Wednesday, June 28, 2006
(3:39 PM) | Anthony Paul Smith:
Theory of the BicycleI've come to love riding my bicycle. I used it quite a bit towards the end of my senior year and a bit in the fall, but since spring arrived I've rarely been off of the thing. I enjoy riding for a number of reasons, not least among them is that it makes my commute far shorter than waiting for the bus (typically by bus it's an hour trip to the bookstore from my house and about half an hour to DePaul and it's more than half that on the bike). But I'm also able to think on my feet, as it were. I'm able to experience my body intentionally, but also I'm able to experience the world as world.
Today I was hit. It was bound to happen eventually and it could have been much worse. Basically the car didn't see my signal and we both merged into the left turn lane. We bounced off each other, but I appercieved the car as car (and enemy) as soon as it hit me. I couldn't see it, but I knew what was happening. At that moment it was no longer bike and self it was a whole. The bike and myself form an assemblage, but not just with each other, for the bike itself is an assemblage. We form a moving-machine with the road and we create images on the road itself by the paths we take, the laws we break, the very act of cycling is creative.
This isn't romantic. With all seriousness I am saying that riding a bike creates. It creates new relations between you and the road (pothole - manhole - holey space - flat road - hill), between you and other machines (car - hummer - semi - friend - enemy), between you and society ("Faggot!", from the man who didn't understand the way a four-way stop works - respectable distance when I'm sweaty), between you and your self (I'm ten pounds lighter - I like the way my body looks from the waist down), between you and the law (do not run a red light - run a red light if no cars are coming), between you and the weather (the night feels safe), etc.