05 September 2012

Archival footage: Riding a bike is like that

The following post was originally published in November 2003 at FlagstaffBiking.org.

As a writer who often finds inspiration in words written by others, I worry some when it is Freud who lends me his best thought on a subject. I am a little scared of Freud like I am a little scared of Texas; it’s not likely that either can actually hurt me, but based on the little bit I’ve seen of each, they’ve both produced some unusual stuff.

But here it is anyway, my thesis d’jour via le plume de Freud: “Analogies... decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.” I think a good analogy is like Play-Do, like Legos, like Hot Wheels cars (and probably Barbie dolls, too); when we were little we played with these things, used them to make-believe and make sense of the world... to imagine what we could then only begin to understand.

Nothing much has changed, except that today, as a grown-up it’s often the bike that helps me understand; I believe the bicycle is perhaps the world’s most-adaptable analogy.

Three examples, chosen from among thousands: