The weight of the world.
I mean to tell you, the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt crushed by it.
So much so that my beloved wife and mother have both conspired against me and declared that I need to spend far less time wading through the internet. Between news of the absurd and the absolutely heart breaking, I’ve not known if I’m coming or going and it’s begun to have a fairly adverse effect on my general well being.
I love my city and the people who reside therein. I love my friends, most of whom I know intimately, but a fair handful of which I’ve only corresponded with electronically. I want to do right by people, keep my nose clean and have every interaction be one of a positive nature but sometimes the world just seems so broken and full of bad. Link after link regarding fallen cyclists come in, the comments sections filled with vitriol and nastiness. Treyvon Martin and Oscar Grant weigh heavy on my mind domestically, as does the distrust of the American people by it’s own government. Financial collapse, wars being waged, diseases being spread and endless grief. None of it’s related, yet all of it is. There is only so much that a person can internalize before the breaking point is met head on and all I want to do is unplug my everything and wander off into the horizon with hopes of quiet.
A few weeks ago as I was sharing a commute into San Francisco with Demonika, I spied shivering against the freeway divider, a small, curled up pup. I pleaded with my wife to pull over, which she did. As I walked up the middle of the rush hour freeway, I caught the sideways glances of everyone who passed. Finally, reaching the terrified little dog who was almost within my grasp, I stepped on a tiny piece of glass, which startled him, causing him to bolt. I calmly pursued him as he ran further and further away. I just wanted to hold him and get him to a safe place but before long, the cops stopped me, guns drawn and shook me down. I explained my motivation but they didn’t care. They forced me to retrace the quarter mile I’d walked, defeated, with no idea of the little dog’s fate. Once back inside the car, I came completely unglued- The fantasy of quiet, of pulling that plug on my entire existence never seemed more desperately important than on that very moment and all I wanted to do was crawl inside of myself and vanish.
As it has many times before and most likely will again, the dam had been broken, but with mud, and beer bottles and whatever random debris I had at my disposal, I haphazardly patched it up again. It’s holding together for the time being, and it’s my most sincere hope that I can continue reinforcing it with things like the love of my family, and friends and job and physical well being and the good that’s always around me, yet is somehow periodically blotted out by the bad.
In those instances it’s more important than ever to embrace what matters most and hope against hope that things will get better.
Certainly when mired in this kind of sporadic hopelessness, re-stumbeling across the story of a person saving a baby hummingbird is sometimes exactly what one needs;
What can I say? I’m a sap who’s comprised of at least 49% estrogen.
The other 51% is a combination of confusion, questionable decisions, and chest hair.
Naturally, another thing that nearly always rights the ship is riding a bike. Most often these days I’ve found myself riding alone, but certainly there is little that beats the camaraderie one experiences when engaging in the act with a bunch of yahoos like you might encounter at a Meet Your Maker ride. Well, for those who care about such things, this coming weekend, in conjunction with The Oakland Pedalfest, we aim to prove that there’s more to the city than bi-weekly riots;
“The Meet Your Maker Tour is piggybacking onto this year’s Pedalfest Jack London gig this Saturday, July 20th. In addition to the Pedalfest activities, the builders are riding in the morning before the expo starts and would like to invite any bike geeks interested in hand made bikes to come along;
We are meeting at the Blue Bottle Coffee at near Jack London Square at 300 Webster St. at 8:30 for a 9am sharp start. The ride is mixed with pavement and dirt. Should be about 3 hrs and we will have a sweeper so no one gets left behind. The ride will end up back at Pedalfest in Jack London Square where the builders will have schwag for sale and bikes on display. For more Meet Your Maker info go to our website.”
“Why is the ride in Oakland, but the flyer features an image of Mt. Tam?” you’re asking?
Regardless, it should be a nice jaunt, and is a route I generally do on a road bike with fat tires, but a cross bike would be perfectly acceptable as well.
Another noteworthy event that’s cracking soon is one that Evan at Mission Workshop clued me in on;
Here’s a heads up on this week’s event here at MW. Hope you can make it by.
Join us this Friday for a presentation from Argonaut Cycles and a Q & A with founder Ben Farver. Come learn how Argonaut is redefining ride quality and see a Space Bike in person.
Come for the presentation, stay for the drinks and snacks. Photography by Brian Vernor will be hung for your viewing pleasure. The bike and photography will be on display till the 26th for those of you unable to attend the event.
And the flyer:
So there you have a whole lotta goodness in this very Bay Area to juggle.
Now let’s get in on some short bits from other places.
Kenny of the Kaos clan sent an email with a request for some traction on his gang’s new skins;
just wanted to see if you could throw up a shout out for some Sweathogs gear, that is if you’re man enough to wear pink spandex;
It is also known to make you that much faster as well, thanks dude!
God certainly knows I need all the help I can use in the being faster department.
