So when you start writing about your big trip there are a bunch of things you have to tell people and they are numbers. You start off with a number, of course, Day 1, Day 2, etc. And then all the numbers that follow …:
Day 1: Torrance-Long Beach-Huntington Beach-Newport Beach-Laguna Beach-Dana Point-San Clemente-Oceanside-Leucadia.
Estimated mileage 95.
Total elapsed time: 7:30.
Calories inhaled: 3,000.
Weight of pack: 45 lbs.
Weight of bike: 35 lbs.
Times crapped: 1.
Number of pets petted: 2 (Ruffy and Pepper).
You get the idea.
In other words, you crunch the whole thing with numbers. But that is kind of fucked up. Why are things measured with numbers? Why aren’t they ordered according to things that really matter, like love, or compassion, or excitement, or adventure, or disappointment, even raw ass from sitting on the bike too long?
Why not arrange everything with one of those units and forego chronology? For example, ranking each day from top to bottom in terms of love instead of number of days ridden. Or whatever. Why numbers?
Today’s trip I’ve decided to order in terms of pleasure. Here were the pleasures, in order of pleasure-ness.
Having two friends meet up with me at 6:00 AM to escort me all the way to Long Beach.
Having a guy give me an envelope filled with $10 bills and instructions to “Hand this out on your trip to anyone who needs it.” Total amount? $300 bucks.
Giving away the first ten spot to Valerie, a lady who was sitting at a bus stop in Long Beach. At first she thought it was a scam when I told her that a friend had given me the money to “pass it on.” “No,: she said, “I don’t do those ‘pass it on games.'” But she finally understood and smiled. It was a beautiful smile. [Note to self: You should order tomorrow based on smiles].
Meeting up with a bunch of strangers in San Onofre State Park. Ken, Scott, Brian, and ? McDonald, and getting invited to be on Ken’s podcast.
Successfully putting up my tent for the second time.
A pint of ice cream for post-lunch.
Doing a full day’s ride with a 45-pound pack and feeling okay. Definitively proving to myself that it’s better to have a light bike and a heavy pack than a heavy bike and light back.
Sunshine and beautiful fall weather all day long.
But maybe the thing that belongs at the top of the pleasure list was wheeling up to Michael’s house in Leucadia, being handed a cold glass of water, getting a friendly snuffle from Ruffy, and making that connection between friends that you can only make in the flesh.
Yeah, that is for sure it.