Thursday, August 27, 2009


It is official; the newbie is causing sleep deprivation. I am getting just enough sleep to avoid insanity. That is normally a short trip anyway. I have not ridden all week and I have miss it. In fact, I have missed the exit to get off the interstate twice this week, forcing me to drive an extra seven miles to get to work. I guess I am lucky I haven't crashed and burned in a fiery inferno or driven off of the bridge into the Appomattox River.

I don't recall ever riding my bike and missing a turn on the way to the office, of course I have gotten lost on new trail or route. But really, who hasn't gotten lost in the mountains of West Virginia, alone and wearing spandex (queue the ominous banjo). Even so it is simple to correct yourself on a bike. Even when I am exhausted I feel refreshed and awake after a couple of miles on my bike.

Simplicity is the key:

While serving over seas, I lost something. Altough this is not something I am prepared to discuss in detail right now, my life has become clouded with complexity. That is why I love bikes, I am drawn to their simplicity and they make me feel like I did when I was a kid. When I am on my bike I am focused on the road and the traffic around me, nothing else. It allows me to escape.

I can remember all of the bikes I have owned over the years, each one brought the same joy to my life. In 1994 I saved all summer and bought my first decent mountain bike. It was an simple aluminum GT, no suspension or frills and very purple. It got increasingly more complex; I wanted suspension, then I wanted "V" Brakes, and then purple anodized bar was as if life got clouded with getting the next component. My life was simple, the bike was becoming complex.

Today, as my life becomes more complex, I search for simplicity. Each bike I get gets more basic. When I started shopping for a new mountain bike (to replace the 1994 "purple people eater") I was looking for simplicity. Steel, rigid, and 9 speeds. I am ready to make the next step and move to single speed.

In a world full of complexity, I do not understand why people seek more complexity. I do not worry about style or popular opinion, for me, I'll take simplicity.

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