Just Words – Professing Bikedom

There are many options to get from point A to B in our lives and various factors that impact our mode of transportation choice. While the bicycle offers a healthier, more eco-friendly method, the downsides of traveling via two wheels seem to outweigh the benefits, as most commuters choose alternative ways. The convenience of a car, the consistency of a skytrain, the viability of the bus make these ideal options. Each one of them, has a dry, warm interior and each one of them will speedily get you to your destination, with very little effort. These modes promise immediate results, which is perfect in a society with fast internet, faster food, one day delivery, carpool lanes. Yet this immediacy seems at odds with our innate, built in need to plan for the future, consider how what we do now effects our future selves. We don’t think about the long term effects of which mode of transportation we choose to use. Cars are time effective, getting you to the literal doorstep of your destination. Though there is a ridiculousness in their ease. A 5 minute walk, a chance to commune with fresh air, stretch atrophied, office limbs, is transformed into a minute car ride. We hit people with them, we drink and crash into inanimate objects with them, we relinquish the positive, upbeat moral citizens we are outside their realms, to become demons of speed, road rage and car envy. We rely on heavy machines, we trust them, put our faith in them to work, to go, to make it. We don’t appreciate the journey, the kilometers, the unstopped, flagrant flowers. Bullets. We want to see how fast we can make it there. We want industry, industry. Oil oil! No more truffula trees. And yet, we point towards China. We point towards governments. We are just homogeneous cogs. Patches in a social fabric. We cannot make a change. It isn’t about global change. It’s about self change. It’s about self empowerment. It’s about adrenaline over coffee.

In there a message in this? Is this simply a rant that comes out of an institution-sickened mind, where even if you don’t wish to conform, you are conforming to something? Well, I think we should inspire to conform to something a bit more agreeable, as incrementally small as it is. This isn’t a preacher’s door sermon. This is a challenge. A challenge to appreciate the way there. A challenge of organization, of mapping your time, of personal strength, of will power. This is a challenge to embrace time, not spar with it. A challenge to guzzle less and breath more. If your uncomfortable with the road, with the four wheeled charging minotaurs of the road, ride with me. Call me up, text me, email me, carrier pigeon me, message in a bottle me, I will receive it and you will receive me, at your door, two wheel pride gleaming. Let’s do it, let’s explore! Start with once a week. See how it fits. Maybe it won’t fit. Maybe you’ll hate me for it. Well, I will accept your hate, as long as you attempt to garner it from me. All over the place, I wrote this all over the place. In class, in bed, in my head, in a random notebook. Here it is. Now. Unedited. Spin out of control. Imagine two wheels, two wheels, the sound of nature instead of automobile infused nurture.

Each Mile – Episode Two – Into the Heart of Darkness…Washington

Where were we? Ah yes…on a trans-canal trip to Port Townsend, once named the “City of Dreams”. How like real dreams, did everyone wake up and realize a less vivid or prosperous reality. The masses of boats and people never came, and the city that waited to be a city was left as an immaculately built Victorian village.

The bull alone makes me want to smoke

It was night when I arrived. The city was asleep. Lucky for me, my Couch Surfing contact, had seen my ship from the shore and presumed, being that it was the last boat over, that I had to be on it. He picked me and Klalita up in his pick up and we whizzed off into the dark curvatures of the ghost dark tree highway to have dinner with his family. Bread and wine, a perfect lullaby. Waking at a good time in the morning to the sound of barking dogs at my door at Andrew’s dog and llama farm was the perfect alarm. Andrew built all that I saw on his land from the ground up. He was an actor too, a worldly, interesting, caring, family man of many different hats and he wore them all quite comfortably. I set off on my naked Klalita into town, passed the natural rock cliff that the main street buildings seamed to lazily rest on. Cute shops, cafes and even an ol’ movie theatre gave me a very Bohemian sense of the place. The coffee shop was what you’d expect when you see Tibetan flags at the window, full of coffees from foreign fair trade lands and loooooot of cookies that had ingredients that make baked goods for old people instead of the intended younger audiences. Oh…and there was no music store, only a record store with the owner’s fixie sitting at the front.

Veggie Truck, circa a long time ago

I started at the museum, where the curator gave me the town’s history. Nice gentleman who yearned for an audience, so I lent him my ear for close to half an hour. Well worth it, he knew it all and could answer all my questions. He also talked about the city’s prostitution history as if it were a major focal point, which was alright by me. The best displays were the odd things. An old funeral cart, a section on comic books and my personal favourite, a list of alternative names for a house of ill intent. After the museum, I walked in no direction in particular to look at some of the wonderful Victorian architecture the city has. I returned to Andrew’s just as the sun was dipping behind the trees. I played games with his kids on the jungle gym and pet the llamas, carefully.

One of many Victorian dreams in Port Townsend

Andrew had a wonderfully interesting life that you’ll just have to surf with him to fully appreciate it. A man of the land, the type of man I saw as a child played by John Wayne, but less racist and more emotionally connected to things and people he loved. The next day, I waved goodbye, drank some fresh squeezed orange (compliments of his son’s amazing juicing skills), squeezed past the heavy tubing welded dirt white gate and off down the road to Sequim.

The view to Sequim

Suddenly bam. I needed a bathroom. 5 or so k later I found one. I never made that mistake…..on this continent again.

Sequim, I arrived during a day shy of the Irrigation Festival, which apparently involved a produce throwing competition. Damnit, something I’ve always regretted missing. My couch surfer that night was a wonderful mother, who packed my panniers full of chocolate bars and energy bars. Her dog, Savvy, watched with curiosity as I ate food and glugged down a tall, red plastic glass of milk. TV, it’s glow I hadn’t seen in a while. Meh, it didn’t interest me and I soon was under the “In God We Trust” covers and fast asleep.

A water tower at the end of the road

The hardest ride was just ahead…and…well….I don’t want to spoil your appetites. Enjoy!: