My last experience with mountain biking coincided with the most profound sense of freedom I’ve ever known. Yes, I flipped over my handlebars multiple times while careening down a mountainside. Yes, I once bled enough to get light-headed and concerned about my survival. And yes, I once dangled over a cliff, saved from a fatal fall by digging my fingers into the earth up to the second knuckle.
On each of those occasions, fear was handily trumped by wonder.
Granted, all of that biking took place in the lawless streets of Kathmandu or in the foothills of the Himalayas.
I set out to buy a simple road bike – I live close enough to commute by foot-power and feel I should give it a go. Instead, I discovered an old friend winking at me: the same model, nearly the same colors, in extraordinary shape, and with a price too good to be true. That long lost blue and silver love that I left in the eager hands of a delivery boy in the smog-laced splendor of Thamel crossed into its own karmic reincarnation cycle and emerged in Massapequa, New York. It was meant to be.
I doubt I’ll have as much occasion to court death or crippling disaster, but the cars do drive a lot faster in these parts.
The first ride felt like coming home.
Nicole and I, perhaps drunk on my employment, decided that the time was ripe to purchase a television. We, children of second-hand internet sales, found a juicy deal on Craigslist and set about bringing an unnecessary, high-tech, too-flat glowing box into our (temporary) home.
We would leave this evening, drive a short distance, and return victorious. I called Nicole when I left the office to let her know I was headed home. Four minutes later I walked in the door and discovered that she was hysterical and terrified. Why? Icarus had wrenched himself and his leash free from her hand upon seeing some secret animal off in the woods. He then charged out into the road, which happened to be busy because the daycare across the street was unloading its wards over to their parents.
Nicole, one can imagine, immediately embraced the worst possible scenario and flew into a panic of the-dog-is-gone-and-dear-god-how-will-I-tell-Justin. She got Icarus back as soon as he lost sight of his quarry, came home, and broke down. Those four minutes must have been a sight to behold. But she recovered from the trauma, and Icarus remained as oblivious as ever.
Shortly thereafter, Read the rest of this entry »