Satisfaction...

In 1973 a movie was released that had all the young pre-teen boys (or maybe I should leave it at myself, rather than generalize) dreaming, young pre-teen boy dreams, of freckle-cheeked Jodie Foster. The movie was Tom Sawyer and starred Johnny Whitaker in the role of a red-headed scamp of a Tom. During the famous fence whitewashing scene, as more kids come around wondering why anyone would want to do that, the would-be painters and Johnny/Tom break into song.


It is a song about satisfaction - no, it's more than that, it's gratifaction, and what Tom does while singing that song, is convince those other kids that by taking up brush and pail, they too can get that "deep down inside gratifaction". The trick, of course, was to convince all that whitewashing a fence was not a chore, not work; that is was an honor and a pleasure to have your time so occupied. When all was done, both the fence and painters covered top to bottom in whitewash, everyone realized they had been duped into painting the fence while Tom lazed in the shade. A merry chase ensued, through the town, through the woods, and into the river which soon turned a milky white. Never mind that in the process everyone had a great time.

This is where the bicycle comes in. A sense of satisfaction awaits at the end of nearly any ride, be it a race, a competitive training ride, a commute, or a simple two-mile errand. The race, the training, those are different; the satisfaction comes from the competition. Giving it your all, no matter the outcome is satisfying. As for commuting, well, no amount of driving can compare - for all the reasons with which you are already familiar. Maybe I have become jaded over the years but, is there satisfaction to be had from driving? I mean, when I think about it, when I need to drive, there is almost always something else I would rather be doing. Someone even came up with the idea of proclaiming this sentiment on license plate frames - I'd rather be sailing, I'd rather be golfing, I'd rather be hiking, I'd rather be biking. Anything, literally anything but this. It is why automakers seem compelled to add many, and more, devices to new vehicles; anything to counter the tediousness of driving. 

There is no need to whitewash this, cycling is fun, it is satisfying. It will leave anyone who pedals off down the road with a sense of that "deep down inside gratifaction". Satisfaction - yet another reason, on a long list of reasons, to ride.

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