In addition to this blog, I write a daily column on Facebook under the same name, The Spoke And Word. The premise is the same — I write short anecdotes and stories which take place on the road each day, and also about the absurdities of life I contemplate while I ride. The only difference between those columns and these essays is that my Facebook posts are written each evening in 20-minutes or less.
I was recently called out by a reader claiming that I’m prone to exaggeration, hyperbole, and writing all-out falsehoods with those daily posts. This came on the heels of a post I wrote last week after getting bit by a wolf — well, a wolf-husky hybrid. And as extraordinary as that sounds, it actually happened.
That assertion that I’m prone to lying and exaggeration was made by the same reader who called me out three years ago when I wrote about the carload of stoned teenagers who threw a whole watermelon at me as they slowly drove by laughing. They missed. And, it was the same guy who didn’t believe me a year or so later when I wrote about stopping at a red light and using my helmet to head-butt the driver’s side window of a guy who pretended to run me off the road a few minutes prior.
See the pattern here…? Not one of me embellishing or making up stories, but the pattern of this man reading my stories consistently for a few years now — even if he believes them to be works of fiction.
On the opposite end of things are the people who suggest I’m a magnet for drama. They believe what I write, but suggest I set myself up for that drama, hunt for it, or that I might even manufacture it. Although I admit I’m a magnet for drama, I never hunt for it, and certainly don’t manufacture it.
I spend roughly 13-hours each week riding a bicycle between the rural (and quirky) communities of Fallbrook, Rainbow, Pala, Bonsall, and Oceanside. That’s the amount of time many people dedicate to a part-time job. Only the part-time job, in my instance, is to expose myself to experiences beyond my sofa, to observe what I see, and to share them with anyone interested.
I expose myself to fast-moving cars, roadside hazards, and the risks which are inherent to riding a bike in those surroundings. And I observe the landscape, the structures, the people, and the behaviors of those people who transcend and occupy that landscape.
And from all of this, I fulfill my need for a creative outlet by reporting to anyone who’ll read and appreciate those experiences and observations — even if they think they’re works of low fiction.
I’ve written many times that living in Fallbrook is like living in a David Lynch movie — where everyone knows a secret I haven’t figured out yet, where the laws physics don’t really apply, and where eccentricity is an actual form of currency. Spend 700-hours a year riding a bike in an environment like that, and strange things are going to happen — like getting bit by a wolf, having a watermelon thrown at you, and seeing the occasional small aircraft land in an empty field. Believe it, or not.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 7
Mph Avg: 15.5
Seat Time: 11 hours 32 minutes
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’s this from Timmy Thomas. Enjoy…!