April 16, 2014

Ask Anthony: Bike Obsession.


Anthony is pretty much an expert on everything.

Dear Anthony,

My girlfriend is about 35 kinds of awesome. She is healthy, fit, kind and beautiful. But she is never off her bicycle. The woman is obsessed. What’s a girl to do?


Confused in Connecticut

Dear Confused,

Bikes are people too. No wait, that’s not what I’m trying to say. I’m on my bike every day, so I think I understand your woman. I mean that part of her mindset. You know, it almost doesn’t matter where you are at with it. I’m a slow seashore cruiser; my friend Tim is an international racer. But regarding that “bike need” part, the similarities outweigh the differences. People who ride bikes get each other, in a weird way.

Now hold it right there. Watch the thing! You think I post these youtubes for the sheer pleasure of it? Well there isn’t any, so no, I guess I don’t, now do I? That video has healing powers. It’s a couple of twins doing off the hook tricks given their age (four), but it also explains bike love and physical existence better than words can. Also with the music, it’s oddly comforting. Seriously.

Your girlfriend means you no harm.

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.”

~ H.G. Wells

When I was a kid, I had a black Huffy BMX. I used to push it to the top of Jackson Hill, and then ride down, faster than an, um, what’s the fastest thing ever in the world? Faster than that. I would sometimes pause at the top of the hill. It took a long time to push the bike up there. I would look down, fulfilled. Just happy to be there. My wild ride was ahead of me, and for those moments, everything was okay. All the stimulation that forever assailed me was put on pause. Fulfillment. It’s like lying down with Nancy is for me now.

800px-NorthernIraqTerrainOnce my mom gave me a pb&j, and I ate that thing sitting on my bike at the top of the hill, waiting for the right moment to fly. It was delicious. It tasted like love. Love and ordinariness. Love and ordinariness, and that stuff they make from grinding up peanuts. That day, on top of that hill, still lives inside me these decades later. It was a high point in my existence. You never know when one will happen.

What if your lady is just coming from a place of having lived a peak experience earlier in life? Maybe she’s only riding that bike because it brought her profound connectedness once.

Remember your first time randomly crying on your yoga mat? You had discovered something unwitting, stored in your muscle tissue, and whammo. Hooked on yoga. In some sense here in three dimensional life, we are all reaching back toward our own peak experiences, trafficking in our personal insanity. Identity is so bizarre, and it keeps us in a stranglehold 99.9% of the time. Maybe your path is online gaming, or practicing law. Maybe it’s accounting, circus or selling handmade stuffed animals on ETSY. To each their own, right?

All that to say I get it, about bikes. Bikes and love. Bikes and love and chasing the dragon. Not claiming to understand any of it, but I get it. Romanticize your woman’s riding habit, if you need to.

“A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness.”

James E. Starrs

So in terms of “what’s a girl to do,” I know this is ridic obvi, but have you considered buying a bike? I know, I know, who wants to be a copycat, but I mean you know, not so much imitating your lady, as playtime to try to understand her. Ask her about it first. You might be surprised at what you discover.

And what if you do, and she’s all ramped up in her gear, and you’re there in a little skirt and a tee shirt with wheels on it thinking “what was I thinking?” Fear not: you get cool points. My dear friend Sweeney once asked: “When did they pass that law that says if you are into biking you have to dress up like an asshole?” His question was never answered but just know this, girl, spandex is not your friend, in terms of aesthetics. Freedom of speech should extend to  bicycle fashion. Those poor riders, can they not see themselves?

I escaped the gear, but I ride slow and easy like this guy:

And please know that every vid clip I share is awesome. We’ve all had our “lab accidents,” I assume, and can understand this animation perfectly. The scene in the forest is a fantastic depiction of a man realizing in his bones the non-solidity of this world. And there’s a clue in that glimpse. Don’t you think? There is comfort in the insubstantial nature of this stuff we call substance. Trees, grass, we, everything is merely imagined.

It’s all just a cool bike ride. And that’s why we are here. It’s a self-sustaining playground. We are riding for no reason.

“I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.” ~ Unknown

800px-Dog_at_Myrtle_Beach_Bike_Week_Doggles_and_Harley-Davidson_capI guess what I’m saying is you want to wear your girlfriend’s bicycle proclivity like a long flowing dress, my friend. Keep it really loose and fantastic, and swim in the waters of exploration and kindness, as much as you possibly can. Everything is an illusion, and our mindsets re-create it daily. Love that lady for who she is, and cultivate the hell out of some understanding. And avoid the spandex at all costs. Seriously.



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Editor: Travis May

Photos: Wiki Commons 1 2 3

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