Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 801
Miles left to goal: 1,399
Days left: 26

Beware of dehydration and onset of heat stroke. Yesterday was in the 90's and I apparently did not drink enough water. To put it nicely it was I feel like I was hit by a truck. Did I learn my lesson? yes...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Capacity of a Heart

More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all. Strive to accumulate the treasures of the heart! (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1 p. 1170)

Your heart is bigger than this fist-sized muscle beating in your chest next to your lungs. It’s larger than you can fathom. We like to think that we can only love so much or give so much or be so much and that’s all we have and then we can’t love any more or give any more or be any more. But that isn’t the case either. There is no limitation on what we can give, or how much we can love, or what we can imagine. The only limitations are those we make for ourselves. And yes its true that sometimes we know not what we do. And yes it is true that it can be immensely and even debilitating difficult to love more or give more than we’re ready to do.

This also means there is no limit to our capacity for compassion, except it must be honed and nurtured.

And you don’t have to do more than you’re ready for. Please just realize that whatever you think is not ever going to be possible for you; financial freedom, love, joy, health, happiness, focus, a career, children, whatever it may be- that this is not the case either. Our limitations exist so only that we may break through them. (Or let them go)

We break through them with our faith. The Lotus Sutra is alternately likened to a sword to cut through obstacles, a great ship to cross the sea of suffering, and the roar of the lion... We access this path through our daimoku and we stay on this path by manifesting, each uniquely, our mentor and disciple relationship.... (posted by request, excerpt from August study presentation that I wrote Aug 26th, 2010)

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 758
Miles left to goal: 1,442
Days left: 29

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bicycle quotes on life

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 721
Miles left to goal: 1,479
Days left: 31

Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things. ~William Golding

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 710
Miles left to goal: 1,490
Days left: 33

Friday, August 20, 2010

700 at last!

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 700
Miles left to goal: 1,500
Days left: 36

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Charlie is back in action!

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 694
Miles left to goal: 1,506
Days left: 37 (somewhere in there i forgot to do the math correctly, i guess its good i'm not an engineer...)

Its going to take a lot of determination to catch up for being 3 weeks behind... here we go!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
nearly invisible
as if the stone has
swallowed it.

If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood
the little sucked-in breath of air
hiding everywhere
beneath your words.

No one sees
the fuel that feeds you.

-Naomi Shihab Nye

"I believe that it's our duty to reach as far as we can reach, to extend the edge of our capabilities in some way no matter the cost." -Dodge Morgan

"I believe that it's our duty to reach as far as we can reach, to extend the edge of our capabilities in some way no matter the cost." -Dodge Morgan

Dodge Morgan, as I hear it, was just a 53 year old businessman... but he was more than that. He quit his job and decided to sail around the world, alone... and apparently without stopping.

He did it. He set a new record with 150 days at sea.

They made his video footage into a film called Around Alone.

I haven't seen it yet but we'll be showing it at work on the week of my birthday. Here's someone who has shown tremendous actual proof of what a determined individual can accomplish. I'm hoping that this bicycle business will push me on to extend my capacity far beyond what I am presently capable of doing and far beyond what I think I am capable of doing.

This business of cost though, I'm still trying to figure out what that means... the difference between cost and worth?

Monday, August 16, 2010


"My other legal stimulant is my bicycle."

From the coffee mug that Soma Fabrications makes for its coffee mug holder kit. Who else would think to put a coffee mug holder on a bicycle? This is so on the top of my ridiculous-and-unnecessary-but-I-want-it-anyway birthday list!

Also from their site: "We are enamored with versatility."
seems like a good philosophy:)

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

Charlie's Diagnosis

After the continual problem of the mystery flat tire progressed beyond any reasonable length of time (this also seems to be a metaphor* for all the things in my life that I need to deal with...) I finally gave in and brought him to the wonderful people at Cambridge Bicycle.

The diagnosis: Charlie's back wheel is falling apart.

The specifics: Guy taking the tire off comments, "You've been doing a lot of skid stops on this thing, haven't you?"- well yes I have, but not intentionally. Charlie has a coaster break on the back wheel, which I have become a very big fan of. However, I don't think I've actually had a bike with coaster breaks since I was 13, so.... when I have to stop quickly the old habits turn on, bypass conscious thought, which is still required to correctly utilize the coaster brakes at this point, and I pull the break lever on the handle bar, which is only on the front wheel- sometimes I do this without remembering to use the coasters at all, sometimes both... well here is a testament to my learning curve...I apparently stop with enough passion to break my wheel.

...Continuing- what does all this skid stopping mean? basically an unhappy wheel, it wasn't designed for this and so my spokes go all loosey-goosey and once the rim liner came off, literally just started falling out of the wheel. And in case you didn't get my drift earlier- that's bad. So basically my loose spokes were poking out my tube, and that was why my wheel felt wobbly...

All this means Charlie is in the shop for a week, and I'm another week behind on my miles. This also means I still haven't quite learned to use coaster breaks correctly and doesn't seem to give much hope to my skills of observation ... my excuse could be I'm usually so tired I don't even notice when potholes try to throw me off my bicycle, but that would be wimpy:)

So much more to learn!

The mileage remains:
Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 683
Miles left to goal: 1,517
Days left: 37

*(although because I used "seems" I think that more properly makes it a simile...)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post-vacation drama: The repeating, mystery, dead tube (read as: flat tire problem) adventures continue...
... I will not be defeated. Is this tire karma?

Goal: 2,200 miles by 9.24.10
Miles ridden to date: 683
Miles left to goal: 1,517
Days left: 43
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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License