Don't Believe the Hype
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Bikes: 1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
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it's all how you look at it
There may be a day while you are riding your bike. A motorist passes you, and calls out, "Get off the ****ing road!" You may be puzzled. What do these words mean?
The key to understanding this motorist's cry is to realize that the road does not copulate with itself. Rather, it is you who is partnered with the road.
Have you not had a day, where you get out there on your bike, and there is the road before you, warm, inviting? It feels good, it smells good, it almost seems to taste good to be on it. Some days you start out eager, knowing what lies ahead. Other days you start out a little reluctantly -- surely you have better things to do -- clean the house, mow the lawn -- but here you are anyway, your bike and the road together, and after a little bit you know its going to be a good time.
There are days when you dominate the road. It does your bidding. You groove on your control. There are other days when the road is your master. You submit to its demands. You get a perverted pleasure from the pain of your burning legs, your oxygen-starved lungs screaming for air.
In any of these instances, though, you with your bike, and the road, are lovers. The term, "get off" as we all know, is a slang term that means to "derive pleasure". Thus, the encouraging, if crude, words, "Get off the ****ing road" can be understood as "Enjoy yourself as you and the road make beautiful love together".
To take this a step further -- in many mystical traditions, the physical act of love is understood as a metaphor for the spiritual union of human with the Divine. Can you ride as if you and the Road are One?
The mudra of the single upraised digit is a reminder of this oneness: unity in Christ Consciousness, being at one with the Tao, La illaha Il' Allah, Adonai Echad. Thus, when someone makes this gesture at you, you should understand that they are wishing you the experience of this ecstatic union.
The horn that is honked as the mudra is made is a meditation bell. Like a church bell, like the call of the muezzin's voice, it calls you into this sacred space of union, of you, your bike, and the road, as One.
Thus, when the motorist honks his horn, raises the single digit, and makes his sincere invocation, you have but one response: to smile, to wave, and return to the joy of riding your bike.
[This essay appeared in Matter Journal, in Issue #5, Wheels.]
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