Nina Simone, “Mississippi Goddam”
Will Egypt’s revolution float upstream, making way to one of its sources? Can it find its way to the beginning of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia’s northwest mountains? Remember Ethiopia’s 2005 elections? Is military aid stamped “Made in the USA” used to squash democracy elsewhere?
Here I sit observing from afar. Snow falls outside, whiting over the dirtied snow from earlier this week. Things are looking pristine and clean. Juncos flit about at the suet cake hanging from the barren cherry tree.
“So…what’s the direction of your blog?”
“Is it about mountain biking? Traveling? Hiking? Politics?”
“It’s about whatever I feel like writing about.”
“Yeah, but you might wanna consider your audience.”
“I write for me.”
Travel is political, like it or not. Mountain biking is political, like it or not. When we jump in the car and drive to the trail head, we are traveling on roads in a vehicle fueled by gasoline pumped from the Earth from lands where people live out meager existences and where their blood is sometimes spilled defending that meager-ness, which is sometimes negatively impacted by the oil-turned-gasoline that we paid for with a credit card.
We enjoy riding dirt ribbons through trees, but maybe we don’t remember IMBA and the local mtb clubs lobbying state houses, Washington, and park offices on our behalf. Our faces wear smiles as we hooty-hoo and holler and thank the gods that we are out riding, but we don’t think that our mtb riding action is indeed SAYING SOMETHING. More bikes on the trail could mean more money to the local economy. Money matters, like it or not, and money is political, like it or not. Where money is concerned, votes are influenced.
A dream of mine is to travel to Ethiopia and ride a bike on narrow paths in the Simien Mountains. Travel and mountain biking would combine in a place where such an undertaking would reverberate politically at various levels. No?