On the face of it, this post is merely a few photos from a simple pre-work bike ride through one of my local riding areas, an area called Robinson’s Woods. Though surrounded by suburbia and within sight of the famous rocky coast of Maine, this area remains undeveloped. It was never farmed back when this area was being settled as it was deemed to be too rocky to be much good for anything. The colonial era farmers were not known for mountain biking so their loss was our gain. It has since been conserved by the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust and a network of trails developed to allow easy access to the wonders of the forest.
Hmmm maybe there’s more to it than a few pictures taken with my cell phone. Within such beautiful surroundings a simple bike ride can definitely expand one’s brain a bit – must be all that sea-level oxygen that helps get the old grey matter percolating. I may be a little biased as my entire blog is pretty much based on leaning my bike up against things and taking photos but the following passage pretty much captures my sentiments:
“It is well, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest. Wheels that have crossed long, dusty distances with their mineral and vegetable burdens, sacks from the coalbins, barrels and baskets, handles and hafts for the carpenter’s tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth … The used surface of things, the wear that the hands give to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things – all lend a curious attractiveness to the reality of the world that should not be underprized.” – Pablo Neruda
Yup, if you’re an aficionado of muddy tires and crusty fishing gear washed up on shore you’ve come to the right place. Tell all your friends about the “bike-lean artiste”. One person’s muddy tire is another’s gold I guess, and instead of trash I see gold in that thar sunrise. The struggle is told through the tread of those tires and that bit of battered gear thrown upon the stones by a fearsome wave. The dents of a rim tell the story.
Perception is a funny thing. Sometimes I wonder what my neighbors may think of me as they peek out from behind curtains and watch me head off in the early morning for a ride on my cartoon bike with the balloon tires. Well, maybe for a moment or two I wonder, but mostly I really don’t care what they may think. Life is about exploration and self-fulfillment, even if the only adventure you can fit into your busy day is that hour before heading off for the day to do whatever pays your bills. You can live an entire day in an hour if you approach it as a child would: with wonder.
“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” – Albert Einstein
Of course wonder must be nurtured in the right environment, much like a Lady Slipper needs exactly the right soil and conditions in order to bloom. That’s where the struggle comes in to play. These orchids don’t do well in “captivity” and often wither and die if transplanted. I find the same thing happens to me most Monday mornings as I head to work. A simple morning ride through the woods is a remarkable antidote for withering. Rage, rage against the dying of the inner child.
“Out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which sustains the little world of man as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous, then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on Earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures.” – Edward Abbey
As I said at the beginning of this post, just a simple ride through the woods. Hope you enjoyed it!
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.” – E.E. Cummings