The way to stop Iran, without causing more death, destruction and instability, is to remove the incentives for Iran to go nuclear, and negotiate. The only way that will happen is if we change leaders in the White House, junk the India deal, dismantle the permanent bases, and clearly renounce neocon foreign policy aims.
I agree and it is the very last part that I have been thinking of most in the last few days. The hardliners in our own country must be stopped. We must enter into negotiations with Iran and the neocon vision of regime change in Iran must be taken off the table. You can not sit down with the Iranians and in effect say let’s make a deal but we will be getting rid of you. However knowing how nearly impossible it will be to stop our own hardliners I needed some escape and down time. So I went for a bicycle ride today……
(bike pics and A Story after the cut)
I own 5 or 6 bikes. Today I rode one that I had built last year.
I bought the frame and built it up completely from there. The frame is Italian and made of the old workhorse Columbus SLX tubing. I built the wheels. Some components were taken from old bikes but most were purchased from Ebay.
Since I ruined my back some years back as a bike racer I must now modify my bikes for a more upright riding position.
This is one crazy set up using bar end shifters mounted on the handlebar using Tom Thumbies. The brakes are bar end aero levers. This bike rides verrry smooth and has great handling. I’ve fallen in love with it.
So today I loaded up my Ipod shuffle and rode out. Just a few blocks from home I was feeling good. So much so that I gave a big goofy wave to a postman crossing the street. He stopped, laughed and gave me a Big wave back. It was good to be on the bike again. So much blogging and New Orleans has meant not one ride in many months. As I was bombing down the hill by my house the concerns with Iran and New Orleans drifted away to be replaced with memories of past races.
The fastest I have ever gone on a bike is 55mph. It came in a race that was known to be very hilly. This type of race usually did not suit me at all but for some reason that day I felt so good and strong for what reason I have no idea. But I went with it and about 2/3 of the way through the race I found myself in the second lead group of about 6 flying down a Verrry long descent. I was second in the line. When you ride in a pack you ride one rider closely behind the other which is known as drafting. I knew we were going fast and stole a glance at my computer to be startled by the number 55. My first thought was this is crazy…I want out. The problem is you can’t pull out. At 55mph I was not about to turn around to be sure it was safe to pull out. And one NEVER hits the brakes in such a situation. I never even tapped the brakes once the whole way down. I was in it for the ride. Once I realized that and it came in a matter of 2 seconds I decided just keep concentrating and don’t fuck up. I also knew I had to trust the person in front of me would take the right lines and not fuck up and those behind would also hold it together. In seconds it all fell into place. I surrendered to the moment and it was beautiful. We flew. Together. Flawlessly. It was thrilling.
After the race the first thing I did was check my computer’s max speed to see if perhaps I had been wrong. But there is was…. 55mph.
It’s a great memory and great to have it come to me today. Am I driving at something with this story? Does it somehow relate to our need to stop the hardliners from attacking Iraq?
Cycling just IS. That’s why I love it. So it’s just a story. Just a distraction. We all need them….especially now.