Thursday, April 25, 2013

Can commuting be blissful?

Grey skies, windy weather, mercury hovering at 0C, not a great recipe for a blissful commute, right?

And yet you'd be wrong; very, very wrong.

How can that be?

Imagine you're me. 

Riding the slow route to the office.  The lake shore to my right, following a curving and twisting ribbon of asphalt on a Vespa that glides effortlessly along.  I'm snug in my riding gear, with only chilled hands to complain about.

Thanks to my Sena Bluetooth system, my iPhone sits in its RAM cradle beaming a steady stream of comforting jazz that provides the perfect soundtrack for my morning commute.

There is little or no hustle and bustle on the slow route downtown.

Quiet morning rituals unfold in successive scenes of school buses picking up kids; people bundled up, waiting for their buses; dogs walking their owners; ducks bobbing close to shore in the frigid water; folks chatting on street corners.  Yo Yo Ma and the late St├ęphane Grappelli provide a delightful, jazzy string rendition of Sweet Lorraine, while a thin band of bright sky on the eastern horizon hints at the sunny afternoon the weatherman promised.

I am quite literally transported by the sights and sounds of my morning commute and effortlessly and delightfully making my way to the office.

This is why I suffer the long winter anxiously waiting for the scooter commuting season to begin, and why I savour the very last days of the season before the first snowfall condemns me to my four-wheeled cage.

19 comments:

  1. David - I feel this commute zen even in the cruddiest of weather. Its all about the gear that makes it capable and easy to do. In my gear I snug and toasty and the weather doesn't bother me too much. Glad you are getting moto bliss!

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    1. Moto bliss, definitely. Right now work bliss, not. In the middle of a crunch and some software seems to have gone Zombie on me. Yuck, yuck, yuck (and not in the sense of ha! ha! ha!).

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  2. David:

    Come BACK and ride to work with me. No Zen with our traffic. No slow scenic routes on the way to work either.

    Sometimes I get so tired of fighting traffic so today I left my bike at home. Feels nice not to have to wear gear nor riding boots

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Bob, the law of averages cannot be denied. It is the single most powerful force at work in the universe.

      You can't turn a corner in Vancouver without looking left or right and seeing snow covered peaks overlooking the city. There is a price to pay for that unremitting beauty that surrounds you. So the law of averages gave you nasty traffic and non-scenic commutes.

      Here we have corrupt municipal politicians, tongue troopers, ridiculous tax rates, and politicians that propose to raise our taxes even more so that protesting students can get their degrees for free, and so they can hire more small-brained tongue troopers so they can molest small businesses and hound them out of the province all the better, reducing the tax base... thus increasing our taxes all the more.

      That's why my commute is so scenic and yours isn't.

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  3. There is usually not much of a Zen moment when commuting but oh the detour up to Buntzen Lake and out to Belcarra gives that to me (you know the route, you've been there). Generally scootering is exactly how you describe it, sometimes even more intense than motorcycling...

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    1. Sonja, that Saturday ride is etched in my memory for all time. I can't tell you what it was like arriving in the parking area at the boat launch at Buntzen Lake. Thank you so much to you and Roland for sharing that ride. Every time I think back to it, it's like opening a wonderful little treasure.

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  4. Or you could listen to Supertramp while you take the long way home.

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    1. Martha, I'm embarassed to say that I don't know anything about Supertramp. Not even enough to understand what I am sure is humour in Rob's quip. What am I missing?

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  5. It sure beats commuting on four wheels.

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  6. I can't believe how different my (short) commute to work is via scooter vs. cage. Being tall, I rarely get to look up at the sky in my car, nor get the full frontal view of the world that I get while riding. I've figured out how to be quite cozy in my gear and behind my windscreen.....life is good!

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    1. Folks who don't ride, don't get it; maybe can't get it. Those of us who do, share an incredible bond.

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  7. It is the simple things like putting my foot down at a stop. When I drive I never touch the earth. When I ride there is a connection between earth and sky. When I ride I am both the hunted and the hunter. When I ride, I ride. And life is good.
    ~k

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    1. Keith, that is so perceptive, so spiritual. There is art in softly touching the ground in coming to a stop. There is an intimate connection to motion when you ride that cars can't match.

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  8. I felt that way Friday, the sky was a perfect blue and it was just perfect riding weather...I was tempted, tempted to just keep riding, keep going. Sadly I decided keeping my job was more important.

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    1. Rob, as I approach retirement, that is one thing I look forward to. Footloose, and free!

      Now explain Supertramp to me.

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  9. You've summed up what brings me back to the ride over and over again. Whether a commute, errand, or long trip, regardless of weather, it is bliss.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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    1. Steve, if we could bottle it for consumption in cars, we could make a fortune.

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