Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mountain Biking, Beaching and Research

In the flurry that was the last week, I got an iPhone. The pinch surface is fabulous; maps work superbly, notwithstanding the poor coverage for wireless data; YouTube works fine (only) with the built-in wifi.

I went mountain-biking in Montauk on Saturday. The curse of the researcher is that one finds analogy between research, ie., the journey to solve a problem, and whatever arduous journey one takes, physical or not. In The Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, my guidebook for several months during a summer a long time ago, the author goes on a hike with his son, tussels for speed and stamina, and summits in his discussion of Philosophy even as the drama of the family unfolds. In mountain-biking, I am tempted to say as in my research, I dislike riding on flat portions: I like the climbs even if I am humiliated, and the downs, because it is exhilarating. You have to switch gears, break, twist, find the gaps, fly over tree trunks, barks, stones, sand whatever, and watch from the corner of the eye, the fleeing deer, wild turkey, the blue bay and the bluer ocean. I lost the rhythm for a tiny moment during the several hours of ride and gashed my arm, shoulder and leg.

On Sunday, I beached. Watched people step in towards the waves, step back, restep in, tease the waters of the Ocean and themselves, and finally work themselves to a spot where a confluence of waves splashes them fully, they emerge from under it, cough, call it even, and proceed to swim. When they leave, the waves pursue, chase them until they get out of its reach and they plunk down on beach towels, go to sleep, or in my case, read a research paper. Alas, I could not find "my working week and my Sunday rest", aka, NY Times.


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