Have you ever been not riding bikes and suddenly realized you were washing dishes or doing your taxes? Even the 1040EZ fails to approach the simple pleasure of riding bikes. And I like clean dishes, but I like it when they get cleaned by someone else. At my house, the kids are responsible for the dishes after dinner, which mainly means that I am responsible for pulling them from the drying rack and washing them again in the morning. All this while not riding bikes.
Look, it’s pointless to think you can ride bikes in all the waking hours of all the living days, BUT it is undeniably true that riding bikes is a prophylactic against washing dishes and/or doing taxes. I have never filled out a form of any sort while riding. I have never cleaned anything, not meaningfully, and certainly not effectively.
Oh sure, when you’re not riding, there is a panoply, a plethora, a plenitude of other activities that are both not riding and not terrible, but what I’m trying to get across to you (Is this thing on?) is that you don’t want to roll those dice. For every, walking-in-a-meadow-smelling-the-wildflowers there’s a dinner-at-your-mother-in-law’s-house. And to be honest, I like my mother-in-law, but not nearly as much as I like riding a bike down a tree-strewn hill in the rising light of a fall morning.
I’m saying that not riding bikes is a crapshoot.
Let’s just unpack that idiom briefly. Saying something is a crapshoot means that it’s a roll of the dice. Some rolls (e.g., a heavy shred sesh with your crew) are good, while some other rolls (i.e., doing your mother-in-law’s taxes) are not, and the game, craps, is a game that people play because it depends on the mechanism of intermittent reinforcement, which means that there are fewer good outcomes than bad ones, but just enough good ones to keep you playing (and theoretically, losing money, like on your taxes).
So life is a crapshoot, if you’ll forgive the Herculean leap of logic that got us from throwing dice against a wall to ontological despair in just two steps. And so, despite the persistent popularity of craps as a game, it’s important that we recognize it’s a game designed for you to lose more than win. There is a street in Las Vegas that is visible from space, which stands as a glowing reminder of this root concept.
It is better to ride than not ride.
It is possible that I have made my proof entirely too simple, that there are actually branching possibilities of nuance in every direction, a flow-chart of fractal-like complexity, and yet, if you study fractals you’ll learn that their patterns repeat, just like the repeated pattern of not enjoying not riding. I know you’re with me now. We all have the experience of not enjoying not riding.
Yes, it’s possible that, in not riding, you’ll have the experience of childbirth or puppy petting or Michelin-starred restaurant eating, but don’t be a patsy. For every puppy there are approximately one million not puppies. For every Michelin-starred restaurant there are100,000 Panda Expresses*. Also, children are highly overrated, the miracle of their birth notwithstanding.
In closing, I give not riding bikes a hard thumbs down. It’s not that riding bikes is pure joy in every pedal stroke, but even a bad pedal stroke is better than a good colonoscopy. Think of riding bikes less as an act of exercise or transport, but more as your first line of defense against waiting in line at the DMV.
‘* The actual number of Panda Expresses relative to Michelin-starred restaurants is unknowable, represented in theoretical math by the variable q or in quantum physics by the Parable of Schrodinger’s Shar Pei.
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