Monday, November 4

From the Suicide Lane

Recently the thought has surfaced and resurfaced again in my mind of pulling back, committing social media suicide, and perhaps even abandoning this blog.  I don’t think I could bring myself to enact a scorched earth policy, but I know I would benefit from some time away from the computer and my smarty-smart phone.

On our most recent ride Jeff made the comment that he didn’t want the world knowing everything he did.  Silently I agreed.  Truth is I guess I don’t want to share my activities as much as I just want to share ideas.  It’s hard for me to discern the difference as I’m whacking on the keyboard.  The two are so tightly intertwined it would be very difficult for me to unknot the mess and give you only the appropriate stuff.

I’ve tried all along to be as anonymous as possible without completely removing myself from this space.  It’s too difficult to keep up indefinitely.  And now that I live in a small town it’s even more difficult.  One glimpse at my Strava account and you could plot out my life for the next couple of weeks with a high degree of accuracy.  Not that I have much to lose should some nefarious person come knocking, but those things that mean most to me are irreplaceable.

Wed-Nes-Day Mr. Eben Weiss, aka Bike Snob NYC, posted:

“I know I'm the only person who really exists because it seems like every other cyclist in the world is so uncertain of his or her own existence that they must constantly confirm it by means of social networking apps such as Strava--although sometimes even that's not enough”  

My use of Strava has become a running joke around these parts, but when I really think about it I’m not a Strava-dork.  Or, at least, my deeper ideologies don’t gel with being a Strava-dork.  There was a time when I asserted my intentions to live the remainder of my life without the perceived benefits of a telephone.  Of course that was back in the days when phones were still pretty much tied to a small geographic location, weren’t truly cordless, and you just used them to talk to people you didn’t want to talk to.  With your voice.

At the ripe auld age of 23 I was already cultivating my inner curmudgeon.  By 33 I was a gadget head all entranced by microtechnological toys that you could carry around in your pocket.  I had my own personal Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and I loved it.  So much for getting back to the land…

Like most people I want to share my story with the world.  A few years ago I took off trying to do that with a little piece of the internet I claimed for my own called “Jersey Guys.”  My attempts at validation in the wider world have met with meager success, but the success of this blog was never really what I was aiming for.  It was a tool.  I have always known that to be a writer you need to write.  Daily.  Practice makes perfect.  And in his book On Writing Stephen King advises the aspiring writer to set a daily goal and write something each day.  He suggests 1,000 words a day.  Or something like that.  It’s been awhile since I read the book.  

In lieu of a writing career I’ve opted to keep this blog (and others) to maintain my ability to write.  I’ve tried to improve and produce quality writing over the last few years.  In some sense I think I have, but I’ve not had the right kind of focus.  I’ve been distracted by this space. 

I don’t mean to make that sound negative.  It’s been a good distraction.  I’ve thrown my ideas at this back wall of the internet, and I’ve seen what sticks.  So that’s good.  I think it’s time to move on.  I think it’s time to throw my efforts into different writing projects.  I think it’s time to begin trying (maybe in vain) to organize my thoughts into singular cohesive projects.

The crux of this thought is where does that leave this space?  Do I reserve it solely for trip reports?  Or only for bike/ped or other transportation related essays?  Or maybe I just don’t give it any rules and use it as I see fit as time passes. 

One thing I know for sure is that I’m still not crazy about the look of the blog and I fully intend to switch over to a Wordpress site at the first of the year.  I do this only because I can better control the look of the blog, and I like the functionality of Wordpress a little better.  I’ll let you know more as I get closer to a transition.

Why the first of the year?  I want a clean break; no looking back.  I intend to stop tracking my monthly mileage at the end of this year.  I want to finish out this year though, and do a five year summary of my riding.  I feel as if I need to do that for my own purposes.  I’ll keep logging my miles through the end of 2013.  After that I don’t want to electrify every movement I make on the bike.  There’s really no need. 

I intend to try and tease out that old curmudgeon again.  He had the right idea.  A simpler existence is preferable.  I knew a long time ago what I wanted to be and how I wanted to live, but I just keep letting myself getting distracted by the shiny, blinky, flashy gadgets.  It’s time to stop.

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