Riding On The Straight And Narrow

In smug circles, bicyclists often congratulate themselves for using a mode of transport that keeps them in touch with the world around them. This is certainly valid, in that yes, you absolutely notice stuff on your bike you’d never notice while driving. I’ve discovered all sorts of little out-of-the-way spots over the years, from restaurants to parks to panoramic vistas, all by virtue of the fact that I was riding a bicycle and not speeding along in my gasoline-powered four-wheel recumbent.

At the same time, this connection to your environment is relative, and you also whiz by all sorts of stuff on your bike without realizing it. We all feel like we’ve got a broadband connection to Total Consciousness when we’re riding, but there’s a fine line between enlightenment and having your head up your ass, and we often mistake the latter for the former. For example, I’ve been riding past this log repeatedly, but only this morning did I notice that someone is making an awesome totem pole out of it:

So I took this as a sign that I should sit down for a bit and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the forest:

Even the whoosh of traffic on the Major Deegan couldn’t drown out the woodpeckers and other woodland denizens, in the same way someone mixing margaritas in the next room does little to diminish the soaring majesty of a Beethoven symphony. I suppose I could have lamented how Robert Moses shredded this park with parkways and expressways, but instead I chose to dwell on how fortunate I was to be sitting on a log on a Friday morning in April, my exquisite custom bicycle leaning jauntily against an artisanal hand-curated carving-in-progress.

Speaking of my bike, my crank downgrade seems to be holding up, so hopefully there was nothing too wrong with it when I relegated it to the parts bin several years back:

As for the new bike project I’m embarking upon, I’m awaiting the frame and some components I didn’t already have, and I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve also been considering stealing back the Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Road tires for that project, but I have others in my tire pile I think I should use first, and also I’ve really been enjoying them on this bike:

Though they are a bit too narrow for certain applications, especially if your offroad line-holding skills are sub-mediocre like mine are:

There’s nothing that undermines your state of woodland bliss like getting your tire wedged in between two planks and bashing your knee on your stem in the process:

That never would have happened with the Jones:

Which reminds me I’ve gotta get back on that Jones!

So many bikes, so little integrity…

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