7.20.2007,8:04 AM
Road Ache
I woke up this morning with an ache, physical and spiritual. An ache to load the bike and just hit the road; ride until I can't ride anymore. It's an affliction of wanderlust, a chronic disease of the vagabond. And the bike seals that infection inside me.

I don't ride to run away from the world, I ride and travel to get into it. Like a fledgling bird inside its shell, I have to break out of it and spread my wings to fly, experience the world and be alive.

"[Travel] is a radical way of knowing exactly who, what and where you are, in defiance of those powerful forces in society that aim to make us forget." -Kathleen Norris
Many people don't understand this; some friends here tell me there's therapy for this affliction. Those that do understand don't have to say a word; I see the twinkle in their eye and the smirk on their faces. But as John Steinbeck wrote there is no cure:

“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was upon me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy described was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight maybe senility will do the job. Nothing has worked……I fear the disease is incurable.”
And so, another bike trip looming in a few weeks, maps marked, routes penciled in, ticking off camping gear, and anticipation building, I already feel myself moving out of this space and onto the unknown roads and mountains. The places I call 'home'.

Those who are also afflicted, you know who you are.


posted by Macrobe
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