Friday, July 11, 2008

2 Darned Proud of Myself

There's this thing about practicing a skill- once you've mastered it, you don't have to be primarily absorbed in it. It becomes an unconscious skill.

Consider how our consciousness of writing cursive script evolves as the skill is learned, then mastered- for the first few years you're intensely conscious of the feel of the pencil between your fingers and thumb, the texture of graphite sliding across partially-pulped, yellow schoolhouse paper transmitted up the yellow wooden cylinder.

But then, gradually, with little notice or fanfare, writing cursive script became an unconscious act- no longer are you absorbed in the how of writing, but rather in the what, or perhaps, why, of writing. {And if you're a PostModern Existentialist Heideggarian, you'll have moved from writing to Writing, in all of it's capital-letter implications.} You scratch down an address on the back of a dollar bill, scribble out your name on the FedEx guy's digital clipboard, and pen a few thoughtful words in the get-well card going around the office.

So I've been strapping little digital cameras to various bikes and trailers for a couple of years now. It's been a demanding little learning process- figuring out how to get a camera securely mounted on the bike, then puzzling out how to get the camera securely mounted, and vibration-free. Figuring out camera angles, interval timers, wide-angle adapters, wide-angle adapter mounts (dental floss. no joke). Finding a compact, simple & effective lens-cleaning tool.

So it was darn satisfying to realize that somewhere between Kingsport, Tennessee and Abingdon, Virginia, it all came together for the picture above...It'll be part of the Bike Virginia Movie that I'm putting together. See my BVA blog for more info.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Pack Consciousness of Cycling

There's something organic and primeval about riding in a group, especially on the road. At the best moments a collective consciousness is tapped into by all of the individuals, coalescing into a smooth double paceline.

Maybe it's the endorphin buzz. Maybe it's the collective effort and shared labor. Whatever it is, it's a beautiful and elusive creature.

We were holding the tiger's tail yesterday around the airport with over twenty people. But then wheel's touched- someone went down- and they were back up, helmet intact, finger dislocated.

The pace of the ride slowed down after that as we made our way back to the Taphouse for medicinal pints of anti-inflammatory adult beverages. Sharon's gonna be OK, and her finger will hopefully mend quickly.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Solstice Ride? Hmm....

Even in the most artificial of concrete jungles, I still feel a connection to the natural world when I'm on my when I was listening to a recent episode of The Bike Show on Resonance FM podcast and heard about a ride from London to Stonehenge that arrived in time for the Summer Solstice sunrise...well, inspiration hit.

I dunno where I'd ride, but an endorphin buzz seems like as a good a way as any to celebrate the Solstice...or Equinox, for that matter.

Ride through the night on Summer Solstice, ride through the day on the Winter Solstice. Either way, it'd be a little less than 10 hours of riding- enough for an easy English Century. Seems like it would only be appropriate to ride a circuit...

Dunno where I'd ride, but if you're interested, let me know...

Hey Honey, You Washed My Cell Phone

No, really. It was an accident. I swear.

"Hey Honey, have you seen my cell phone?"

"No. Where'd you have it last?"

"Well I remember it chiming this morning when we were going out the door."

"Did you call it from the house phone?"

"Yeah, I did, and it's going straight to voice mail."

"It wasn't in the laundry basket was it? Because I started a load of laundry before we left."

My cell phone was not in the laundry basket. Rather, it was in the bottom of the washing machine, underneath a load of freshly laundered clothes.

My carrier's customer service center hasn't opened yet, but I'm willing to bet that it'll cost me at least $160 to get a new phone. And for that price, I might as well get an iPhone.

No, really- I need a new phone.