Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. -Henry David Thoreau, Walden 1854

So Charlie and I are going to the woods. Charlie is not exactly a mountain bike, he is a road bike, and he is not exactly set up for where we're going, but we're going to learn how versatile we both can be. Can you pedal up mountain roads on a single speed? We'll see... This is not a tour or anything, just a side dish what is generally a rather stationary camping trip.

Charlie's going to see pretty sights:

He will be far from the concrete of home, onward to the next adventure!

(P.S. maybe he'll take a photo at a scenic vista or two?)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tighten Up the Slack

"The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit. "
-Morihei Ueshiba

Or in this case tighten up the saddle...

Charlie's got one of the Brooks classic saddles, the B17. The inestimable, brilliant, guru-of-all-things-cycling, late Sheldon Brown tells us that one shan't tighten one's Brooks saddle or peril shall come to thee, and a ruined saddle too. But, after approximately 4,289 miles in this saddle things are looking a little saggy in that department.

Having been, prior to this bicycle and this saddle, someone who always had some sort of vinyl or plasticy sort of seat - the Brooks was a big change. And for the better. If you want an exhaustive listing of the benefits of a leather saddle, read Mr. Brown's article. Or if you're an equestrian you already know the answer.

Just riding the bicycle contributes to a person in all those ways Ueshiba-sensei mentions above (although he was a martial artist but maybe he rode a bicycle at some point?); but the riding of the bicycle does the opposite to the bicycle. So Charlie's going in for tightening of saddle, chain, and brakes to name a few.

Keep on rolling...
Creative Commons License
Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License