Ari Goldman was the religious editor for the New York Times for nearly 20-years. Though he’s now a professor of journalism at Columbia university, he once interviewed me for the Sunday New York Jewish news about a social media experiment I was conducting. During the course of that interview I mentioned that I had read his book, The Search For God At Harvard — a short book about his time getting a graduate degree in Religious Studies at that institution. He chuckled and then said…

“Really…? You and three other people read that book…“

I reciprocated with a laugh of my own. He went on to say…

“That’s the thing you should remember about writing, Roy. When you throw it out there, it’s like tossing a message in a bottle into the churning tide. You never know who’s going to find it, read it, and how it’s going to impact them, but it will surely impact more than you realize.…”

Whether it’s on this blog or the corresponding Spoke And Word Facebook page, every time I post a musing or an essay, I think of Professor Goldman’s words.

Since beginning this blog just under a year ago, I have posted 270 times — either complete essays here on this platform, or short musings on my corresponding Facebook page about my ride of the day. Or more specifically, what goes on in my mind as I ride each day.

Every so often, somebody will reach out to me and let me know that my words, my pictures, or both have inspired them to get back on their bikes. Others have asked my help in purchasing a bike for the very first time.

Maryse is a French Canadian woman that I connected with a couple years ago as part of a music sharing collaborative on Facebook. I was both surprised and humbled this morning when I saw that she had posted the following on her own Facebook page (since it was posted in French, a couple of words might have been twisted in translation)

🚴 ♀️ I’ve always loved the bike… but not the race bike, the mountain bike. That said, I’m talking about the type of bike, not the type of track. For the slopes, I like everything; bike paths, trails in the woods, residential areas, everything but downtown Montreal. The bike has always been my means of transportation in abitibi and Montreal, until I move to laval. I had my first car at 33 years old. I miss the bike and I have been much less fit since my current job that I love so much, but that takes so much time. My inspiration to start riding a bike on a daily basis, it’s him, Roy Jhciacb Cohen. We’ve been part of a group of music discussions on Facebook for almost 10 years. He created his blog (The Spoke And Word) in connection with his bike hikes and his thoughts. Every single one of his posts inspires me. His photos make dream (it’s California, it’s not laval 😂), his texts make think (I’m going to focus on the bike), his stats are goals I would love to achieve, and his ear worms are A Natural addition to the stats.

Thanks Roy for being such an inspiration.

98D88830-4E6B-4B51-8E8F-2C2A7F407C1E.jpeg
Maryse’s bike, Abitibi….

Hiking 22 September
Bike: Abitibi
Laval, rosemère, boisbriand
17 KM
14 km / h of average speed
364 calories
Temperature: 27 c
Ear Worm: blood fire death by bathory
Photo: River of the thousand islands, Ste-Rose, laval

I was left humbled and teary-eyed by Maryse’s words.

So I will close with the following 2-sided question…

If you own a bike, why don’t you ride it…? And if you don’t ride it, why do you own a bike…?

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

Last Week By The Numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 4
193 miles
6,300’ climbing
16.1 mph avg
12,000 calories

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from Jerry Jeff Walker. Enjoy…

3 thoughts on “Message In A Bottle…

  1. I completely agree with what Goldman said about reaching people with what you write. It also applies to who you are. I know that every day someone is thinking about the good influence you have had on them, Roy. Though most of the time you will have to know this by trust. Be sure, it is there.

    I love my bike, Desperado. I think you already know that. I got that sturdy cruiser many years ago. Had it with me while I was in med school. I’ve replaced and repaired it many times over the years. I’ve looked for others, but have never found one that fits me so well. Maybe Desperado feels the same about me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Doc. One of the sad things about taking down my previous blog, is that I lost all content because I never backed up with hardcopies. I remember including a picture of you and Desperado on an essay I wrote about bicycle commuting. I’m glad he is still with you and still getting used. Or is it a she…?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I first met you I ask what are your hobbies,things you like to do. You replied “Writing” Riding/Cycling and Surfing. I appreciate you touching me mind and heart with your words. When it comes to riding, I have not owned a bike since my trustworthy English Raleigh. Built solid,reliable ol friend I had to count to get me to school, work, football practice. I’m way over due to get back on it.
    Thank you my brother for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s