Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Why - part 3

  I learned late.  A lot of things. Riding a bike was another. I think I was almost ten. Maybe 9 and still hadn't gathered up the guts to risk the balance and the embarrassment.
   And I didn't have a bike. Not many kids on the street did. A lot to ask of your parents.
   Gary next door had a Schwinn LaTour. I can still see the lettering and the blue paint. The glitter of the brand. What other bike did any broke American kid have back then? Schwinn was like Sears. Like Ford, Chrysler and Dodge mixed into one. Budweiser without Miller dogging their heels.
   Did any company have a bigger monopoly that they just blew?
   How did Schwinn go bankrupt?
   Stunning. Stunningly stupid. You gotta hand it to assholes like these: Schwinn, Sears, USSteel. Thought they had it wrapped up forever, lived off the fat of the land and the bones of their employees and then screwed the pooch and blamed the unions. Well done, dicks.
     Just in case you wondered about my politics.
     I rode up to the top of Mt Wilson last week after I said I wouldn't but if there was ever a Mt about which it was easy to say "Because it is there" it's Wilson and up top in the Park parking lot a gaggle of leather bound moto boys were strutting their stuff and giving me hard looks as I circled the lot - one fella even shook his head, and that was enough for me to peel by and mention that maybe he should try it once without a motor.
    Makes me laugh. Why is it dudes with machines think they're tougher than people doing the same work without a machine? Guys in fights with guns. Same thing.
    Anyhow- Gary taught me how to make it down the street without falling. The key, and it's the key to soooooo much, the key to riding a bike is....you have to go fast enough. Speed is the fuel that keeps you upright. Speed keeps you out of accidents, speed keeps you aloft, speed is what gets you home.
     I rode his Schwinn. I got a Huffy Thunder road and pulled the handle bar grip off in the rain and almost lost a tooth. My brother came back from college with something called a Puch. And when I was a junior in college myself I fixed the damn thing up, took it to New England and rode it with the Brown cycling club. Won a sprint with it and I'll never forget one of the regular kids on the team coming up behind me putting his hand at the bottom of my spine as cyclists do when they're feeling sentimental enough to give you a push and said Nice work man.
    Height of my racing career.
    My last chance to choose a sport over ...the arts. Ugh.
    Why why why?
    Do we want to be an engine? Do we want to reduce ourselves to legs and lungs? Are we trying to imitate the piston that dragged us out of the agricultural age and into this Anthropocene shitfest?
    The innocent toy of the first decades of the industrial era- the bike.
    But maybe what makes a bicycle great is the same thing that makes art important - a bike is a machine that doesn't make anything. It's joyous tool. Yes, it can be used to further the goals of commerce but only as much as say a horse furthers the ends of his farmer.
    Its real purpose, like that of a horse, what it was made to do was....run. Just run.
 
 
   
 

11 comments:

  1. This is by far, one of your better pieces! Thanks for sharing and ride on (without the motor!)

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  2. Didn't know you were so tough.jk Enjoy reading your blogs, quite entertaining. Looking forward to the next one.

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  3. A bit of an insight into you, nice. You can be sporty and into the arts, whatever comes to the surface at a certain time comes to the surface.
    In the here and now both are what makes you (body and mind). Why why why?
    Why not?

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  4. LOL. This made me think of my own attempts at learning to ride. I don't remember the make of the bike I learned on (long handles and a banana seat) , but it was my brother's. I was the 3rd in line with 2 older brothers, and a runt at that. So I continuously tried to compete (some successful, some not-but always comical, at least to me). I did try the tricks (wheelies, jumps)and wrecked a few times, and annoyed the heck out of my brothers..lol..guess they didn't want lil sis to tag along. At least until I realized I had better things to do, like work, horses, and hanging out with Native Americans at the ODNR learning to smoke fish in a hollow log (without burning the log).
    Cool that you biked to the top of Mt Wilson. Bet the view was amazing. Personally, I believe nature IS Art, and well worth the climb (without motors). You are only 3 yrs. younger than I, so I can picture your descriptions of those times of your child hood. I still say you should write your own movies/tv shows, would be interesting to see what you create. Stay Safe..

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  5. Speed. Leisurely...Determined...Fierce. All creating movement, momentum, rhythm and balance.
    Sweet memories of the heart ignite our growth with each mile traveled.
    Brief moments of looking back though may cause a fumble, wobble or even a fall.
    May our minds not dwell on these struggles of unsteadiness.
    Instead acknowledge the roads traveled and embrace each future destination.
    May our passions and loves set into motion our freedoms to experience.
    Enjoy the warm sun on your face, the breeze through your hair, and the winds of adventure propelling you forward.

    -Vickie

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  6. When I was young I rode a lot, mostly with my siblings and my dad. My dad smelt like Old Spice (which I love still and always reminds me of all things 70s like bug eye sunglasses named after fast cars and Bryl cream which he also smelled of). He always rode his Raleigh Grand Prix bike, (which I was reminded of when you wrote about the Schwinn),it was a bright red skinny framed bike with skinny tyres. Dad used to go off riding by himself on it. Dad was also into art. I inherited my love of art from him. I don't make a distinction between the two things when it comes to my Dad they are both him. Just like art and swimming is to me. My Dad gave me that bike which I didn't think he would ever do and I still have it. I don't ride it much as it has an uncomfortably skinny seat, pedals that dig into my feet because they are small and spikey and even as an adult my legs are too short and that's not good as it is a mans bike. But then I do have a mountain bike.

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  7. I used to ride a mountain bike when I was younger, did laps around the lake. Eventually gave the bike to my niece, don't know if she still has it, lol. Always enjoy reading ur blogs.

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  9. I've always wondered about your politics.

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  10. I've always wondered about why people invest all those efforts into creating high end moving tools only to never ever really move one single inch forward.

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  11. David are u afrayd from ghosts?? And why is ur caracter dieing in the serial?

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