Yesterday, while riding up a trail called Mayhem Gulch at Centennial Cone (great names, aren’t they?—but that’s another story), I think I (brilliantly, amazingly) developed a new kind of essay: a chain.
Riding is good for such deep, creative musing.
Anyway, a chain essay is a linked series (duh), connected by an idea, image, or concept. And the ending has to loop back to the beginning somehow.
This new form is perfect for writing about riding, of course.
Other forms I know about: lyric, braided, collage, hermit crab.
Speaking of marine animals, I’m not a big fan of the band Phish, but I fondly remember teaching freshman comp back in the early 1990s, when about half of my students wanted to write the following essay: “Why Phish is the Greatest Band Ever.”
A collage(ish) memory: lots of slackerish types, slouched in cheap stacking office chairs. Lots of corduroy and long hair. Chunky black boots. The dudes and gals abide by Grunge. Rain, in Boston. Slush. Carrying around a large stack of papers to grade in a soft leather briefcase. The Internet wasn’t ubiquitous yet. (Man, that’s so weird to realize.)
Listening to KBCO while driving to work the other day, as Brett Saunders chatted with Trey Anastasio, he of Phish fame, I got a big kick out of Trey talking about biking in Central Park. Especially how some riders look and act like they’re world class athletes, with the fancy gear they wear, and how they blast by, yelling things like, “on your left” or “get the frick out of the fast lane!”
And here’s a note on the woman who placed fourth in the Olympic road race—the one that probably flies by Trey every morning in Central Park, the one he talks about:
Things were looking good for her—she was in the lead pack—until an unfortunate flat dropped her back. Though she still finished in seventh place.
Here’s a Youtube video of Trey performing his song about cycling slowly, “Let It Lie.” With the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
I got two flats while riding home from work the other day. I had to call my wife to come pick me up ( I only had one tube). And then I thought I lost my wallet somewhere out on the trail home, maybe fallen out of my jersey as I tried to fix the flats. So I called and canceled all my credit cards. And then two days later, my wife found my wallet, stuck between our bedspread and the bedframe.
All because of the flat tires. It makes me want to scream.
Here’s that biking song, which is quite pretty, and unlike grunge, has no screaming in it.
Speaking of video, and the Olympics, I just loved watching the mountain bike race. There are some wicked technical sections on that course. These guys are no slouches.
Yesterday, like I said, I rode Centennial Cone, around 18 miles worth. I’d only ridden it once before. Which made it awesome—a loopy singletrack that’s new and fresh and tasty, with steep, exposed sections, rambling forest loops. Just about everything you could ask for. Kind of like a race course.