Taylor Ho Bynum

*Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Bike Tour

Day 15 – 9/11, 10:00am, Gold Coast OR, 12:30pm Boardman State Park OR

One kind of fast I forgot to mention yesterday. (And not my speed of travel; I’m happily mosying along at 11 or 12 mph.) When on bike, you can’t listen to recorded music – one’s ears are the early warning sign for oncoming vehicles, and you learn to differentiate the size by the sound they make. In between the waves of traffic, blissful silence, and a renewed appreciation of all the subtle sonic activity “silence” contains. After hours of this meditation, the cheapening ubiquity of recorded music in every lobby, restaurant, and store is in sharp relief. Not to get all Cageian, but I do think a greater embrace of silence in our day to day would make us value music more.

After flirting with it a couple times, I finally broke 100 miles yesterday, by more than I intended, ending up at 110. I took a scenic but wholly unnecessary 8 mile detour down Cape Arago, missing the turn onto Seven Devil’s Rd (curses!). Another 100 miles today, and some serious hills after Crescent City. Coming in on 800 miles, already equaling the total from my New England tour of four years ago. My butt and my left knee are taking turns aching. I’m trying to keep my Alexander Technique principles in mind: release unnecessary tension, free my spine, don’t bike with my shoulders. Luckily, I’m in love with my Alexander teacher, so I don’t mind hearing her voice in my head all day.

And the biking, beyond the inevitable physical struggles, has been glorious, perfect weather through incredible countryside. Huge craggy rocks emerge from the sea, in fantastic anthropomorphic shapes, leading me to craft creation and extinction myths in my head as I pass of the stone giants that roamed before us.

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