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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-29-09, 07:29 PM   #1
TheatreME
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I now understand the Zen

It was beautiful today(63 degrees F and partly sunny). I took the fixed out for her first ride of the year, after upgrading the crank and adjusting the brakes this morning. It took me about 2 miles to remember how she handled and then it was off to a lovely 10 mile ride on the MUP into town. I leave early because I have a meeting and I want to enjoy the day on the way. I am going along and spinning like a champ, which I though was from the shorter crank arms I installed. No... it was actually from the 10-15 mph tailwind I didnt notice since it was so nice and I was wearing my back pack. I am having the time of my life when I realize that my turn is 1 mile back. I had gone Zen and am lucky that I "woke" up before I made it into the city...

p.s. - yeah that 15 headwind going back, sucked my life away for a few minutes though I did make my meeting
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Old 03-29-09, 07:31 PM   #2
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Too bad you can't proofread your titles.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:36 PM   #3
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Haha... That's what I thought... But congratulations on that Zen.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:38 PM   #4
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It was beautiful today(63 degrees F and partly sunny). I took the fixed out for her first ride of the year, after upgrading the crank and adjusting the brakes this morning. It took me about 2 miles to remember how she handled and then it was off to a lovely 10 mile ride on the MUP into town. I leave early because I have a meeting and I want to enjoy the day on the way. I am going along and spinning like a champ, which I though was from the shorter crank arms I installed. No... it was actually from the 10-15 mph tailwind I didnt notice since it was so nice and I was wearing my back pack. I am having the time of my life when I realize that my turn is 1 mile back. I had gone Zen and am lucky that I "woke" up before I made it into the city...

p.s. - yeah that 15 headwind going back, sucked my life away for a few minutes though I did make my meeting
Awesome thats what its all about. BTW, I for one could care less that you made a mistake in your title.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:43 PM   #5
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Well then pick your favorite:

I know, understand the Zen

OR

I now understand the Zen.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:54 PM   #6
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Well then pick your favorite:

I know, understand the Zen

OR

I now understand the Zen.
Doesn't matter to me, I understood him either way.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:13 PM   #7
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Me getz it.
There's a very smooth and narrow bike path that runs along the beach from Newport pier to the wedge.
I'll say it's 4 miles. On a weekday morning that's not summer you get the light breeze at your back and zoom___ you are at the end of the path.
I don't care that I have to go back into the breeze. That's why I ditched the risers for drops.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:45 PM   #8
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Did he have a beard?

Bad teeth?
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Old 03-29-09, 09:37 PM   #9
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I think people contribute the zen thing to fixies too much. What I mean is, don't you experience the same bliss riding ANY bike? Today was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Austin and I rode my road bike around town, and I felt pretty "zen" the whole time. I mean, sure, fixies are extra fun, but don't you guys get that same feeling from other bikes, too?
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Old 03-29-09, 09:54 PM   #10
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I think people contribute the zen thing to fixies too much. What I mean is, don't you experience the same bliss riding ANY bike? Today was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Austin and I rode my road bike around town, and I felt pretty "zen" the whole time. I mean, sure, fixies are extra fun, but don't you guys get that same feeling from other bikes, too?
Actually I only get that "Zen" feeling when I ride my SS, none of my other bikes really take me there. Strange.
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Old 03-29-09, 10:02 PM   #11
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I can get me some zen on my geared bike as well. Fly down a hill and dive into a turn with no worries of pedal strike. I like that.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:45 AM   #12
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I know I now understand the Xen

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Old 03-30-09, 08:33 AM   #13
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Do you even know what 'Zen' means? Ask a buddhist, I doubt bikes have anything to do with it.

Calling riding a bike Zen seems like a perversion of an entire religion.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:03 AM   #14
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hnsq,

before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

As many a roshi have instructed, zen is the experience of the single moment, the now which exists outside of everything else the mind creates. One cannot simply stop, one must continue... whether in a meditation retreat or riding the bike, the awareness and single-pointedness of zen can be experienced.

Go drink tea.

Namaste.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:20 AM   #15
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I think people contribute the zen thing to fixies too much. What I mean is, don't you experience the same bliss riding ANY bike? Today was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Austin and I rode my road bike around town, and I felt pretty "zen" the whole time. I mean, sure, fixies are extra fun, but don't you guys get that same feeling from other bikes, too?
Yes.

Call it zen, happiness, enjoyment, peace of mind, whatever.

It is good.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:32 AM   #16
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hnsq,

before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

As many a roshi have instructed, zen is the experience of the single moment, the now which exists outside of everything else the mind creates. One cannot simply stop, one must continue... whether in a meditation retreat or riding the bike, the awareness and single-pointedness of zen can be experienced.

Go drink tea.

Namaste.
You just further proved my point. You cannot take an activity you love, quote an eastern religion textbook and claim to experience 'Zen'. Zen isn't even something you experience. Zen is a school of buddhism. It is hard for me to take you seriously when you don't even use the right terminology for the buddhist quest for enlightenment.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:43 AM   #17
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hnsq,

before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

As many a roshi have instructed, zen is the experience of the single moment, the now which exists outside of everything else the mind creates. One cannot simply stop, one must continue... whether in a meditation retreat or riding the bike, the awareness and single-pointedness of zen can be experienced.

