A bicycle lies at the hub of divergent interests. A Venn diagram of cyclists would have circles of engineers and English majors, philosophers and physicists, athletes and artists, the privileged and the poor, introverts and extroverts, dreamers and doers. All those circles would overlap around the idea and reality of the bicycle.
That connection may be the one reason I love bicycling. The circles of cycling fit well with the breadth of my interests. A bike is a chameleon that instantly morphs to complement my mindset of the day.
When I am an adventurer, a bicycle is a means to explore that makes the familiar seem exotic and the mundane magical. It is a mode of travel that taps into the spirit of those explorers who immersed themselves in the hot cold wet reality of the places they traveled.
When light and lines inspire me, it is an objet d'art; an expression of form and function that presents the artist with the liberating freedom to create within set boundaries. Under the loose constraints of making a working bicycle, tubes are bent and joined, fabrics take shape and details become flourishes expressing the vision of the artist.
When I am a shade tree mechanic, it is a high performance machine to degrease and grease, tune-up, repair, trick out and improve.
When I am soft and out of shape, it is an exacting fitness apparatus, capable of more than I can muster, accepting hard effort and encouraging even more, ever ready, willing and able.
When I am a dreamer, it is a cloud that limpidly floats within, but apart from, the world; a roving quiet perch from which to think, observe and imagine.