Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Ride?

If you've never asked yourself why you ride a bike, you've probably not done much riding since you were thirteen and the back tire went flat on your Huffy and you never fixed it. On the other hand, if you're reading this blog, you probably don't fit in that category. For me, the reasons to ride have a lot to do with unstranding my dopamine receptors (whatever that means--I've got to figure that out sometime).
Anyhow, I was reading David B. Perry’s Bike Cult when I came across the following: a Zen master asks five students why they ride their bikes. The first says he is riding to transport a bag of potatoes. The second says he enjoys the scenery when he rides. The third likes to recite a mantra while riding. The fourth feels a sense of "harmony" when riding. The master finds all these answers acceptable, but he is most pleased with the fifth, who says, "'I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.'" I take this to mean the activity itself is inherently worthwhile, and no external justification is necessary.
Bike Cult is a marvelous book, full of history and lore--an encyclopedic look at the sport (defining that term broadly), from p-fars to recumbents to Greg LeMond. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. Could've sworn I'd left a message a couple of posts back!?