No Dead Ends

A note of optimism for your Monday consumption.

The bicycle is a freedom machine. Not only will it take you where you want to go under your own power, but it disdains the bonds of pavement and settled map as well. In fact, the only thing that holds the bike back is a lack of imagination, which explains why kids ride their bikes in places adults wouldn’t think to.

Here in New England it is true roughly 50% of the time that you can ride your bike past a dead-end sign, or really any sign that implies the way ahead is not passable, and find a trailhead or some other navigable route. I live on a dead-end. There is a sign affixed, in fact, to the telephone pole in front of my house, but there is also a perfectly viable bicycle route that exits at the road’s terminus and a rough trail that leads down through the woods below.

Between you and me, I suspect that the simple act of riding a bike regularly will actually expand your mind, or, at the very least, your sense of where you can get under your own power. In this sense, I pity the fools who move themselves only by automobile. They take dead-end signs literally. They live in a horribly proscribed world.

It’s away down the rabbit hole for us, through the looking glass, into the wardrobe and out into our own magical world. This is fantasy word salad to a degree, but I confess I still love the feeling of escaping past a dead-end, like I’ve happened onto a secret place. Here I am discovering a treasure no one knows about (except they do).

I like to believe that the bike will not just set us free; It will it save us too. From climate change. From obesity. From depression and anxiety. From stress. From pollution. These benefits are all there, beyond the dead end our current lifestyles throw up in the way. But there’s a pretty good time to be had, if we ignore the signs and just keep going.

Shimano gets it. They sponsor this website, and journeys down the rabbit hole, too.

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