“Bicycling Magazine has a contest about “Your Favorite Ride.”
“You mean that magazine I borrowed for you from the dentist's office?”
“You left it in the bathroom. I thought I threw that out.”
“You did. I got it out of the trash can on the way to the dumpster.”
“So if I win I could get a five thousand dollar bicycle as a prize.”
“Yeah, right. I'd like to see you do something like that.”
“Whadaya want for breakfast?”
“Sausage sandwich and hash browns. And go tell the dogs to shut up. I'm tryin' to think up a five-thousand-dollar story.”
“Well, if anybody has five-thousand dollars worth of bull crap in 'em, it's you.”
My favorite ride takes place not in time and space but is a place in my mind that I can find when alone out in that special place where just me and my bike can be together, alone. That place where we both cease to exist as machine and rider but instead...instead we both can, if only for a minute or an hour, disappear.
We can disappear and only on my bicycle on a quiet ride for a moment in time or on a mystical dawn float at slow speed, floating so slowly in the quiet of dawn that almost, maybe, we are not moving at all, we are flowing gently towards something and yet maybe not moving at all. This is a place I find only when riding my bicycle. It is a place where I feel that I know myself. My bicycle is a trusty friend and carries me to this magic place. It doesn't always happen, for time and space are elusive and the world is a tricky place. Favorite rides are hard to find. This is mine. It is the ride where I lose myself, the bicycle disappears beneath me and there is nothing there: I am a cyclist...
What a pile of woo-hoo, said the Voice.
“Well, it's only a rough draft...”
Very rough, said the Voice.
“Here. Those hash browns might be a little crisper than ya wanted. I gotta go get ready for work. You want some hot sauce?”
“When have I ever not wanted hot sauce? And grab me another beer, will ya? I'm trying to find a groove here.”
I climb into the saddle from the top step of the porch so that the morning dew does not dampen my shoes. There is a kind of magic in leaving home when your feet never touch the ground. However far I ride today, I will not touch the Earth. I will float above it, a flying spirit at dawn on my bicycle. The mists of sunrise and the sound of the planet awakening all around us create the music and mystery that make this something special. Sunrise! This is my favorite ride. I am a cyclist.
Coasting slowly towards the river, I adjust my glasses and my gloves and twist around a bit in the saddle, getting ready...
“Dammit Toby! Get off my leg! I swear! If you don't quit humpin' my leg! This is my big chance to get a fancy bicycle! Stoopid dog.”
“It is by riding a bicycle that...”
“Oh great! Not only do I have a dog humping my leg and burnt hash browns for breakfast and now you're here”
“One true sentence..”
“Ernest, once and for all, please put a sock in it! You know how much crap I take from the Voice about simple declarative sentences?”
I've always encouraged you in your work, except for when you indulge in too much woo-hoo.
“I wish my head had a mute button.”
However crazy the world around you feels or the time of day, the act of riding a bicycle is a thing that can be done with minimum effort, little expense and maximum pleasure. This is one such ride. I call it the “Mute Button...”
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Literary Society