Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crazy Loco Motion

Tonight I wound my way home from from Bloomington where I have been spending the past couple of evening being trained in at QBP. The first part of my ride meanders through a Hyland park, part of the Three rivers park district. I pass wetlands with thousands of vibrating crickets, and with all my senses I achieve a sense of living that must have been often found by our ancestors.
I smell the damp of spring, then hear a startled deer crash through jumping over the bramble and brush, away from my bike headlight, I see its white tail vanishing into the gray haze of night. This combined with the hum of my tires against the asphalt path, the soft pushing of my legs, and the rhythmic beating of my heart make everything attain beauty. The beauty many seek out in parks and wilderness. It is often found when we slow down...

The world is moving information around bouncing it through space with zeros and ones, and this is what we come to expect. Yet the speed of information wasn't always so common, as people over forty will tell you. Snail Mail is in reference to handwritten letters that posses the ink from another person, yet it is merely days within lives that can last well past sixty years. The same is true for transportation, we feel that speed equals progress. It is more efficient to drive, yet we accepted this as a culture without considering what is lost, instead focusing upon what is gained, the time is money theory of capitalism. Most of us are familiar with walking, it is slow and tedious when used for spans greater that a half hour. We humans often tire of walking when done without a beautiful surrounding to distract us from the effort of our muscles. Before the steam engine, everything was horsepower. The combustible engine did to horses what the telegraph lines did to homing pigeons. (Reuters news service first started out delivering financial news by pigeon from London to Paris).

And the train caught people's attention, it often ran through the middle of town, it's whistle was an event and it's schedule well known by citizens, giving access to goods from far away and ability to travel and vacation on distant lands. Yet you can imagine those peoples perspective of viewing the world passing you by at sometimes twice the speed of a sprinting horse. Crazy Loco Motion, speed is startling and loud, it looses nature in its noise. The wind takes its molecules and brushes your ears with constant whir of friction. Gone are the crickets, the chirping bird, or the deer browsing upon branches. You are insides the machine hurling you through space, onward and as compared to a horse you are overcoming nature, not succumbing to its limits.
The first man made object to break the sound barrier was the whip, and it was used to intimidate and often inflict punishment. Trains were like bullets on rails. Speed is an exhilarating love affair of fear and excitement.

Things like a slow Sunday drive, or a mosey through a park on a bike. The world at less then thirty MPH, can be a relaxing and beautiful thing. I think it should be exhaled for its pleasureful benefits, and revisited by everyone who thinks they don't have enough time here on earth.
As I like to say ... A Slightly Simpler Speed.

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