June 14, 2000

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen

 

I never thought exercise could be so fun. All this winter I have been planning to start an exercise program to try and strengthen my leg from last summerís accident. After three months in a cast, I had lost a lot of muscle in my right leg. Working behind a desk all day really doesnít help build up muscle tone, so I have been looking forward to my summer break from my school job.

My big plan is to start biking. Now I could have used an exercise bike to accomplish this much earlier, but I just find them so darn boring. To a Type A personality like me, biking your brains out and ending up in the same place just doesnít cut it. I need real movement and for that I use my 28 years old Raleigh 10 speed.

I have taken my Raleigh everywhere. I remember biking to downtown Minneapolis from my parentís suburban home to go to my first job interview. I think that trip was about a 30 mile round trip. I even wore a sports coat and tie. And yes, I did get the job. Luckily, I normally had a car to go to work.

My goal for the summer is to build up to bike trips to Babbitt or Tower. If I can do that I should succeed in getting my poor right leg back to where I can trust it for more adventurous work like sailing.

I had thought of biking to Winton, but that seemed like using a stationary bike. So I decided to use the Trezona Trail as my first step towards leg equality. What I didnít realize is how much fun biking the Trezona can be. It is a great trail and the views are wonderful, but what really makes it really fun are the army worms.

I had an absolute ball running over the little buggers. After watching my fruit trees being stripped clean by this silent army of worms, I felt it was my right for payback. I canít believe how good I got at siting an armyworm 30 feet ahead and then flattening it under my skinny bike tires. The fast moving ones I could spot up to 40 feet away!

Luckily, there werenít many people around, because I must have looked like a drunken sailor swerving from side to side as I sent hundreds of army worms to worm hell. I am surprised my tires didnít get all gooey.

One of the nice things about owning an English bicycle is that I can go fast or I can just go touring. On the Trezona there are many areas where one can coast for long stretches. It is a nice moment when you can coast and rest while the wind cools you down from climbing that last hill. Also, you can ponder your surroundings or just think about stuff. It was on one of those respites that I wondered if I was harming the world by killing all these armyworms. I pondered if I was hurting the cosmos or possibly ruining Godís grand plan.

Afterall, what if there is such a thing as reincarnation? Here are millions of army worms that had been other things before being reborn. I wonder what kind of people would be reincarnated as armyworms? Probably lawyers and school board members. If these little critters were reincarnated souls, I wondered if I was hurting their chances of coming back as something higher, such as a frog or something. Afterall, only if they were good worms would they be able to come back as something better. At least that what the Hindu believe.

Of course, how does an armyworm live a virtuous life? How does an armyworm undo the evil it did in its former life? I find it hard to imagine an armyworm could learn anything ethical while being a worm. All they do is find trees and denude them. Talk about greedy! Of course, by killing these worms under my tires, perhaps I was allowing some of these reformed souls to come back as people once more. Perhaps, I have allowed thousands of former lawyers to be reborn as humans again? Perhaps, twenty years from now when they are newly educated and back at their profession we will notice lawyers are caring and giving people. No more frivolous lawsuits, no more ambulance chasing. In not, future generations of bike riders will be assured of an endless supply of armyworms.

 

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