Knocked hard, but still here. Escapism on a bike.

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It is said that comfort leads to ruin, that adversity creates strength; it is also said that one should not rest in Haran. Take my word for it – keep moving when you get to Haran.  We all have a place that that is…. mediocrity, stagnation, and the opposite of success.  My Haran sentence is over, I now sit in the wreckage of a crisis weekend where I lost big, not in possessions, but in a special person to me.  I made mistakes.  I was too sensitive again.  I had wrong thoughts and poisoned fantasies.  There’s a Johnny Cash song playing inside the cafe – fully appropriate:

“Everyone I know goes away in the end.”

Alone, I went out 4 bag loaded and wandered. No warm up, no cool down, just getting away. Just hurting, and trying to ride away the hurt.  Yes, both kinds of hurt.  Mental stability was challenged greatly during maintenance camp.  Now, it’s find friends.  Take Lance for lots of walks, ride around on the bike that doesn’ t hurt my back:

It's surprisingly more comfortable than it looks
It's surprisingly more comfortable than it looks

So if you’re in Seattle, and see a guy on this bike with or without a dog, talk to me.  I need the human contact these days.  Alone was sucking for too long.  I5 never felt like such a relief. Though I was greeted with “Take your stuff, take your dog, and go away.” I do have quiet where the rig rests. The only thing that was stolen from me through this transition was my phone – it caused this stinking chain of events which led me to sleeping on hard dirt for two days; a three day bike tour that was, not trained for, not planned, not measured, and not even enjoyed – but I no longer want to jump off of a bridge. It did at least do that for me. No flats, few hills, little sleep, lots of thinking.

“…And there’s a lot of pain.”

I found myself in a brewery in LaConner ordering a second beer. Today, I’m not interested. Just want to lay down after throwing out my back.  I’m looking forward to a good nights rest in my truck on a street in Seattle.

Wreckage and renewal
Wreckage and renewal

When a man asks you what your personal philosophy is, say something that you came up with yourself. Ayn Rand is full of shit. Stay clear of Christians and their food. My philosophy is manifold – here’s one clue:

Loose Boot Racing

I spew not someone else’s words when I give my own philosophy. Mine is this: I do not know if man’s nature is inherently good or bad. Confucius didn’t know either, and said so. Lau Tzu believed it was wrong, and that man must be forced to do good. Mencius believed the opposite – that man’s nature is good and becomes corrupt. I believe in living my life as a treetop flyer. I respect and honor the boy – a proper rogue in my book:

Challenge everything – especially man’s laws. Go not against Earth’s laws – Your life is in her hands, yet she will not move a pebble on a beach for the death of you – only for eternity the stones move. She will not bring about a whiff of wind in your honor. Her love is pure love, unquestionable. Stroke the grass lovingly, it is familiar; it is your mother’s hair.

This is a tridosha.
This is a tridosha.

(print by yours truly, 2005, woodcut reduction)

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

28 Replies to “Knocked hard, but still here. Escapism on a bike.”

  1. Dude, just laughed my ass off w the christian food part. Once baught a loaf of bread from a sweet little old christian woman @ a truck stop. Needless to say as soon as we got in it, it was breathing old & super funk… So much for “I baked it this morning with the love from god”

  2. Your TT/Tri comfy ride looks great… Comfy (aka proper position) is the fondation of all speed.

    I’m looking for a steel frame that I can rig to the same fit as my Uber expensize triathlon race ride… For long winters, mud and snow nothing beats an old cyclo cross frame.

  3. I need to get out and get away in a big way. The Well is calling. Charlie’s out there, getting stronger. I’m in here, getting weaker. Between LJ, SH, 40… man, you cats are out there doing it. Getting it done. Each for reasons which are different and, at the same time, reasons which are the same.

    May the wind always be at your back…

  4. For what it’s worth – Johnny Cash was covering NiN’s “Hurt.” Cash’s version is sad and haunting.

    The roads beckon, like
    black ribbons unfurled for miles,
    to show us the way.

    …and may you find yourselves in heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

  5. That bike is for sale – should have mentioned but it would have tainted the intent of my post. I don’t need 4 bikes built and one on the wall. This one I’d let go for $600 at this point, or maybe I’ll take it apart and keep the DA 9 speed shit, get rid of the wheels and frame… I don’t know. I want fatter tires on it, but I love the little wheels.

  6. I just did three days of RAGBRAI last week (wife did the whole thing for the second time). Good to see the world on two wheels…lotsa times I’m on my bike I feel pretty alone.

  7. LJ— is that the mondo 58t on there? That thing reminds me of my Giant with its 26×1 tars, I should get a bigger big ring for it.

    I bagged one mile of hike-a-bike, 40 miles of gravel and 25 miles of asphalt yesterday. Almost ran over a bobcat about two miles up in the woods from Cedar Falls. The atmospheric haze plus smoke from Canada made the sun really orange and the shadows looked blue.

    When we come to the place where the road and the sky collide
    Throw me over the edge and let my spirit glide
    They told me I was going to have to work for a living
    But all I want to do is ride
    I don’t care where we’re going from here
    Honey, you decide

    Jackson Browne, 1974

  8. The 58 is in my stash. It’s going on. Thanks for reminding me. I don’t hardly use the big ring, but I’d like to hit 50 again. Did it once, it was before the bicycle computer fell off of my handlebar on Wilmot and was, within 1 second, hit by a car. I never put one on again. It was like a message from God: “No room for that” The ride was my first ever century – the Tumacacori Century in 1999. I was on a team then – rode for Fair Wheel, wore the matching red, white, black kit.
    Yes, was proud to see two people on the Tucson Citizen front page one day wearing that jersey, both women; both winners. It was on one of the canyons in the middle – wicked steep going up, and equally so going down. Steepest place I’ve ridden other than Eastman Hill, (Enfield, NH) but the curves on Eastman Hill are wicked bad. I conquered that hill after two failed attempts to climb without walking when I was a teenager.
    When I was 24, I could have crushed it.
    Like I crushed Freeman Hill in 99 El Tour. Now Freeman, you’d scare me.
    I can see ripping that speed, or maybe faster, down one of these Seattle hills. Find better tires, mount big ring. Check. It’s on the list.

