Just ride

I don’t often stay up after midnight reading things I don’t have to, but State of Wonder left me no choice last night. I read it in the pool, in the hammock, and finally in the house. I read it on paper, in pixels, on the iPod, on the Kindle, every which way. I had to finish it.

My fellow Nashvillian Ann Patchett is a wonderful storyteller. She didn’t make me want to go the Amazon jungle,  she made me feel like I’d been there already. And she made malaria fun.

She’s a wonderful bookseller too. Her Parnassus hosted an event yesterday for the cycling enthusiast & author of Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your BikeGrant Petersen reminds us that a bike is a toy and we’re supposed to enjoy it. Don’t count the miles, he says. Count the minutes if you must; but it’s far better to count the days, if you want to make them really count.

“When you count a day, you check it off whether you ride five minutes or five hours. I rode my bike today! Count things that add up fast, come easy, and encourage you.”

The days aren’t all easy but they do keep coming (until they don’t). I’m much encouraged by Petersen’s simple message: forget the racer-wannabe culture of spandex and BORAF (the Big Old Race Around France) and, well, just ride. As I’ve said: for me philosophy walks, but it rolls too.

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