The Bikin' Fools



How to attain enlightenment


The path of life is not easy for anyone. It is at times torturous, sometimes OK, and a few times good journey that we all must take. Along the road of living, many find merit in trying to understanding deeper levels and greater meaning in life. Religion skirts around the edge of higher thinking but ultimately plays a phony part as gate keeper, ending up with untold material wealth and tens of thousands suffering not only material poverty, but a spiritual fraud. (By the way, material wealth is not an impediment to enlightenment, although it can cause numerous and lengthy distractions to the humanoid trying to get through and figure it all out).

There are many alternative avenues to pursue with regard to elevating one’s consciousness. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, Feng Shui, and music come to mind as routes to a state of mind that rises far above our toiling day’s mental rhetoric. The mind can be a great computer, a wonderful tool to keep all of the complexity in, at least, some order. The mind can solve (some) problems. It can understand complicated directions (usually). It can balance the check book. But the mind can also be a bad master. It can call attention to unsolvable bummers in your life, and it can take you to the teetering edge of holy hell. Thus any action that can be employed in one’s life that helps the mind to function as a friend and not your worst enemy is worthwhile. Such disciplines are often long and tedious efforts. There is a way to cheat.

Although the mt. bike is only a couple of decades old, it has an uncanny ability to connect with ancient times of the human experience, times when the mind is naturally unpolluted. There is somewhere in the human program a track devoted to simple nothingness, a state of utter awareness, devoid of any thought. It is a state of pure be-ing. A state of cosmic oneness, a connection with the divine essence of life. This experience lies buried in the occurrence of rocketing downhill on your mt. bike, approaching a turn too fast, knowing injury and mayhem are possibly micro seconds away. In the crush of computing all the moves necessary to not stack, the brain eliminates all tapes not devoted to survival. In small snippets, the mind stops producing thoughts. The default, override script stops all programs not associated with sight, balance, and muscle control. For a brief and fleeting moment the rider crosses the line into a state of temporary enlightenment. The rider truly explodes into the here and now, the point of arrival to the cosmic consciousness.

The bad news is that the window on enlightenment is usually short in duration. If the hapless rider actually stacks, the window stays open for a slight moment longer, slamming shut shortly after the life-flashing-before-your-eyes tape has run. But wait! There’s more good news. It seems that when one has these mini-experiences, part of the mind is reset to standard values, producing a lasting effect of well being long after the ride is over. This notion of lasting effect has to be discussed in tandem with the drugs associated with mt. bike riding. Drugs are an important part of the mix. With out the drugs, the experience would be a drag. It is ultimately for the drugs that we do the things we do. They cause us to make questionable decisions, take outrageous chances and behave in utterly irresponsible ways.

The Attorney General is likely over working his already-fried brain to figure out a way to bust people for endorphin use. This experience gives the user a feeling of power unmatched by cocaine, crack or methemphetamine. To stand at the top of a difficult and technical climb is to stand as a Colossus on top of the world. The feeling of being not only OK, but to be for the moment the greatest bike rider on the mountain is not to be missed. There is not enough Prozac in the world that can match the positive mindset of one who has put one foot in front of the other until the wheels started rolling and didn’t stop until the rider could look out from under the helmet and declare; "YES!"

There is no dealer, no middleman and no government in the transaction of attaining a good endorphin rush. Add some adrenaline and bingo! This is the body’s own dynamo speedball, the elixir that turns a dull mind into a raging hero. This is the combo that in any other form is illegal and the haunt of twisted minds like the A.G. All humans, many animals desire to experience from time to time this elevated, rush of pure living. It is life immediate and so intense. It is beautiful and beneficial. Although substitutes can come close to the high, they don’t quite make it. Instead of leaving the user healthy and more alive, substitutes ravage the mind, body and spirit.

Some may find the climb to be where it is at. There is good reason to think so. In the climb, one must breath hard. This makes it extremely hard to ignore the breath. The oldest and easiest technique of meditation is ‘riding the breath’. This ancient technique of simply watching the breath is so simple and effective, it can be employed at any time of the day. It doesn’t take hard breathing. It settles a troubled mind, it evens out the heart rate and produces those pesky endorphins. The combination of chemicals with a full oxygenation of the body creates good feelings. It’s that simple.

For many the descent is where it is at. It is hanging off the edge. It is the simple, primeval rush of adrenaline. It is hard to deny. As opposed to the uphill which has advantages, the downhill offers a good reason to experience fear. No fear, no guts. No guts, no glory. (OK, some glory in an outrageous climb) Moving fast is attractive to many animals, not just the humanoid. Ever notice how dogs just love to run. Or how about the sport of snow boarding? What’s that all about?

It’s about speed, its about endorphins and it’s about the adrenaline rush. We’re back in the A.G.’s land again. Damn. It will soon be illegal to have fun. Meanwhile get out and ride. No matter what you do, it will take you higher. It will help you along the path of this life, guaranteed. The bike is an interesting contraption that augments the human experience. It helps the soul to gain glimpses and insight into this glorious life that we happen to be sharing at the moment.