Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Listening to Old Songs Might Get Dangerous

Post written to the accompaniment of Bob Dylan, Biograph

I saw this crew out riding on a mild and warm Phoenix morning, and while my jealously followed them down the street, as they were headed to coffee while I was headed to work, seeing them started a chain of thoughts which wound through my day, ending with the title of this post.

Today was a day of ups and downs, of hugs and gut punches, of thrills and chills and spills, of the two regularly scheduled bike rides there and back, too little rest and too much stress, perfect riding weather blowing hard into my face, a good home-cooked meal eaten with my family around the table laughing about the ups and downs of our days, of the DTWS finale viewed by some of the members of my household, while others of us retired to our corners with our books and our libraries of favorite songs.

You hit the random song button and you never know what you're gonna get. Tonight I got Bob Dylan and a flood of random memories. Good ones, ones that I didn't know I still had. I tuned into the seldom-visited ones, that one long and spontaneous bike ride to the beach, running through a fall night, a party in someone's basement, a chain of them that keeps going as long as I want to. A few other bike rides.

I thought about those guys on their group ride, and wondered if, for them, one ride blends into the next. Reflecting on my commutes, are there some out of hundreds that stand out? Let's see. Yes, the day it started raining hard out of a clear brilliant sunny sky. Another day it rained so hard and got so dark and windy I couldn't see but I kept going. I suppose one or two of the dust storms. The sad morning I came upon a cat who had just been hit by a car at the same time that another cyclist stopped. She picked up the still-warm cat and stroked its body. The cat was clearly gone, and there were a few moments when we weren't sure what to do, until we saw the owner walking towards us in his bathrobe. He took the lifeless furball from her, and we rode off in our appointed opposite directions. The day the driver ran the four-way stop and almost took me out. Many others, I suppose, if I think about it. 

How about you, group rider guys, do some rides stand out like that? I suppose that they do, that the mind grasps onto the trivial yet significant events of our passing days, stores them away, somehow, waiting to be triggered by an inquiring blogger, or some old song, floats them up to remind us of the amassed chain of those memories that makes up something of who we've become. 

I have an early ride tomorrow morning. Not with a group, for coffee, but early in to work, to hit some deadlines. Got one more Bob Dylan song to listen to tonight before turning in: Tangled Up in Blue just came on as I'm typing this. That will do, certainly. A good way to remind myself, as the day's events dim into sleep and the memory-making and association-creation pauses, that listening to old songs might get dangerous.


  1. After that, listen again to "Forever Young."

    1. I think I'd like a happier song, please. Something from the REM catalog, perhaps.


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