Recently I posted about camera lenses and how they are similar to bicycles. This analogy works well for describing both photography and bicycles, but I want to take a step back and look at a bigger picture. This bigger picture requires thinking about a person as a camera . . . a camera that lives and breathes and requires more than a fully-charged battery and a protective case, but a camera nonetheless. Let me try and put things in focus . . .
. . . that you never step in the same river twice.
This bounced back and fourth in my head as I sat next to Lithia Creek and dangled my foot in it’s cool water. A few minutes ago I had considered it’s flowing water to be too cold for dangling, but a couple of trepidatious attempts proved otherwise. My foot appeared much more pale than it was when viewed from under a couple of inches of snow melt-off. Chuckling to myself at my flip-flop tan, I gazed at the creek and it’s movement. You never step in the same river twice . . .
The website Flat Matters says this in their About Us section, “Someone somewhere on this vast planet is progressing, we like to show that and motivate you to progress, and keep this artform/sport we all love alive.”, and that is both inspiring, but also rather astute. Someone is always progressing and I don’t just mean that in direct relation to flatland, BMX, or even bicycles in general. Bear with me . . .
So . . . like . . . remember when I posted a short piece on BMX not being allowed in public skateparks here in Seattle? Apparently it’s not just a SEA thing, because PDX is having a similar problem.
Today, I came across this headline, “Bummer. Illegal BMX track built in sensitive Clackamas wetlands”, . . . bummer . . . yeah. Big one. Why was it built there? Well, partly because there aren’t any legal BMX spots in the PDX area. Also, I hate to say it, but I’m sure that they builders didn’t realize what they were trashing when they were tearing out the plants and putting down rebar. Is it their fault? Not entirely . . .
This is just what we have to expect when we don’t give people any other options. Ride in a publicfuckingskatepark and get a ticket, or build your own place to ride and do your thing where skaters and police officers won’t bother you. The problem is when you choose the latter option, it’s not entirely legal either, so there’s not much to do in this situation.
I’m sad to hear this news, but I’m more sad that we can’t find a fucking way to get a long. Seriously people, we’re in the year 2011 . . . we’ve put humanity and this planet through a lot already . . . can’t we . . . I don’t know . . . do a little bit better? Put aside your differences, find a way to compromise, deal with it, enjoy life. Rest and repeat.
It is not okay that we still have to find a divide in wheeled/”extreme” sports. Skateboards, rollerbladers, rollerskates, scooters, and even (gasp) bicycles can actually get along. Maybe it will take a bit of time to get used to, but that’s how fucking change happens. Teach the young generation something that they can hold on to for their future, so that hopefully this stuff isn’t still happening in 2032. Or 2111. Or 3000. Etc. . . It’s not okay that bicycles aren’t allowed in a public place. Want to ban Eskimos while you’re at it?
If you want, the article can be found in it’s entirety here: http://www.clackamasreview.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=131429871507551900
For those unaware, the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicked of in Colorado this past Monday. The event, a 7-day professional road stage race, is the first of it’s kind since the historic and fabled Coors Classic (1980-1988). This is sort of a big deal for our country and for our sport . . .
- The event is huge! With a starting field of over 120 riders it is already a big race, but with the addition of Cadel Evans (2011 TdF winner) and the two Schleck brothers it’s huge in scope not just in size
- The event has some major backing, thanks in part to Mr. Lance Armstrong. It’s getting the right coverage and it’s being ran the right way.
- It’s a freakin’ stage race in ‘Merica!!!
Why do I ride a bicycle? I don’t really know, it seems like the answers to that are always changing depending on where I am in life. One thing I do know, though, is that no matter what, it gives me something to grab on to. Literally and figuratively . . .
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about lenses and how they are (or can be) very similar to bicycles. This is partly because I’ve been in the market for a new camera recently. It’s also because I’ve thought about the concept of viewing life “through” different lenses before, and a tweet by John Watson of Prolly Is Not Probably got me thinking about it again. He posed the question of what lens he should bring with him on his OR-CA bike tour, which is a really good question, and it got me thinking. The lens that you decide to mount on the front of your camera really dictates how you view the world, clearly (no pun intended), and the bike that you decide to ride can do the same thing.
We operate within a world of boundaries. Boundaries that delineate different sections or areas of the world. Some of these boundaries and areas are visible and obvious. A line running down the center of the road clearly reads “do not cross this, the other side is for vehicles moving in the opposite direction”. A dashed line in the middle of the road is similar, but the message it’s communicating is slightly different, “you can cross this line and it will kind of be okay, but only when the coast is clear, and then you should probably get back on your side as quick (yet as safely) as you can”. These two examples are only a sliver of a fraction of what’s out there, boundary wise, and these only really address the visible type. There are also just as many (if not more) invisible boundary lines out there that we find by mere chance and/or luck (fortunate or not).
This is a bit silly of me, but the past couple of summers, I subject myself to what I like to call the “Big Ring Challenge”. I think that I may have gotten the idea from pro mountain biker Adam Craig, of Super-D fame, but to be honest I’m not sure. How it happened was I realized that I was sub-consciously keeping track of when I was riding my bike in the big chainring up front and when I wasn’t. Being the competitive fellow that I (unfortunately) am, I mentally dared myself to keep it in the bigger ring as much as possible, because that would be . . . you know . . . more hard core. Or something.
Yesterday was a good day.
I slept in and had some coffee.
Then I had more coffee and a sandwich while sitting in the sun and listening to a woman next to me read aloud from Tina Fey’s autobiography.
She was reading to a woman in a wheelchair hooked up to a feeding tube.
The both laughed out loud whenever the book got “raunchy”.
I laughed too, silently.
I was reading 100 Years of Solitude .
The barista asked me if I like the book and I smiled and said yes.
She said that she enjoyed Gabriel Garcia Marquez and wound up looking into more “Latin-American authors”.
Another barista gave me a book about wilderness awareness and survival.
It was the start to a good day.