Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Eve Solo Urban Ride Report

Distance: 35miles or 56.3km. Time Riding: 2hrs 35mins. Bike: Surly Cream Roller fixed at 46 x 17. Total Inner Body/Crank Revolutions: around about 25,000.

Yesterday I pedaled roughly the distance between Brooklyn Connecticut and New London or Cedar Hills Oregon(just outside of Portland) and Idiotville. A big shout out to whatever is sparking that recent spike in traffic from the greater Portland area, must be some smart people up that way.

Anyways, my point for giving mileage comparison and contrast is so that you can see what little distance I actually rode yesterday. It was not that far but there was a lot of information to perceive during this self powered tour of southern Mecklenburg County, the greater Charlotte area. The first point of interest is that I made my way around south by linking up several Greenways, the first being McAlpine Park from one end to the other. On the paved section off of East Harris I noticed more riders rolling in each direction than I have ever seen there before. It was a strange sight indeed. As bike traffic thinned out a bit across Margaret Wallace I realized that someone was and had been on my wheel. My eyephone was streaming the National into my ears talking softly to my brain. I looked over my shoulder into the strained face of a geared hybrid aggressor wearing mirrored glasses and a lycra kit. Yikes, I had to get away so I picked it up a bit and headed for the left hand turn onto the bridge. He was right there with me on the bridge, is it possible that this guy is crazier than I am? Over the bridge I decided to make the 90 degree left hoping that crazy guy would be going the other way. When I turned from the cement floor to the dirt of the actual greenway my front 25mm skinny started washing out. I unclipped my left foot trying to hold it up motocross style, but I was going too fast. The bike tipped all the way and sent me super manning forward about to face plant in a head high cloud of dry dirt dust. My gloved hands went out in front of me to protect my face and some how I wound up motionless in the push up position a few inches off the ground only connected to the planet by the four points of my hands and shoe covered tip toes. The chase had hit his brakes when he saw the carnage and inquired as to my disposition as I pulled myself up from the floor. "I'm okay", I said with a grin picking up my bike and dusting myself off before riding away alone.
It is Labor Day weekend, time to have a reason to celebrate with the constant smell of grills being used in every neighborhood that I traversed. The American Banner was out of the attic or closet for display attached to the sides of many houses on this fine clear Sunday afternoon. Red, white and blue looking very clean and bright connected at an angle proudly as if actually owned by right. Such a strange sight indeed, the American Flag put out in such a prolific manner based on the holiday and three days in a row off of work.

Then it happened. I spotted one on the ground exactly where it laid in the grassy shadows of my cemetery cut through. This pennon was motionless but more telling to me than the many I had seen being displayed as ownership along my ride. It appeared to have been spit out the side of of a mower, the victim of a careless or oblivious or both mower operator tending to the cemetery grounds. I wondered why he did not notice it, and if he did, why didn't he do anything about it? Since being a small kid and then during my military tenure I had always been taught to respect the flag and all that it stands for. What does it really stand for, I thought to myself as I looked down at this broken one quietly alone on the surface of the earth. It looked sad to me, forgotten in the green field of human body decay.

I made some images of the flag where I had found it. Then I picked up the red, white and blue cloth truly noticing for the first time that it was ripped almost in two perfectly equal pieces being held together by a thread. The similar parallel synchronicity of the moment, this country's now that I was staring at in the real was a powerful feeling of understanding and recognition of the truth that had been delivered to me in the form of physical manifestation yet again. For me there is no wanting to look away or deny what I am actually feeling about our Nation's true strategy. Truly looking at what was left of this flag caused me to carefully fold the pieces and tuck it away in my pocket for its final transfer.


cornfed said...

Happy Labor Day Billy. Thanks for another great transference.

Amazing flag photo. My first reaction was uncomfortableness of seeing it on the ground. Funny the wires that run within.

jeff said...

Bill, amazing photo of the eye. such a common subject incredibly you've done something fresh with it. Was that the macro? j

Billy Fehr said...

Yes Jeff, your Macro 55 old school style. Karsen of Course, in the sun trying not to blink. I appreciate your words Jeff, coming from you of all people inspires me...thank you.

Billy Fehr said...

Hope you see that it on the ground was not my thought or action, just a ride that brought me to it...