Then, over there in my home away from home away from home of Minneapolis, and loosely relating to Monday’s post, this Saturday will ensure that some ears be ringing;
Seriously… If you find yourself near the Twin Cities, and you’re not present for this, you’re dead to me.
Finally, from Ben at Swobo I got the following;
“Yup… Draw this.”
That right there is what is commonly known by its Latin name, the Berryusdongus.
And with that, all is mostly right with the world.
Even though for now, it’s still resting comfortably on my chest.
Keep on keepin’ on Stevil. Contrary to popular belief and what the media tells you, there’s a lot of awesome shit going on in the world. For every douche bag George Zimmerman there is a person like my wife that is unbelievably committed to teaching at risk youth the power of art and how it can transform their lives positively. The people doing the awesome shit just need to brag about it a little louder.
Kenny must have hit you up on the Sweat Hogs stuff since he knows that you are capable of throwing up and shouting out at the same time.
Love you buddy.
About running, but translates perfectly to riding: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running
Frustrated? Angry? Lost? I’ve got your moment of zen right here: http://explore.org/#!/live-cams/player/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls
A wise man once said “you are only one bike ride away from a better mood”. Go get yourself some good mood and ride your bike. You will be glad that you did.
And then, donkey punch Cheever for me.
Poor pup, Danmit.
I’m a Public Defender in Santa Cruz. Among other tasks, I bare witness to tremendous human suffering and tragedy. Sometimes I get really bummed out, by sad clients, sad victims, shitty cops, shitty prosecutors, shitty everything. But without fail I read your blog every week, and for a few minutes I laugh and experience joy. I think, “Stevil is stoked to be making a living doing something that he loves.” I try to be nice to people. I ride bikes and play with my kids, and love my wife. Take a breath, seek joy, and keep carrying the fire.
It was just last week that your scribblings invoked laughter based espresso spewing across the screen of my laptop. There are many, many good things in the world Mr. Kinevil. You are one of them. Psycho Donuts is another.
PS. You owe me a new laptop. The one I have now smells like spit and coffee.
Weird, I had a similar breakdown last week. It’s nice to know others have these thoughts too. I explained it to my girlfriend and friends as though I was mourning for a fallen friend, that every once in awhile I just get overwhelmed with things and end up going through the stages of grief for the dead, hollow, ruined state of the world. It usually starts out with disbelief that the world and the people in it can be so fucked up in one way or another. Then I get angry, then depressed, and eventually I wind up with acceptance, usually after a really hard bike ride. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t worry man. There’s a lot of good in the world still.
– El Gecko
Also, this might help:
If you quit they win. It’s that simple. Chin up buttercup.
Nice post, man. I think we’ve all been thinking a little bit about the world we live in lately. Sometimes it sucks. Other times it doesn’t.
Loved this blog. Sometimes the blogs are good sometimes they are great. This was a beautant! Thanks as ever for the motivation to ride our bikes alone or with mates and to pick ourselves up carry on
I can’t think of a better way of saying it, but does ‘It’s a Wonderful Blog’ work?
Take care of yourself brother.
Great post man.
Keep it up.
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do”
pale saints with their bummer of a track ‘the way the world is’:
Time will get you in the end / And take away the things
The things you thought you had
Time will take away your friends / And leave you all alone
Alone until the end
(none of it is true, it’s just something a bunch of twee 20 yr olds thought in the 1980s)
Chin up man, remember there’s always kitties to cuddle and budweiser to be drank. Both these things will help more than any medication I know of. Maybe some fried chicken too
Maybe you need to stick to tennis, and tennis related subjects. Seriously thought, turn off the media input, look ten feet in front of you, and deal with just the world that is in front of you. Just for a day. No harm there.
Hang in there, my friend. I applaud your attempted rescue of the poor little dog and am sorry the cops showed no love. Keep up the good work!
descendite ne illegitimi
“don’t let the bastards get you down”
For every shit time/person there are two good, they just don’t make the corporate media headlines as much.
We are kindred spirits. I’ve been talking myself and others out of oblivion for years, and lately a bit more than Im comfortable with.
Sometimes, one has to make a concerted effort to find the meaningful tidbits that help keep the wheels turning.
This post and these comments were exactly that.
Ride your bike.
I’ll ride mine.
And if I’m ever in the same place, I’ll ride with you.
Positive vibrations from these Antipodes,
WWWEWD? Take it on the chin.
Thanks for sharing. For me knowing others are going through similar issues makes me feel less alone. Doing the right thing can be hard in the face of haters but please remember if no one does the right thing the world would be definitely be worse off. I definitely believe it is ok to retreat to your ‘fortress of solitude’ or ‘happy place.’ Enjoy warm weather and think of us in the Southern Hemisphere who are in the middle of winter. Thanks again for sharing.