Friday, July 27, 2012


If I were riding down the Burke-Gilman trail (or Westlake Boulevard for that matter), and I came wheel to wheel with a line of forty or so cyclists carrying beer and other provisions pedaling to the beat of a throbbingly loud bicycle-mounted sound system who invited me to come with them for a swim in Lake Washington on what may have been the warmest evening of the year so far, I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t turn around and follow without hesitation.

When I mentioned this to tehSchkott, he pointed out that there’s your difference right there: I’d U-turn for fun because I’m the sort of person who does that; all those spandexed teeth-gritting riders we tried unsuccessfully to entice didn’t because they’re not.

Of course, this is circular reasoning, but that doesn’t make the conclusion false even if the argument’s fallacious—which is, I think, a decent metaphor for the evening’s experience: it’s undeniably true that the water is fine, the beer refreshing, and the music festive, even if the manner in which those outcomes were derived is questionable.

The waxing quarter moon formed a perfect ear in the sky as if our planet’s satellite were listening in, making me suspect that Luna, too, would have turned her celestial chariot around to follow the music even if that sometimes meant pedaling dangerously close to the sounds of Katy Perry or yet another playing of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”

Pasty torsos held a meeting in the water while less hardy souls mingled on land as dusk settled and Springsteen crooned; eventually the ride stumbled west to a patio near a different, but still connected body of water—which is, now that I think of it, another reasonably appropriate metaphor for the bike gang experience: the names and particulars are different but the flow is all one, so really, even if you don’t turn around, you’re still part of the same vastness whether you embrace it or not.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

yea, I'd like to be the kind of person who'd U-Turn for fun, but even though I would have been riding my old Giant with comfort seat, wearing a skirt and sandals, no spandex, no teeth-gritting (I hope), I might not've joined in for some flimsy reason like I had something in mind that I was gonna cook for dinner, and I was heading home to cook it.

11:23 AM  

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