Flat Philosophy by Bret Hadley

I wear many hats when I ride flat. I am an athlete, artist, magician, philosopher, and poet.

Flat pavement, air in my tires, and good friends make my day. My bike is the conduit through which I transfer energy between myself and the earth. I rejoice in the pleasure of rolling, spinning, twisting, kicking, and pushing my weight around.

My mind, body, and bike fuse together in a symphony of energy. I roll across the planet’s surface in controlled chaos. Stepping through my tricks I experience a Zen moment, achieve Nirvana, chat with the Great Spirit, kiss the genie, and announce to the universe that I am happy to be alive.

A bike is a simple compound machine. Levers, wedges, wheels and axles, inclined planes, screws, gears, and pulleys. Just mechanical dead weight until human energy is added. Only then does the bike spring to life and dance. Rider and bike synchronize and become one. Dynamic and syncopated music is played.

Take refined metal, plastic, and rubber. Add equal parts flesh, blood, bone, and muscle. Stir liberally and bring to a rolling boil.

Jobs, bills, and relationships melt away under the sweat running down my forehead. I am a young boy throwing my leg over my bike for the first time again. The earth moves quickly beneath me, only the sound of tires and the wind interrupt the session.

Riding flat allows me to repeatedly challenge the laws of physics. I will do it again tomorrow just in case the universe drops its guard for a moment.

There is no boss, coach, or team, and no rules. Only a rider versus the world.

Why ride? Surely not for fame, power, or money. Because I can. because its there. Because no one can stop me.

Constantly searching for the elusive flat pavement where I can ride my bike in peace. I just want to borrow the surface and the surrounding air for a moment. I mean no harm to anyone or their property. I am not a criminal.

The earth is round, but my world is flat.

My muscles respond, sweat pours from my body, I breathe fire, and maneuvers are performed. My trusty companion grunts and groans below me. We move as one.

I’m never alone when I ride flat. All my old friends are there; mass, acceleration, gravity, inertia, momentum, torque, centripetal force, and time.

What is it about the circle? Round wheels, gears, and planet. Everything is always spinning in circles.

I understand that my force equals my mass multiplied by my acceleration.

Companion, trusty mount, my knuckle breaker made of metal tubes. Constructed with time and attention. My bike.

Find out more about Bret and his company Spry at www.sprybikeco.com

  • joe in portland

    I’ve read this before and I like it…joe