Driving is a substitute means of experiencing landscape

You know what these are both for, and it sure isn’t farming or fishing. To the hedonist, rolling hills are for stretching the calves until the crest, then tucking down and making use of his 11 tooth cog. Rolling swells are for paddling out over then surfing back toward shore. Perhaps (as they say) it is because our genitals are outside our bodies, or maybe it is as simple as our compulsion to piss upon trees, but we men sure do like to survey things that are natural and vast—and I don’t mean with engine assistance, or just with our eyes. Our desire is to survey fields with our bodies, fuelled by our breakfasts, and filled with endorphins.

Taking to waves on a jet-ski, or taking to the hills for recreation using a car, seems to me like learning to play a pianola. You must know, surely, that you are kidding. If you are a farmer, then by all means drive a tractor. And if you catch fish for a living, those of us eating your catch would hardly expect you to row. But if you are occupying landscapes or seascapes for leisure, at least open yourself to the possibility of giving your mind, and your physical capabilities, to these endeavours. The rewards are much greater, that’s all.

As a post script I’m adding an image I found googling “mountainous surf”. I hope you will agree, it has nothing to do with the pleasures that us more cultivated folk going looking for on our bikes. And don’t look at this either. Surfers, god bless them, are trogs.


  1. Luke says:

    Great post. I had been thinking vaguely about how some roads just obviously are for bikes, not cars, but you put it much better. Jetskis are for people who hate the sea.

    Being a bike pedant, I noticed that the email alert is an early draft of the blog post in all its glory. I love the way that by the end you were warming to your theme and had cranked it up from your 12 cog to the 11 (for me, even 50/13 is only for special occasions).

    • Steven says:

      Hi Luke, what’s an email alert? I’m guessing you’re seeing the first version I publish, before I read it over, and realise it is crap an needs editing 🙂

  2. Luke says:

    You’re too hard on yourself. When the collected works of Doctor Behooving are published, scholars will debate the merits of the two versions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.