Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bicycles are things, too.

A ride report next, I promise! But, I'm waiting for some photos to come back, and I've been in a "thinking" mood cycling around lately. I find I go through phases on my bike. Sometimes I'm a kid, sometimes (rarely) I'm a "serious cyclist," sometimes I put the legs on auto and just think about things.

Lately I've been pondering the yearly event that is the "one bike" thread on the iBob-list ( Every so often someone asks if one bike is enough, and I always follow the debate with interest. Replies usually break into 3 main camps. 1) One bike is enough, and I've done it. 2) More bikes are more fun, but one could do it for me. 3) And I good-naturedly paraphrase, "Why are you foisting your self-righteous views of one-bike superiority on me you hippy lout?!? I have 63 bikes, and THEY ALL GET RIDDEN!!"

I'm probably firmly in camp 2 now, though I happily lived in camp 1's tent for about a year. The original poster is often baffled by responses from camp 3, since he/she never said one bike was superior, just wondered if it were possible for a cycling enthusiast and/or wanted to pare down their possesions for a 1 BR apartment (I can relate).

From the latest round of discussion, I think it dawned on me that bikes, too, are just things. Brilliant, wonderful things with a tremendous potential for good, in my opinion, but still just things. I really feel that I would not be as happy if I gave up one of my two bikes. What if I had to give up bikes altogether? It worries me that my happiness is so bound up in a thing, even if it's a bicycle.

For me things are always posing as real interactions with the world and causing me to miss what's really important. Until now, I've never thought of bikes doing that. As I think back, though, there are times spent agonizing over parts and finding/building bikes. Times that would have been better spent with rachel, or actually riding, or writing, or hiking up the mountain to stare at the moon. That cycling is important I can accept, but bikes? Maybe I should move them down the list and think more carefully about my time.

Of course, this thinking comes as frameset #3 is in transit to me, a 1979 Trek 710, ready to be agonized over.


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-Me (Large Fella)

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