If there is a God, he is probably a bicycle

April 18, 2010

(You may need to increase the font size of this essay to enhance your reading pleasure – to do so hold down the Ctrl key and press +) Physical discomfort only rubs if it’s purposeless. When you screw physical discomfort to a cause – be it climbing a mountain, getting a degree or just something as trivial as cycling – then it all suddenly makes perfect sense and physical discomfort doesn’t mean very much  – cycling may not be much of a cause in the greater scheme of things;  but that could be said about babies as well, they do nothing but eat, shit and talk gibberish all day

May sound crazy, but I am one of those who really believe if you just stop and take the time to look long and hard enough at something or someone; you will probably find God there – I am not referring to God as in the context of faith God, rather the God that manages to unite mind, body and spirit (I used to believe in a Christian God, these days, I believe he has more to do with Titanium building materials, IMHO, they’re just so full of shit – so as far as faith is concernerd – I am a goner – I am never ever going back! Never! And even if I really wanted too, I wouldn’t know where to begin!) – the way I see it God can just as well be found snuggly placed neatly between two co-axial wires in a digital computer or somewhere in the gears, sprockets and chain of a bicycle as he can be found at some snow cap mountain, or even in a way a plastic bag decides to dance in the wind – it’s all up there in your head.

One of the things I really like about cycling is – you make it all up as you go along – sometimes you go fast at other times slow, you’re always the boss – there are no rules – when you cycle alone that is – I wasn’t always like this – I used to cycle in a pack; still do from time to time – only when you’re pedaling in a pack, your whole attitude transforms. To me these days, that has to be a form of reductionism – as you’re not so different from one of those birds that make a wedge shape fly to where you are supposed to fly too – in other words, your sense of being just get overwhelmed by the group. Next you thing you realize; everything becomes a competitive game – you have to win, beat the other guy, be the first to cross that line yada yada yada yada yada – in other words you become a perfect asshole.

I am not blaming the pack; If I anyone is to be blamed, it’s me – somewhere down the line, I’ve realized satisfaction comes from deep within; it doesn’t come from others and even less from what they may choose to regard you, those things aren’t real – it’s still work in progress; like shrapnel that once lodged beneath the skin, it’s slowly making its way out – I still have some niggling bad habits like I want my bike to run ultra smooth, so I tend to carry everything from industrial grade spanners to hex keys that most sane people never bother with; and whenever I don’t get that crispy feel, that’s just me – I can’t help it; I stop; asses the problem and fix it right there (I don’t think that part will every go away as I am really one of those guys who can spend hours wandering in hardware stores) And I still derive some childish fetish about carbon fiber featherweight bicycle frames, frictionless ceramic bearings, and the luscious feel of exotic materials when they are all personally fitted on my bike – don’t even allow the bike mechanic to touch it; do it all myself – and when it comes together and I feel that sure footed forward glide as the chain sucks up the sprockets, it’s just immensely satisfying and edifying –but one thing is for sure, I am less pernickety these days – I only carry one third of what I use to back pack; these days, I don’t even mind the odd rattle; the loose drive train and the slight slack of the chain – those things don’t bother me so much – it’s strange how when you begin to learn to be less intolerant of mechanical perfection something immensely greater is released – the whole wide world seems to open up to you .

Cycling may not mean much to people as I said, but that’s only because they haven’t really found the God in the small; in my little way, I may have discovered him there, then again I could be wrong, I have even been wrong many times many things, but this time, it feels just right – that cannot be denied – and it’s a telling lesson – as somewhere between two lamppost when you are just cruising along – the first lesson cycling teaches anyone who really wants to know it deep down is this may actually be the very place to start improving the world first; that’s to say it has to FIRST begin somewhere deep inside you BEFORE it can assume a useful form and shape that can radiate out to affect others; that is the first thing cycling alone teaches you – I hope you find that mythical line and drop me a line if you do!

Darkness 2010 – The Brotherhood Press 2010

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