Franken-Dingle

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them-

WARNING – What you are about to read will cause a chain reaction (literally) during your Saturday morning club ride. Lycra clad purist will recoil in horror if you whisper in hushed tones “Franken-Dingle” chasing the head of the line. For you see, some believe that Franken-Dingle does exist, that there is carbon clad, sub 20 pound make that 18 pound Dual Speed (<–What?!?) road bikes tearing up gravel roads and local crit circuits from hither and yon. It should also be noted that the trendy – hip – ironic folks at the corner bodega recoil in horror upon seeing this bike.

For some of us shade tree bike mechanics, building and riding bikes is just for fun, a way to enjoy a hobby that’s in line with our thoughts and beliefs about living simply. Understanding the significance of embracing humility is profound– we rebuild Bianchi Reparto Corse wheel-sets to wither time away during the evening after work, we adjust and tune Campagnolo Centaur Century Grey crank-sets with our kids on the weekend to teach them the virtues of proper chain length – line and tension. Although for others (like the dude writing you this morning), living simply and riding simply is a method to connect to a larger set of philosophies and principles.

My decision to embrace living simply, is simply my way of staying grounded in the face of a high-tech, sped-up, warp-drive world. Turning a wrench, teaching my son hands on, building and riding bikes offers a passionate connection to the long-lost tradition of “doing” rather than “let me Google it real quick … “. We truly are adrift in a sea of mass culture and gadgets.

My challenge to you? Put a claim in on your true self, click in and ride, set a path to a more reflective, more fulfilling life. Pretty cool huh?!?

The Build:

*All the pieces and parts on this wonderful ride were sourced from the following: Local Bike Shop(s), Craigslist, Friends and finally the garage my wife said was getting “cramped” with spare bike parts everywhere!*

Frame – Crank-Set – Seat Post – Saddle – Headset – Handlebars – Stem – Brakes From a good friend.

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Wheelset – Campag Cogs/Spacers Bartered and traded gear at my Local bike shop.

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Fork – Cables – Housing Met an awesome family on Craigslist, selling a “crashed” Felt Z Series road bike. Top tip: Strap down your bike on your vehicle before heading out on the highway!

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Bar Tape – Brake Levers Bought at the bet bike shop in Omaha – Omaha Bicycle Co.

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Chain Stop – Bottom Bracket – Chain – Chain Tensioner – Pedals – Tubes/Tires The messy garage!

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Notes:

Our modern world moves way too fast, and our lives would be more fulfilling, dense with meaning and purpose if we slowed “things” down just a touch

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Bon Courage

Why are the woods so alluring? A forest appears

to a young girl one morning as she combs

the dreams out of   her hair. The trees rustle

and whisper, shimmer and hiss. The forest

opens and closes, a door loose on its hinges,

banging in a strong wind. Everything in the dim

kitchen: the basin, the jug, the skillet, the churn,

snickers scornfully. In this way a maiden

is driven toward the dangers of a forest,

but the forest is our subject, not this young girl.

She’s glad to lie down with trees towering all around.

A certain euphoria sets in. She feels molecular,

bedeviled, senses someone gently pulling her hair,

tingles with kisses she won’t receive for years.

Three felled trees, a sort of chorus, narrate

her thoughts, or rather channel theirs through her,

or rather subject her to their peculiar verbal

restlessness …    our deepening need for non-being intones

the largest and most decayed tree, mid-sentence.

I’m not one of you squeaks the shattered sapling,

blackened by lightning. Their words become metallic

spangles shivering the air. Will I forget the way home?

the third blurts. Why do I feel like I’m hiding in a giant’s nostril?

the oldest prone pine wants to know. Are we being   freed

from matter? the sapling asks. Insects are well-intentioned,

offers the third tree, by way of consolation. Will it grow

impossible to think a thought through to its end? gasps the sapling,

adding in a panicky voice, I’m becoming spongy! The girl

feels her hands attach to some distant body. She rises

to leave, relieved these trees are not talking about her.

Amy Gerstler

CultFit Twirl


(You) Wish

To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is-

Ever since I was introduced to nonviolence (shortly after my knee surgery), I have been studying, learning and working steadily to free my consciousness from the traps I have inherited over the many years of my life. Each morning when I rise out of bed, sore, bitter, angry at the world before I even have my first soothing sip of ginseng tea.

I relentlessly make the conscious effort to devote time and energy throughout the day to removing from my vocabulary words that point to certain ways of thinking such as “should I”, “I can’t, “I have to do this”, and all metaphors of virulence.

Every day I make deliberate choices that are at extreme odds with the world’s addiction to convenience,addiction to violence and to harming ourselves, an addiction whose gravity I recognize within myself – Each and everyday.

*I would sincerely appreciate any and all feedback you provide in regards to future posts*

Notes:

Today, lets take an early afternoon walk, hand in hand – directly towards emotional discomfort and away from violence … Again and again so as to create true freedom in ourselves. To live the lives We want.

CultFit Con


Hello My Old Heart

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure-

We all have dreams and aspirations. Most of our dreams are left to the dark confines of our mind(s), acting only as seemingly unattainable realities that are nice to think about one busy summer morning in July,a means to escape the daily reality we find ourselves in, right now.

Does it have to be this way?

Each one of us has the incredible ability, the unwavering will and desire that can be a driving force for attaining the most amazing dreams and aspirations we can possible dream up. Why settle for anything less than the life you imagined for yourself?

It doesn’t have to be this way…it doesn’t have to be this way at all.

When we realize the barrier to living our lives in a way (our way) that we feel would make us content and happy sits comfortably between our ears, our own mind? We toss aside the self-imposed limits, socialistic norms, expectations of others!

I want to live my dreamsmy life and chase away the doubts that burden me!

Notes:

Why settle for anything less this on this beautiful morning than that which brings you incredible joy, ecstasy, and happiness … Today, tomorrow and forever?

CultFit Dream


(I’m) Reckless

In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed-

You scowl at your running partner(s) for running with headphones in. You can faintly hear ’1901′ blasting from their ears. They are insistently checking their GPS watch, every ten steps, although 10 miles later during a quick stop to refuel? Out comes a magenta hued insta-message to let the world know you just slammed a gel pack. Don’t they realize how much it annoys you? The anger on your face is plain as day …

Remember when placing an emergency call meant stepping into a phone booth? Today’s electronic do-dad’s and wireless communications gadgets have made it possible for us to handle emergencies in near real-time, help us to find and reconnect with long-lost friends and the best part: Fantasy Sports. Although all of this “convenience” we have at our finger tips comes at a steep price. The incursion of technology into our lives both at home and while out for an evening run, means less down time and we become ungrounded from our true spirit (tomorrows post).  FaceTube and iThings rip into and tear apart relationships and thwart leisure pursuits. I often lament about leisure/life balance, oddly the term “Balance” seems to be a thing of the past.

What in the world is the meaning of balance anymore?

Steeping back from the running story, we as families are feeling this pain at home as well. Social experiment for the day: Engage a teenager in an eye to eye conversation. Let me know how that works out for you. Today’s teens have booth feet, wading chest deep in a technology sinkhole, sad.

Notes:

Know what? It’s rather easy to blame social media and technology, I should know, I am rather adept at it. Over the past fortnight I have been thinking about this issue ad nauseam, what “balance” truly means, the mixed blessing and danger of technology and many other things (NHL Playoffs).  Even though social media and technology have placed the world at our feet, the 24/7 access impedes our spiritual health and quality of life.

Ask yourself today: Has the convenience been worth it?

CultFit Grounded