Sunday, February 06, 2011

Subject to Change...

We're too smart to watch TV
We're too dumb to make believe

this is all we want from life

And I'm too dumb to talk to you
You're so quick to listen to me
Saying nothing you don't know
Nothing you don't know

Walked out and I won't be rerouted
If I don't go outside today, I never will
Too old not to get excited
About rain and roads, Egyptian ruins, our first kiss

—Jawbreaker, "Jinx Removing", 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

I rode down to the tracks
Thinking that they might sing to me
But they just stared back
Broken, trainless, and black as night
Climbed out onto my roof
So I'd be a poet in the night
Beat the walls off my room
I saw the big room that is this life

This is my condition

—Jawbreaker, "Condition Oakland", 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

I own an SUV.  I own a TV. Both sit idle, have languished unused now for quite some time, the difference being that the TV has the benefit of shelter from the elements and is thus in a better state of visual appeal. The truck, on the other hand, is on the fast track to eyesore status, having been peppered by pollen and pounded by precipitation in all forms while resting in the driveway. Amazing, what just a little neglect brings. We would do well to remember that when it comes to living, breathing, warmth-producing things.

But the truck and the TV? Done with them both, at least for the nonce. The truck disappears as a donation this year, not likely to be replaced anytime soon. The TV goes out the window and over the fence, figuratively speaking (Arlington County will recycle it, or at least go through all the appropriate visual motions to make me feel like they are recycling it. I have my doubts).

I am becoming boring, I fear. At least to all but the alcoholic, bibliophilic bicyclist. No talk of Mad Men or the Superbowl, no spur of the moment day-trips to lands too distant to be practicably reached by bicycle, none of that good stuff. But I am, I feel, the better for this, somehow. Certainly no worse. The TV (a pandora's box if ever there was one) can go straight to fucking hell, do not pass go, do not collect etc. Television, like radio (including most satellite stations), is, in so many words, shit, pure and simple. This is not revelation. Invasive, ubiquitous, vapid, unimaginative, addictive, insidious, selfish, imposing, wasteful, let it slip from memory, disappear, become to me no more than a fuzzy hircocervus (now there's an animal!). As for the automobile, I won't go cold turkey anytime soon. I am, right now, still that most contemptible of propri√©taires immobiliers: a suburbanite. I make do as necessity dictates.  And sometimes I defy it.

So, what does all this have to do with my all-too-quickly-approaching cross-country bike trip? Not a damn thing, really. But how much can I write about something that hasn't happened yet and is, at the moment, relatively unplanned? Well, this much, at least...presented for your perusal, my tentative itinerary, pinched from the Adventure Cycling Association web site:

Yorktown, VA, to Astoria, OR (4,262 mi.)

Yorktown, VA, to Christiansburg, VA (367.5 mi.)
Christiansburg, VA, to Berea, KY (381 mi.)
Berea, KY, to Murphysboro, IL (410.5 mi.)
Murphysboro, IL, to Girard, KS   (411.5 mi.)
Girard, KS, to Alexander, KS   (333.5 mi.)
Alexander, KS, to Pueblo, CO  (292.5 mi.)
Pueblo, CO, to Rawlins, WY   (390.5 mi.)
Rawlins, WY, to West Yellowstone, MT (349.5 mi.)
West Yellowstone, MT, to Missoula, MT  (332 mi.)
Missoula, MT, to Baker City, OR  (419 mi.)
Baker City, OR, to Coburg, OR (340 mi.)
Coburg, OR, to Astoria, OR (234.5 mi.)

Coming up next: a breakdown of the gear I'll carry. Oh, a thrill for ya!

I've been there and gone there
I've lived there and bummed there
I've spinned there, I gave there
I drank there and I slaved there

I've had enough of the way things have been done
Every man on a razor's edge
Someone has used us to kill with the same gun
We were killing each other by driving a wedge

My life's a mess I wait for you to pass
I stand here at the bar, I hold an empty glass

—Pete Townshend, "Empty Glass", Empty Glass


YuriB said...

This alcoholic, bibliophilic bicyclist wishes you happy trails and is green with envy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with YuriB. Looking forward to the trip and following along- you give me hope...

Kevin said...

Definitely interested in the planning stages, gear and all that. Keep it coming!

Blue-eyed Devil said...

Happy to share. Thanks, gents!

gmr2048 said...

If you are "boring", sir, I fear I am a corpse!

Add me to the list of people who will be following along (enviously is an understatement) at each step of your journey.