1. I forget that all I have to do is reach and back and pull my phone out of my jersey pocket, or that just about everyone with me has a GPS computer, and I still look forward to riding by a bank so I can see what time it is.
2. I still imagine there is a technique, if not an art, to shifting, and sometimes I will start to tell a new rider all about it.
3. They almost all ran loose and nobody much cared, and there was no shock-sending wire buried in the ground, so we had all these routes figured out according to the speed and stamina and frequency of the various dogs.
4. (And they seemed to like it as much as we did. (Though there were, to be honest with the nostalgia, some few of them who were as churlish as some few of us were. (And in some weird way, we all kind of appreciated those the best, canine and human.)))
5. I said, the other day, “Man, that was great when Alexi spit on the camera.” It might have been funny, and thereby a little or maybe even a lot okay, if the kid riding beside me had said, “Alexi who?” But the blank expression of indulgence, the plain patience of it — that stung. And it stung more, once I thought about it, that to those guys I respected so much I must done some stinging of my own.
6. I know but cannot absorb the reality that any route anywhere can anytime be downloaded with a few simple clicks. To me, wrongly now, a route is still a hard-earned kernel of the whole thing that makes up a rider’s lore.
7. We knew that better is better than faster, but getting faster is faster so not many ever chose better. These days, there might as well not even be a choice.
Originally published in The Selection, January 27, 2012