  9. That lady at the Maple Leaf yard sail was asking $700 for it just a couple of weeks ago.

  10. Yes, indeed – Katie was watching my bike for some months while I was in Haran with the rig. She rode it a few times. I think it’s worth $800, but I can’t sell it for that much. Which leads me to wonder what I could get for the Landshark were I to foolishly sell such a nice bike? Fact is – it still has the wrong geometry for me. It hurts my brain to dwell upon it. I can’t go back in time and have it built to fit me right. I’m stupid… I make huge mistakes while the little details are orderly and well lubed. I’d kill for a touring bike that doesn’t numb my wrists and hurt my arms and back.
    What tragedy it is to have the nicest bike imaginable and have it not fit.
    I’ll try to find a different stem before I go off the deep end and sell it.

  11. And speaking of Cash – he did the same thing a few times; made a cover of a song and did it better than the original by leagues. One by U2 is another example. God, that song is powerful.

  12. Ike Taylor – I gotta tell a little story here in response to you.

    A few weeks ago I went to get a free dinner at a church and was sickened by it. I can afford food, but I thought I’d empathize with those that can’t and go ahead and eat some. It was made out of the cheapest garbage money could buy. I’ve mentioned my theory that there is a subconsciously an extermination program in place for the poor – as what is donated to food banks is the cakes and garbage while the produce goes to the dumpster. A friend of mine years ago who knew the bible better than anyone I’ve ever met said once in reaction to our condition:
    “Jesus would shit”
    He would be indignant to all of you fake Christian assholes. I’ve never actually been helped by a Christian. They are offended by my sense of truth as they live by a shallow faith based upon what once was forced upon ideology.
    The food was so bad, I could feel the toxicity of it in my body for days. I lost my balance and had terrible shits for days. I’m glad I didn’t have the ice cream. I had soup, bread, and salad – served with a patient smile.
    Christians don’t live what Jesus taught, and the excuse is that man is by nature a sinner. What a perverse lie! But I’m not ranting against Christianity just yet. I’m ranting against the fucked up idea that poverty will be solved by a mountain of free clothes and garbage shit food for free. People need MONEY in this society to get by. They need to pay rent if that’s what they are doing – they need to keep the banks at bay if they own a home. Goodwill is not a charity – it is an evil corporation with a wealthy CEO at the top. Churches are private property, they are not God’s sacred places; defiled by works of iniquity and man’s falsehood. The stupidest 10% of us are Christians while the smartest 10% are atheists. Count me out of both camps, but at least an atheist acts according to his beliefs. Christians are living a bunch of lies. Go ahead and flame me.
    You can call me a fundamentalist Earth baby. I can do without Christians.

  13. hey, man, it’s tuff with the bike selling thing. let me just recommend doing one of two things:

    1) you’d be astonished by the variety of sizes and angles (not angels) that turnbars, frame-booms, strut pipes, and hand mounts that exist for bicycles today. i’d bet good american dumpster produce that there’s a way to get your not-so-perfect geometrical earth skimmer to fit. you’d save yourself the regret of letting it go. i’ve hucked a couple of pretty sweet bikes off my back over the years and allowed “wrong geometry” to accompany my need for a couple of bucks.


    2) take the position of a true earth baby and just let that shit fly, brother. it’s but another possession chaining you to this pitiful little thing that i call the human life cycle. no pun intended, dawg.

  14. Barry, touched by his noodley appendage, I see. Though, are you sure it wasn’t the Invisible Pink Unicorn? One can never really be sure…

  15. amen LJ! dumpsters have always delivered me way higher quality food than the evangelicals. beyond produce all sortsa gourmet cheese and shit that i would never think about buying on my own. and to this day, i’ve not yet had one try to indoctrinate me for eating the food either.

  16. How do you know they didn’t appoint me? Were you at the meeting? Besides, according to you, they’re too stupid to notice.

  17. I once lived on rescued food for 16 months plus.
    I don’t know where the dumpsters are here, at least the ones that are available. It seems that most places lock them up or have them in parking garages behind a fence. Madness. Food should have rights, and people who want to rescue food should have the freedom to do so. Should I come to Portland? Stay here in Seattle? Not sure where to go, but resting as much as possible.

  18. Although I am no Christian, I was raised Catholic and have no problem with that lot per se. Some of the right-wing wackjobs in this country are evil incarnate, but the majority of church going folks, in my opinion, simply want to be left alone to worship as they please.

  19. @Snake Hawk,

    This ‘pitiful little thing that i call the human life cycle.’ is a pretty fucking big deal to me.

    I get one shot at this race, there are no practice sessions, no training schedules & definitely no coming back next year to do better..

    I’ve got one shot at this Tour De Life, as do we all…

    Just saying..

    (Oohh Ellipsis’s ..)

  20. Ahh the 029 farm boss. I see you’re a fan of the skip chain. Jesus uses one to fell the bad trees of the earth.

  21. @littlejar- i’ve always found that the key to successfully dumpstering in big cities is to go out to the burbs.