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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For the love of the ride

For the love of the ride
By:  Michael G. Lander

This image is of some artwork, that was created using, among others, a bicycle rim
with spokes and a cogset.  When placed outside, the wind can make either of these
pieces of art spin around.  Both were among a dozen or more items on display at the
2014 Bikesploitation in Memphis.

 This following is an adaptation of the poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., "High Flight" that I have written for cyclists.  With my love of cycling, (and after having spent most of my military career around some of the finest men and women who have dedicated their lives to our country and to aviation), it is not so much of a stretch for me to have come up with the idea of merging the two into one.  Magee's poem contains some of the best and most poignant words that I have ever read about flying and it is my hope that what I've come up with, myself, in no way takes away from any of that.

"Oh! I have felt as if I have slipped past the boundaries of time and space,
And smoothly glided my way to a peace and joy that can only come from a bicycle ride;
Upward I have climbed, and felt the exhilaration of reaching the tops of hills and mountains;
of sun-draped paths and trails, - and done a thousand things
You may've only dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung,
High in magnificent silence.  Pausing only briefly there,
I have faced and chased the shouting wind along, peddling
My bicycle through wind and rain and through the cold of winter and the heat of summer......
Upward, downward, and steadily onward I have gone along many long, delirious ways,

And occasionally I have even topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
And where few others ever seem willing or able to go -
While with silent, lifting mind I have rode,
The wondrous beauty and sanctity of nature, and the urban scenery that lay before me,
I have leaned forward, lifted my face upward, and felt the ever-loving grace and presence of God."

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