15 April 2011

The Last Bike Standing Follows The Moon On Friday Night

Until recently, there was a TV show called Friday Light Nights.  I never watched it (I watch little to no TV) but the title is apropos of tonight, at least for me.

I was the last one--well, the last cyclist, anyway--to leave the college tonight. 

After getting something like a real night's sleep last night, the ride today felt really good.  It was a few degrees cooler than it was yesterday, so the ride in was brisk, as was the ride home.  I was almost underdressed for the latter:  At times, I wish I'd worn a light jacket over my sweater and blouse.   I did, however, wear pantyhose under my skirt, which felt right--at least temperature-wise.

Today was the last day before Spring Recess.  At least it was for my classes:  Tomorrow, Saturday classes have their last meeting before getting a week of for the holidays.  The students in today's class are normally an interesting and stimulating group; today, they didn't seem as eager to leave as I would expect students to be the day before a recess.  I showed them the filmed version of Shakespeare's  Othello in which Lawrence Fishburne plays the title role.  Othello is one of my three favorite Shakespeare plays (The Tempest and Macbeth are the others) , and I'd say it's probably the one which I've had the most success teaching.  

Now, you may ask, what do teaching Othello and cycling to and from work have to do with each other?  Well, I think that, if nothing else, my experience today led me to a circle of questions:  Do my rides feel good because I feel good?  Or is it the other way around?  And was the confidence I felt on my bike and in my class a result of both going well?  Or did things go well because I was feeling confident and happy?

And when is my enjoyment of cycling enhanced by my enjoyment of other things?  Or does my enjoyment of other things enhance my enjoyment of cycling?

I guess that's a bit like asking whether cycling leads us to follow the moon or following the moon leads us to cycle.


  1. "And when is my enjoyment of cycling enhanced by my enjoyment of other things? Or does my enjoyment of other things enhance my enjoyment of cycling?"

    I think both. Feeling good in general will lead to better enjoyment of all the other things around you. Just like when you might be ticked off and everyone else is having a good time it's almost as if you get annoyed at their happiness rather than jumping in on it. Both sides of the emotion swing kind of suck you into their abyss. I prefer being on the happy side though.

  2. Sometimes, things just go together in harmony and all is right with the universe...

  3. I love your orange bike "Marianela". She looks very trustworthy and nimble. Also, the sky in your last photo is a gorgeous shade of blue - love this photo!

    I only know a bit of Shakespear's plays/writings; MacBeth, Orhello and Hamlet being those I am most familiar with.

    Regarding your musings on the enjoyment of cycling... I think your sentence "Or does my enjoyment of other things enhance my enjoyment of cycling?" rings best to me. I think once you allow yourself to begin to enjoy things, then everything begins to enhances everything else, and outwards it spreads like vines.

  4. Riding a bicycle brings happiness and has a way of making you look at all aspects of your life differently. A deeper sense of appreciation if you will. Love the moon photos :)

  5. Hello "Sophisticated," Steve, Paddy Anne and Sue,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I think that we, as cyclists, are a pretty contemplative bunch. Now I have another one of those circular questions: Are we contemplative because cycling makes us see things differently, or are we drawn to cycling because we see things as we do?

  6. Justine: I think its more your first suggestion, not so much the second; biking gives you freedom, and that in turn gives you freedom to allow your thoughts to soar and coast and then to slow them down to soak in and appreciate things.

  7. Well considering my bike project is sitting across an ocean from me back in Texas waiting for my arrival a week from today... I'd have to say it's probably because we see things as we do.

  8. We are comtemplative because cycling makes us see things differently. While cycling we experience emotions which ties in with every day life emotions: fear, joy, sadness, love, hate and many more - through hyper awareness. Overcoming (fear), or experiencing those emotions (love) through cycling leaves us content and better equipped to handle what life brings. Ok, I'll stop now... I also just enjoy riding my bicycle(s) for plain old fun :)