Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Often, when somebody discovers that I’m in the habit of riding my bicycle (usually) (at least) (about) twenty miles a day to and/or from school they say something like, “Wow. You’re really dedicated.”

And I guess, on the one hand, I am, but maybe only to the smug feeling I get when someone says that because really, I don’t think of it that way at all.

The simple fact is, I just like riding my bike and if that’s dedication, then it’s only dedication like someone could be dedicated to eating ice cream, or getting massages, or taking mid-afternoon naps in the sun after a few beers at lunch.

When I think of dedication, I think of commitment to something one doesn’t like to do or which serves some greater good or that represents a cause one is fighting for. Because to me, bike riding is mainly about bike riding (and, sometimes, on Thursday nights especially, camaraderie and consciousness-twiddling), it doesn’t really strike me as the sort of thing one dedicates to.

Tonight, for instance, I left school under nearly cloudless and in reasonably temperate weather—no rain, anyway—for February in Seattle. At first, I was going to take the bus, because it was already dark and I was feeling tired and lazy from a long day of teaching and meeting.

But once I got on my bike and started pedaling, I didn’t want to stop; it just felt so good to be turning the cranks, feeling the cool breeze whistle around my helmet, enjoying the night air and, as a bonus, passing a long line of cars bumper-to-bumper on Bothell Way.

Am I dedicated because I chose that mode of transportation rather than something else? (Probably not, because by the time I got to Kenmore and the bus caught up with me, I took the opportunity to put my bike on its rack and ride, but that’s my point: I ride from desire, not dedication.)


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