Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Cycling into spring

Everybody needs a sport - or some sort of athleticism - to muscle one's way into life, to feel life viscerally, to sweat, to breathe (hard), to come to grips with the physical world, feel gravity and sun and terrain.

There are, of course, many great sports and physical endeavors, and I love to hike and run and play. But cycling is my love because you get somewhere, you feel the earth, it's twists and turns and contours. Cycling is both sensual and worldly - not so gym-bound as weights or swimming, not so spiritually arranged as yoga, not so dependent on facilities as most ball sports or badminton or shuffleboard, for gosh sakes - none of that 'you could do this on a cruise ship' sort of thing. I mean, you can even 'golf' on a cruise ship, as long as you don't insist on retrieving every lost ball that disappears in the deep blue rough.

Cycling is dependent on the world as it is, far and wide. And as I say on my bike tours, it's not what you ride or even how you ride or even, why you ride - though why is always a factor. No, it's WHERE you ride that counts.

Close to home, far from home, long or short, a habitual commute, across a state or continent or around the world. It's WHERE. Where, expecially the most challenging and exotic places, show you things not only about your body and your mind but about those things in the context of the rough (the REAL rough) and ragged and pretty (if not pristine) world.

To be a really good bike tourist, a "natural," you need not be particularly strong or coordinated or tough or fast good or competitive or one to keep score. It's best if you are patient, observant, resilient, varied in your interests - and especially have an interest in small town life, terrain, old-fashioned kitsch, out of the way backroads, scenery, small talk, contemplation, coming face to face with weather (especially, yes, WIND), and have a particular appreciation for small town life and solace and some solitude, mixed in with the occasional roadside socializing.

May the road be long and the wind at your back - more often please.

A lovely, gracefully curving road rising and falling into the hills with a river view, too - that's following your bliss.


At 3/23/2005 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH, Lawrence!

......this is _really_ so very beautiful......so good that I want to edit. ;)

must be all that cleanfreshtexissair.

At 3/28/2005 10:23 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

Wanna "edit" do you? And "edit" how, what, who? XO or just XXX?

And maybe ad? Annotate? Pull off beside the road?

Yeah, life has its intellectual and its sensual pleasures, umm hmmm.

At 4/02/2005 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to edit your words a little bit. They feel so close to perfection, tweaking is hard to resist! ;)

For my taste and for what it's worth at this point, this is your best writing on this blog. Your talent, your real heart seem so close and so clear.



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