Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Writings for Randos - Be here now.

{Friday Writings for Randos - A weekly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This week it's an excerpt from:
The Way of the Mountain Turtle
Single-speeding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race

By Kent Peterson*

July 6th PM

Buddhists advocate the wisdom of “be here now” and that advice is easy to follow when here is somewhere ruggedly beautiful like Zuni Canyon or the Chain of Craters Byway. But when the day grows long and the trail is a hot, windswept washboard ranch road leading to a place called “Pietown” then it is easy to forget the sage advice and build Pietown into an oasis of earthly delights, a place of air-conditioned comfort, cool drinks and a smorgasbord of pies.

But at last I am “here” in the real Pietown, a “now” that is 6:20 PM on Wednesday July 6th, 2005. Pietown consists of a crossroads with two cafés. The smaller café closed three hours ago and the sign on the Pie-o-neer Café informs me that it is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

I can do little but reflect on the Buddha’s teaching that desire is the root of suffering and be here now with what I have. At least there is a working outside faucet here and a payphone. I fill my bottles with water and call Christine. She takes the news that Pietown is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with the comment of “oh, how funny!” When I observe that I’m somehow failing to see the humor, she quickly makes sympathetic noises and explains that she meant “odd” instead of “funny.” An inventory of my supplies confirms that I have what I need to get down the road and that Pietown being closed is really much more of a comedy than a tragedy. I eat a Cherry Poptart and roll southward.

*Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson blogs, rides and writes from Issaquah, Washington. This excerpt is from his account of riding the 2005 Great Divide Mountain Bike Race - a 2,500 mile route from Canada to Mexico along the the Continental Divide. You can read the full account here.

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