― John Muir
Riding a bike in Hardy County, West Virginia as we do every Spring for us city folk is an attempt to step away from the "trivial world of men." Truth is, the often overwhelming smell of chicken shit (and possibly chemical spills) tends to return the mind to that trivia. Chicken feces certainly qualifying, in the scheme of things, as trivial.
Then there is the mind itself, which sits in the flow of trivia: the current time, the temperature, the state of the beltway, the cost of gas, the matter of Crimea, whether one package of diapers is enough.
Some of the trivia of our riding: in three days 186.7 miles, 19,996 feet of climbing at an average speed of 14.1mph. No precipitation, with temperature between 34 and 62 degrees and wind from 2-22mph.
At night we drank scotch or rum and tonics and stood around a fire.
|M. Floro, picture|
|M. Floro, picture|
We talked about enlightened states, about the Muscle hating riding professionally and how he won professional races, about how a bike messenger built a place in the mountains for city folks like us--to break away from the trivial world of men and learn the news.
For a moment when you are at mile 60 on the empty valley roads and the wind stops blowing the smell of chickens, you cease coming up with things to say to your companions. The sun warms you and you remove your arm warmers. A bald eagle stands in the middle of a field, his white head undeniably bald. You are breathing hard, but not painfully. You are glad the lube you dropped in your pedal this morning fixed the creaking and all is quiet as you turn over the crank.
The young men who have put in the training attack and leave you, as you left them once, when you were fit. But you are fine with them going. You can sit and listen to you and the world spinning round.
Men still finding precious days, tucked into pockets of calm in rugged creases of earth, both worn by time--that's the news I came to hear.
Previous posts on Lost River:
2012 and 2012.