Far ahead of me there’s a fellow walking down the street. From where I am on my bike he seems to be conducting an orchestra. When I ride past him I notice he’s wearing headphones and I wonder what he’s listening to.

My first inclination is to think he’s a little crazy. I mean, a man walking down the road with animated, flailing arms isn’t something you see everyday. But I also feel a pang of jealousy. The guy’s movements seem to convey an unhinged sense of freedom that I continue to find elusive. He displays a looseness I wish I could regularly exhibit — that is to say, not just when I’ve had a few. I’m pretty sure this sort of mindset would make me happier and probably even make my art more honest. But the act of letting go is terrifying. Why? Because it’s odd and goes against social expectation. Neither is a valid reason to live unnaturally but nonetheless, I’m guilty.

After riding past him I increased my speed and eyeballed an upcoming lip in a curb. I hit it like I would have in 1980 and launched my Cannondale road bike into the air. Upon landing I lost control and nearly wiped out in a patch of gravel. I blame my graceless reentry on the equipment, not the operator. I’m pretty sure I can still carve muddy turns and table-top through the sky like a motherfucker.

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