As I declared in this post, I’ve decided to take the final Friday of every month, and post the pre-edited content from my feature in PAVED Magazine’s, ‘Axis Of Stevil’. As I said last time, I do sincerely hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, there’s a ton of other internet just a click away.
Photo by Brian Vernor
Sometime between issue number one and issue number two, I was saddled with the task of writing my wedding vows. I wasn’t having any luck with a pen and the ever growing pile of crumpled note paper on my living room floor, so I opted to try my luck with the never failing inspiration of a bike ride. As the miles ticked off and my mind began freeing itself up, the words that most concisely conveyed my love for my future wife began falling like water. “Is this all it took?” I asked myself. All I needed to do to unleash my inner romantic was to point my bike away and stick my proverbial foot in it? As it turns out, it was indeed.
Fence posts and trees whizzed by, all becoming an indistinguishable blur in my periphery. My lungs and legs burned as I climbed ascent after ascent. My ears and nose were filled with the sounds and smells of a hundred miles of seemingly forgotten road. As I collected the assortment of thoughts about my almost-wife, I recounted all of the noteworthy experiences I’ve had while hunched over and spinning wildly to nowhere. Broken hearts have been mended, hangovers have been quelled, rage has been subdued, and fear has been conquered. I wrote the speech honoring my father for his surprise 70th birthday party while on a bike ride, and I like to think I will do the same for his 80th.
My bike is an indefinable container for emotion. It’s a time machine, a security blanket, and much like a child’s empty box, open to whatever I need it to be.
As I walked back in the door and removed my helmet, I placed my water bottles on the counter and emptied my jersey pockets. My head was swimming with various passages and phrases. In my mind’s eye, I could see my mom crying at all of the beautiful things that were about to come flooding onto paper. I hadn’t even yet taken off my gloves before I grabbed a pen and my yellow legal pad on which I would write my masterpiece.
And not that it’s all that uncommon an occurrence, but just then my mind went blank.
Only small fragments of what had come before were left. I attempted to patch them back together, but only bits and pieces ended up sounding quite right. I wrote a series of passages, placed the cap back on the pen, and laid the pad back on the floor.
“No matter”, I thought, finally taking off my gloves. “I still have tomorrow’s ride to sort this out. Or the one after that. Or the one after that.”