Where to get RIDE 2
Nigel Greene’s poem in RIDE 2:
I didn’t go looking for this, but there are three randonneurs (ultra-distance self-supported endurance cyclists) in the pages of RIDE 2. I’m the least impressive of them, but what I lack in mileage, I make up for in…uh, book editing, I guess.
I first checked out Nigel’s blog because of the rando connection—we’d met on a couple of his early brevets—and kept reading it because he posts good stuff. In addition to “Friday Writings for Randos,” a regular literary excerpt that resonates with the exertions and rewards of randonneuring, even if there’s no bicycle in it, he posts accounts of his brevets, the odd lighting system review, stuff like that.
One day he put up a brief original poem about one moment on a training ride, and I went, “oo,” which is really my main criterion for story selections. But I wasn’t sure I was going to use poetry, so I just copied it into a text file and put it with the story submissions.
Turned out I did use poetry, and Passing Thoughts was the perfect last page of the anthology.
Jan Maher (“The Persistence of Memory”)
asks three questions of
Jan: Have you ridden continuously since you were a child on your first bi- or tricycle?
Nigel: Continuously? Hmmm. My first “ride” was a Big Wheel. I L.O.V.E.D. the Big Wheel. I’m pretty sure I still do. I was the right age at the right time and it was the right ride. The power slide with the hand brake. The furious pedaling of young legs. I wore holes in that wheel.
I have ridden continuously since then but not always under my own power.
After riding a bike through my teens, I rode a motorcycle for years—a 1972 BMW twin-cylinder that I rescued, rebuilt, then rode across country and into Mexico.
Then, when life became adult and the motorcycle had sat unridden for so long that it and I were no longer in the same place, I rediscovered the bicycle. Its subtlety, range of experience and variety spoke to me in words that I could hear and appreciate in the moments between thoughts. Its limits were my limits and on it, I could seek both.
Jan: How do poems occur to you? A word or phrase first that gradually accretes? All in a not-fell swoop? A picture looking for its caption? Or….?
Nigel: My piece in RIDE 2 is a “poem” but I am no poet. I just write stuff down and try to say it honestly. Typically, it’s all one fell swoop. I write my blog under the influence of the thing about which I am writing, be it a ride or whatever. I write about rides while my legs are still aching and before I have recovered so that one day when I look back on it, the words mean something because they arose from the thing itself.
Jan: Two parts to question 3: What is a question you would like to answer that I haven’t asked you, and what is your answer to it?
Nigel: Why do you blog about randonneuring?
I blog about randonneuring because every rando-ride is a once in a lifetime experience. It is big enough and bold enough and odd enough to merit a memory and a post. Try it—you’ll see what I mean.
Next week: Nigel’s three questions for artist Taliah Lempert.
Where to get RIDE 2