Back in the '70's there appeared a wonderful book written by Robert Persig entitled "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." While having little to do with motorcycles except that the storyline was developed around a trip or several trips he took on his motorcycle, mister Persiq wrote a very engaging examination of the concept of quality as it applies to modern life. It became something of a lexicon for would be hippies trying to justify reintegrating into mainstream existence after the haze of bong smoke they had embraced in college. While it contained some extensive information on the history of philosophy which escapes me at the moment, I always remember one incident. It involved a friend of his who needed help with his BMW motorcycle. He had turned it over to Persig for some work to be done but became enraged and insulted to find out that Persig had used a Pabst Blue Ribbon can to make a shim to adjust his very expensive German steel handlebars (beemer drivers all look alike you know).
I thought of this while working on my latest spring project (to be unveiled sometime soon) because I needed a shim to adjust my very expensive Japanese aluminum handlebars and thought it appropriate to build a monument to Robert Persig. Since a manufactured, Nitto shim made just for the occasion is priced in the 15-20 dollar range, I decided to go for real value and make one myself. I don't usually have any PBR in the house, and the brewpub growlers certainly don't work, but I do have a college student around and that means
This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.
Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.