Monday, June 27, 2011

Why do you bike?

I remember just a few months ago, when running was like a this balloon that had inflated inside my head, leaving room for nothing else. I just started my career as a distance runner on the track team. I loved running and I found I was good at it too. I two relays in my first varsity meet. My balloon was popped though after about a month when I hurt my hip badly and couldn't run competitively the rest of my season.

It drove me insane when it happened. At first and all I could think of was how much I wanted to just run and run and run for miles and miles and hours and hours. But something equally amazing grew out of that misfortune. Even flowers can grow from where just dirt used to be.

It was during those weeks of injury that I began to bike like no other, trying to replace my runners high with even more miles of cycling. To be honest, biking never has replaced for me what running gives. A run ends in this weary drained feeling, like all those busy thoughts in my head have been pounded out, leaving only dizzy contentment. A bike ride never leaves me that way.

If running was like a balloon in my head ever inflating, biking was like roots shooting out. I still remember the first time I rode to church and crossed the bridge over the river. It was like a door opening to a whole new world. All these remote places that we would drive to, like kick-boxing, the art store and church were accessible. And there was something more tangible about the journey on my bicycle where I could feel the miles beneath me and inside of my limbs.

The further I go and the more I explore on my bike the greater the feeling grows. I feel like I am part of the landscape; I belong in the painting. And the roads, telephone lines and Ohio countryside belong in me, inside my thighs. I have lived over those miles and felt them by the power of my lungs and legs. Each time I go further or discover a new route I feel myself and those miles inside of me grow.

Last Sunday someone asked me why I biked to church. I didn't know how to say all of it then. And just like the miles, the reasons keep on growing.

The short answer is simply because I enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I've always thought that Picasso was over-rated, until this....

I was in New Orleans with my friends at an art museum. I saw this painting and was struck by how his almost sloppy brush strokes captured the realness of the objects so well.