I knew this was coming. This was what I was not so secretly dreading at the end of my trip. The winter. With all its beautiful Oregon features: rain, rain, rain, cold wet days, rain, rain, rain, foggy wet days, rain, rain, rain… Oh, and did I mention rain? Ugh.
Biking ground to a halt. Just haven’t done it. Even though now I’m officially “off the floor” at the restaurant, so I have LOTS of time on my hands. Lets see, I’m not biking, I’m not working…what is there to do… oh, how about sleeping a lot, and how about EATING – lots and lots of chocolate. Ugh. Feels really familiar – chocolate was my family’s drug of choice when I was growing up. Easter was the pinnacle of chocolate binging, that wonderful holiday where you could start eating the minute you woke up, sleepy seeds still crusting your eyes, rolling over and seeing that celophane wrapped basket, filled with waxy gumball eggs, sticky sickly peeps, and cheap cheap chocolate bunnies, ducks, peanut butter balls, gooey cream-filled nearly pornographic Cadbury eggs. Easter. Did I say Ugh yet?
So, lots of chocolate, actually more than I can remember eating for a long time. Definitely having an effect on my moods. Ah, but that’s just an excuse too, isn’t it, just like all the rain, rain, rain. Who’s driving this bus anyway? Yours truly. Realizing my need to get rolling again, I loaded up the van with my bike and all its associated gear – bike clothes, bike shoes, helmet, gloves, extra layers, lights, pump, tire patches – and drove out to Yachats. The weather was clearer today, and the chance of a dry ride high. I started late, but had a mission again – to ride!
So I parked and started to put on my clothes, only to realize the cat had peed on them. Why? Why did Lucy choose my clothes to adorn with her fecund feline fragrance? Only she can say. I told myself that the coat was ok, just a little musky, but the vest was definitely heavily dosed. To hell with it, I had to ride. I pumped up the back tire, now totally flat from the slow leak I’d had since that crazy ride from Sonoma to Calistoga. Too lazy to patch the tube, I just pumped it up again. Jumped on the saddle and rode!
I felt good immediately. Memories returned of the trip which had seemed so distant just moments before. I really hadn’t understood or believed in the physical body’s relationship to memory until my trip, when I was flooded daily with memories from over 20 years ago. Now riding over Cape Perpetua, I began to remember the warm summer days, along with the hope and optimism that the winter rains had clouded from my view. I love biking, for so many reasons, but I think this is the main one: it sets me free, opens my heart, makes my feel wonder again. I become childlike, want to play, play, play, all day, until the light fades and then a bit longer. I dance over the hills, soaring on my two wheels. I am a man! And I am a man on a bicycle! And I am a man on a bicycle flying, dancing, playing at the edge of the universe, freed from the worries and problems, the addictions and obsessions. Until I notice…flat tire!
The back tire was flat again, no longer a slow leak. Go forward? Fix it? Not now. It was nearing 4pm, and I knew the light was fading. So I turned around, just having gone a couple miles over the Cape. I’ll fix it tomorrow, I told myself – again. I rolled back, taking the “victory lap” onto Yachats Ocean Wayside road, which follows the edge of the rocks, full of surf and spray. I stopped there and recorded this vlog:
I really like watching myself in this video, and am struck by how much I look like my youngest brother David – same manerisms, tone of voice, even hair. Anderson family traits. Legacy. I think part of the legacy of my family, and especially of my father, is to tell the truth, to not shy from what isn’t comfortable. I’m doing this more and more, and over the course of this blog I have revealed more than is comfortable on many occasions. There is more truth to come. And more riding.
Oh, and here’s the mp3 from Monday’s Open Mic:
It is the song Acceleration performed by Gabriel Surley, with me reading the poem Wild Geese and some of my journal reflections. There will be more of this too. The art of telling the truth, of sharing deeply, from my heart, from my soul, from my bones. Yes.