of the key tenets is that the bike, first and foremost, always teaches humility...and never engenders hubris. And therein lies the pitfall of any theology. Because when filtered through humanity's embryonic psyches... it seems that everything turns to hubris. Be it a god, a bike, or the medium on which you fight gravity. @gravelassassin @singlespeeddildo @fatbikejebus @pavement4eva
Though as a rule... I reject theology. And theism.

Sigh...Forgive me. You know what this is? I turned 40 a little bit ago. And it hit me harder than I thought. Some of it is reflections on mortality. Some of it is reflections on fatherhood. And some of it...just because.

And it's not that I have any aspirations of keeping up with the Joneses. Because...look at me.
It's more that I'm trying to figure out what my real legacy will be. Aside from a swath of destruction.

Sometimes I worry. That I'm on some sort of trajectory that I'll never be able to change. That the strangeness in me has more gravity than I really give it credit for. And that I'm destined to unravel in all the ways I always knew I would. And then some.
Because while we all size each other up and create arbitrary barometers with which to measure one another's internal and external climates... I have seriously grave doubts as to whether anyone else wonders, as they shake hands with a person, if and when they last considered punching themselves as hard as they can in the face.
Because that might speak volumes about their character.
Or mine.

And there's nothing wrong with that. Or you.

(Is winter over yet?  #tachyons)


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  2. This winter was demoralizing. If only it would commit. 44 and fat and out of shape because it was "too cold" "too wet" or "too hot" oh and don't forget "too muddy." Now spring here, time to get it together and get back into shape!