Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Real Thing

Riding in the cold is nothing new for me anymore, as I'm sure it's nothing new for most of you reading this. When I arrive at work, with bright red hands and cheeks, someone invariably comments on the weather, or asks how I can do it.

Well, how could I not do it? Look at the sunrise I got to enjoy this morning. You can't enjoy a sunrise like that from a car, or from behind a window. You've got to be out there, with your legs going numb, your nose running, and your hands stinging to really get it. Because when you're right there, in that moment, it's real. It's not a painting. It's not a photograph. It's not a vivid description you once read. It's not a video.

It's a fucking sunrise, it's real, and it's right over there. It feels as though, if you could only jump a little higher, you could touch it.

Why would I give that up? There's a huge difference between what's real and what's Memorex, and given the choice, I'll take the real experience.

Granted, not every single ride is an amazing spiritual experience. Sometimes I'm just getting a frozen pizza. Sometimes traffic is snarled and slow. Sometimes my ear has a fierce itch that won't go away, and I can't get to it because it's under my helmet.

But, most of the time, riding is pretty good. And it's always better than being in a steel box behind safety glass.