Go drink tea.

Namaste.

Namaste
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Old 03-30-09, 10:46 AM   #18
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I don't claim to experience what you call Zen, but I do know monks spend around 18 hours a day for most of their lives meditating for a chance at experiencing enlightenment, and you claim to experience it in a bike ride?

what arrogance...
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Old 03-30-09, 11:03 AM   #19
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I know I now understand the Xen

Awesome HL1 reference! Such a great game.

Yeah OP, I laughed with you at the title, but honestly I still understood what you meant!

The "Zen", "force", "it", is a good feeling.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:04 AM   #20
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hnsq wrote:

"I don't claim to experience what you call Zen, but I do know monks spend around 18 hours a day for most of their lives meditating for a chance at experiencing enlightenment, and you claim to experience it in a bike ride?

what arrogance... "

---

That is not an accurate statement. Zen Buddhism has both a well established monastic community as well as a lay community. One need not take up the robe and shave one's head to be a practitioner of Zen Buddhism. The world is full of many five precepters, both wise and foolish.

Also, there are many experiences other than the attainment of nirvana that occur during zen practice. Dhyana is a sanskrit word meaning 'meditation' which can lead to the experience of Samhadi -- another sanskrit word referring to a mystical state uniting subject, verb and object -- ie: there ceases to be me sitting here meditating, there is only meditating. There is only this moment.

Some people mistakenly identify these lesser mystical experiences with ultimate attainment, but this is only their desire-mind trying to make more out of something than there actually is.

I might recommend you inquire of the Sangha in your area if you really desire clarification on these points. Shouting 'arrogance' from a place of ignorance is not usually conducive to furthering one's understanding.

Peace.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:08 AM   #21
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That is not an accurate statement. Zen Buddhism has both a well established monastic community as well as a lay community. One need not take up the robe and shave one's head to be a practitioner of Zen Buddhism. The world is full of many five precepters, both wise and foolish.

Also, there are many experiences other than the attainment of nirvana that occur during zen practice. Dhyana is a sanskrit word meaning 'meditation' which can lead to the experience of Samhadi -- another sanskrit word referring to a mystical state uniting subject, verb and object -- ie: there ceases to be me sitting here meditating, there is only meditating. There is only this moment.

Some people mistakenly identify these lesser mystical experiences with ultimate attainment, but this is only their desire-mind trying to make more out of something than there actually is.

I might recommend you inquire of the Sangha in your area if you really desire clarification on these points. Shouting 'arrogance' from a place of ignorance is not usually conducive to furthering one's understanding.

Peace.

Obviously the attainment of nirvana is not the only goal of the zen practice, after all, nirvana cannot truely be obtained until someone passes from this life.

But you knew that, didn't you?
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Old 03-30-09, 11:15 AM   #22
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It was beautiful today(63 degrees F and partly sunny). I took the fixed out for her first ride of the year, after upgrading the crank and adjusting the brakes this morning. It took me about 2 miles to remember how she handled and then it was off to a lovely 10 mile ride on the MUP into town. I leave early because I have a meeting and I want to enjoy the day on the way. I am going along and spinning like a champ, which I though was from the shorter crank arms I installed. No... it was actually from the 10-15 mph tailwind I didnt notice since it was so nice and I was wearing my back pack. I am having the time of my life when I realize that my turn is 1 mile back. I had gone Zen and am lucky that I "woke" up before I made it into the city...

p.s. - yeah that 15 headwind going back, sucked my life away for a few minutes though I did make my meeting

pu55y
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Old 03-30-09, 11:24 AM   #23
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I think the issue arises from the term 'zen' being used so loosely in western pop-culture that its real meaning has been depreciated. You will find many Zen Masters recommend students practice what anyone else would consider mundane tasks. This is to cultivate right thinking.

When you drink tea, if your whole mind is drinking-tea-mind, this is a "zen state." It is part of the discipline. When you ride your bike, drive your car, wash your clothes, and your mind is single-pointed and _right_now_ this is a good part of what students of Zen Buddhism work to cultivate.

I believe this is the intended usage when people say "zen" in a modern, casual context. It shouldn't cause offense, rather the opposite. When a person has this right-here-right-now-only-this mind it is universally reported as being a positive experience. And people accomplish great things in such a way, or maybe they get just a little peace-mind or relaxation and say "that was great." It doesn't have to be so dogmatic; "this is zen, that is not zen" because it is what this word means in its context that is the question, and it seems good.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:47 PM   #24
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wow, I just wanted to say I had a good ride.

and by the way, mihlbach, it was my first fixie ride of the year because I needed to save up to buy new cranks, as I have been systematically shortening crankarm length on both my bikes. I never said it was the first ride of the year. I cannot stay away from a bike that long, thats just crazy talk.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:53 PM   #25
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Too bad you can't proofread your titles.
And the wonderful Site Admin fixed it for him
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