Sunday, April 26, 2015

Be Like Jens and We Miss You

        I should have known better but,  I thought my friend, Jens Jensen from Berkeley, California, would live forever. He would fill the bicycle shop with 'barely in control' laughter. He made me feel like a clever comedian. Every third sentence out of my mouth was worth fifteen seconds of loud and enthusiastic laughter. I so enjoyed his company...we rode bicycles around the 34 mile lake circuit a dozen times...his big calves were usually breaking the wind for my chicken legs. When the road slanted upward he'd drop behind me and hold on like he had an invisible bungee. At the top of the hill he'd call me "Master of the gearbox." He'd say, "You always know what gear to be in, at the right moment."
        My friend Jens had a way of making me feel clever, intelligent and comedic. He was the smart one, a master mechanic and always willing to throw time into solving a puzzle. I felt energized when he would show up at my bicycle shop, and always a little disappointed when he left. He has departed this life but, the echos of his laughter and support are still in the air, here at Bodfish Bicycles.
         The funny people in our lives always seem to be the first ones to go...someone up there is looking for company that'll fill the void with laughter. At least we still have The Dalai Lama and our excellent memories.

Muscle Car

        I never understood the describing of an over-powered automobile as a "muscle-car". I owned a 1965 Ford Mustang when I graduated from Portage Northern High School, it was the version with the bigger engine, but, I put "baby moons" on it and drove it like a pussycat. The term "muscle car" might have originated from the vision of a tattooed over-sized bicep masturbating a stick shift through the gears as his tires smoked and his engine roared, but I don't think so.
        A muscle-boat is a boat you row or paddle. Muscle transportation in general would be something human or horse-powered...not  a hunk of metal and plastic that is artificially and chemically propelled from point A to point B. A gas-powered unit could be called a "racket-rocket" or "horseless carriage" or a cancer-spewing coffin on wheels. Of course, I am most interested in the muscle transportation energy one derives from food. "Support your local farmer, ride a bicycle". Treat your loved-ones and neighbors like you want them to live cancer-free forever....use your muscles, or your horse for transportation.
        Oh well, what's done is done, we've been spewing carcinogens for over one hundred years in the name of speed and convenience, but not in the name of efficiency. We work half of our lives away to support the "happy motoring" lifestyle...and the "muscle-car" guys must spend two-thirds of the working hours supporting their habit and boosting their macho self-image, subsequently scaring and bullying the gentle folk along their path.