I rode a bike around the world. Finished today (Christmas 2010). I rode a ring at the equator, 40,075 kilometers over land and sea. A gift to myself. It took me so many years I don’t remember when I started, but I did it. Around the world in my study.
I read a lot of books sitting on my exercise bike. Jotted notes, watched some baseball on the computer, enjoyed some music. I don’t know if I had any great ideas in that position, but it’s always hard to pin ideas to time and place. I spent a long time there, long time and hard work.
The only things that really give satisfaction take a long time and hard work. So scratching a lottery ticket doesn’t count. A marriage does, raising kids, building a home, education, business, public service, art. Real accomplishments. But if you walk from Mexico to Canada or collect a ball of twine twenty feet high or ride a stationary bike around the world are those real accomplishments or are we in the world of Guinness records?
I’m not going to answer that question. I know nobody else cares about what I did, but it means something to me. That’s enough. I’m proud of myself, even as I recognize the silliness of the undertaking. You laugh too, but what have you done?
I will answer the question: now what? Now the ending of my first lap is also the beginning of my second lap. I’ll go round again, go back for seconds. Wouldn’t be a complete, good day without my hour of spinning my wheels.
So if I’m saying that this is my private pleasure, why am I even writing about it? I’m not expecting a pat on the back from anyone (oh go ahead, pat). But I’m happy right now, I achieved my goal. Now shut up. Enjoy the holidays. Back in the saddle again.
Happy trials, Martin Stronglegs*
Mutt: Good day, Sir Jeff, let me tell you a funny story.
Jeff: That’d be a first.
Mutt: This guy goes into a restaurant for a Christmas breakfast while in his home town for the holidays. After looking over the menu he says, "I'll just have the Eggs Benedict." His order comes a while later and it's served on a big, shiny hubcap. He asks the waiter, "What's with the hubcap?" The waiter sings, "There's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise!"
Jeff: I don’t get it.
Mutt: "There's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise!" Come on, it’s a Christmas joke!
Jeff: It stinks. All right, Darth Vader … You know who Darth Vader is?
Mutt: Sure, he used to be my barber.
Jeff: Darth Vader says, "Luke Skywalker - I know what you're getting for Christmas. I felt your presents."
Mutt: I don’t get it.
Mutt: Buy me a beer and we’ll call it a tie.
Jeff: This duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. "Four bucks," says the bartender. The duck answers, "Put it on my bill."
Mutt: A skeleton walks into a bar and says, "Gimme a beer, and a mop."
Jeff: A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."
Mutt: And a happy and healthy new year to you, my friend.