Moving Forward

Part of the mise-en-scène of the Mission Beach-Pacific Beach boardwalk, Slomo confounds and delights San Diego visitors and locals alike. The New York Times Op-Doc Slomo tells his story (may be password protected – check here if so).

It gets really interesting for bicycle riding around 8:45.

Stoke may not be measurable, or a measurable “outcome” that so many of us have to produce at work these days, but I know it when I feel it. That’s why I ride my bike more than any other reason. I’m with Slomo, but I have a family to feed, clothe, and house at this point in my life. So I ride when I can.

I also see my passage about riding and writing from a year ago just a few posts below this one. As some may know, I took an administrative job at my university almost two years ago, and it sure has put a dent in my stoke. I embraced the notion of the “flâneur” as soon as I learned about it in graduate school. As a graduate student living in a great New England town and in close proximity to New York City, the notion of walking through the city, passively observing the unfolding drama around me was very attractive. The more I rode by bike when I moved back to California, I enjoyed flânerie awheel – taking in the city and the country with abandon. Working as a professor, the autonomy and time-shifting that comes with the job allowed for mid-week rides to cafes and even little jaunts along the coast or into the mountains when time allowed.

These days, I work normal hours and often into the evening, even traveling for conferences and representing my university at meetings. So, I’ve lost opportunities for feel like a flâneur, which requires time, and I hustle more than preferred.

Seems Slomo has it figured out. Of course, spinning ones’ mid-life wheels as a highly-paid doctor makes it easier to “do what you want” later in life. But there are models for building simplicity and stoke into everyday, regardless of what life asks at a particular moment. My friend John P. is someone I admire for his stubborn simplicity. Its a good lesson to take. A little bike ride, moving forward, is an easy cure against “being an asshole.”

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