Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hustle and Bustle

In his book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton wrote:

"It is customary to complain of the bustle and strenuousness of our epoch. But in truth the chief mark of our epoch is a profound laziness and fatigue; and the fact is that the real laziness is the cause of the apparent bustle. Take one quite external case; the streets are noisy with taxicabs and motorcars; but this is not due to human activity but to human repose. There would be less bustle if there were more activity, if people were simply walking about." 
I might add ...or riding bicycles. He continues:
"Our world would be more silent if it were more strenuous."
Chesterton wrote this in 1908. As I read it last night I found myself lamenting that there is nothing new under the sun and that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This morning I reminded myself that cities like the often cited Copenhagen have proved that in some places cyclists and pedestrians have reclaimed some of the streets. So, there's hope.

One other Chesterton quote from last night's reading:

‎"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them."
Now, get out there and cycle up an adventure or two.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For Whom the Chimes Ring

Sometimes you'll find that riding a bike reveals certain things about your body that need attention. With the change in my riding habits over the last year, that has become very evident. I now know that some minor aches and pains were due to my riding. Minor stuff. On the other hand, riding less has had it's consequences too and I much prefer the minor aches; now that I'm aware of them, I can adjust technique or equipment to deal with it.

What I may not be able to deal with is my brain. The last few weeks I've developed a strange Pavlovian need to check my cell phone due to ...


I'll be riding through the neighborhood and every block or two will faintly hear something that makes me reach for my cell phone. Here's the problem, there are no ring tones on the phone that sound,remotely like wind chimes. I don't get it. And where have all these wind chimes come from? I've never seen or heard this many in my life.

I used to love the sound of wind chimes. My parents had wind chimes hanging on the back porch that lulled me to sleep in my childhood. Now I react and then cringe when I hear them.

So, here's a public service announcement that you'll most likely not come across anywhere else: Say no to wind chimes. Think of the cyclists.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trail, Hallelujah

This year started out to be a low-mileage, utility biking year. During yesterday's ride to the library and grocery store I decided I really needed to get back out on the Indian Creek Trail for a recreational ride. 54° F and sunny today. Everyone else in my family was off doing their own thing, so I decided to go for my first just-for-the-fun-of-it ride of the year.

As the ride started I had plenty of company; a few cyclists, several joggers, and families out walking. But after I passed Roe Park I seemed to have the trail to myself.

As I hit this open stretch my MP3 player randomly shuffled to "Hallelujah Trail" by Elmer Bernstein. It turned out to be the perfect piece of music for my mood and as it ended I couldn't help saying "Awesome." The only thing that could have made the ride better was if the foliage was a bit more green.

For now I'll just have to imagine the forthcoming Spring.