To Talk Or Not To Talk

Posted: 7th February 2011 by LadyBikerTravel in Uncategorized

So if you’re a biker, one of the things you will always be faced with is what equipment to get. My bike, Coco, was perfect when I got her and needed absolutely nothing added on…except for a windshield, crash bar, windshield bag, and side bags. Oh, yeah. And a cup holder. Not so perfect? No, she was perfect, but to fit my lifestyle, she needed a little more.

And, who knows? As time progresses, she may end up needing even more stuff. But it will be MY choice.

Right now, I’m getting all kinds of input into possiblle additions for Coco, and I can’t deny that most of them have a level of appeal, but none of them are anything I can’t live without. And some of them are things I think I can’t live WITH.

The item that’s being pushed on me the most is a CB, and it’s the piece of equipment I’m thinking about most. The truth is there are a lot of good reasons to have a CB: it’s a safety feature and keeps you connected with other riders in a group. It also provides the opportunity to talk while you’re riding and anyone who knows me knows I love to talk, right?

Well, that’s the thing. Sure, I talk…a lot. But my ride is my own time. I love riding in groups, riding as a pair, even riding alone. And I talk when I ride, but I talk to myself. Or I sing to myself. It’s all my time and my words, my thoughts and my songs.

One of the problems I have is that I talk a lot but say very little that’s important. And I’m especially reticent when it comes to important things. There are so many things I wish I had the gumption to say but, over the years, I’ve been conditioned not to talk about the things that really matter to me for a variety of reasons that don’t bear going into here. What does matter is that rather than say the things that are in my heart, I typically either write them (very infrequently) or, more likely, say them to myself. That’s right. Almost every thing I’ve ever said that was really important was to myself, in my head.

That’s what I use a lot of my bike time for: playing out in my head what I wish happened in real life. Of course, there’s a danger to this. I can make the outcome anything I want and, of course, real life never plays out the way we – or at least the way I – work it out in my head.

Right now, there is a lot of conversation going on around me and it’s exactly what I think it would be like riding in a group with CBs – everyone talking about their ideas and me not saying anything. It’s not that I haven’t been talking; in fact, I even gave my opinion, but no one in the group shared it (not an unusual thing for me, and that’s fine; I don’t expect or want other people to think exactly like me). But the person I most think should have at least supported my right to have an opinion probably doesn’t even know what I articulated because he or she (no gimmes here) doesn’t listen to me.

OK. I’m about to have my opinion discounted again by another member of the group. There was a lot of that going on here – and not just for me. Two people have completely taken over the conversation, two have departed the group, two have checked out into their own worlds…and I’ve started blogging about it.

This is exactly what would have happened if we were riding and we had CBs: I would have an opinion, might articulate it – in fact, likely would – would be discounted and would have to listen to other people talk on and on about their own opinions, recklessly disregarding what I’ve just said. I don’t need that. I need to be with myself when I ride. Frankly, I think a CB would turn a ride into exactly what the rest of my life is: marginalization. In some of the most important parts of my life, I don’t even really exist. I feel marginalized and, while I understand why and am OK with it, it doesn’t make me like the condition at all. I just don’t want that when I’m riding. I want the things in my head to be my own thoughts, my own music, my own ideas. It’s the only place that really happens for me.

Why is it different on a bike than in the car? I don’t know. Probably because everything is different on the bike. The elements impact you more. You have to observe the people around you in a different way. The music in my head comes from my iPod, which doesn’t happen in the car (because of what I drive; I know it’s possible to have an iPod in your car…just not in any of the cars I ever drive). And my music is really, really important to me when I ride.

The other problem with a CB is that you can turn people off – mute them. I don’t want that happening to me. I know I could do it to other people, but I probably wouldn’t. And I don’t want to know that at any time I’m talking I may have been muted by … well, by someone I don’t ever want to mute me. Marginalized or not, I don’t ever want to be like any object of Peter Sellers’ disdain in the movie “Being There.”

If you didn’t see the movie (and I admit you likely didn’t since I only know one other person who saw it), it’s about a man who’s rather simple and is left on his own after his caretaker dies. His life prior to that had been very isolated, spent mostly watching TV and he used the remote to turn off or switch the channel on things he didn’t like. In a scene right after he is turned out on the street, he has an interaction with someone who becomes angry with his inability to understand. Peter Sellers’ character keeps using his TV remote, trying to turn the person off. That’s what I think a CB could to do me…except the remote would work; it would turn me off.

Bottom line: the reasons I don’t want a CB have exactly NOTHING to do with any of the reasons I should have one. I’m a girl with a lot of hangups and for whatever reason, a CB won’t help them, I don’t think. So, for now, I’m going to continue riding in my own little world, thinking my own thoughts without intrusion, singing my own songs to myself.

Hmmm… I wonder if everyone else is talking about me while I’m riding on THEIR CBs??? Of course, I’d never know if I had a CB since they probably wouldn’t talk about me if they knew I was listening. Hmmm… Sounds like material for another blog!

Until next time, Lord, keep my wheels down, my eyes ahead; keep me out of other people’s way and them from mine; and if today is the day I meet You face to face, I do so with gratitude for a joy-filled life.

  1. Alfred C. Schram says:

    Hello Gwynne.
    It was a very good and thought provocating page. Thank youalso for the link to ECOPRESSED. Love, Daddy.