Cycling + > . . .

Turn it up

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I've not had occasion to call anybody baby. It comes so naturally in songs.

Or Village People, if you prefer. I would add this to my ride playlist, but it really needs the video to make it complete. If you don't spot Andy Gibb and a young & more carefree Putin you're not trying hard enough.

"Who doesn’t like Germans dressed as Mongol invaders singing songs about Russia?" Who says YouTube comments are all rubbish.

I see no reason that can’t coexist peacefully in the same post as

Were I emperor across the pond, in my great and unmatched wisdom I would replace the not always unsingable but not worth singing Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem with

because my mother country, aside from everything else packed into it for better or for worse, means road trip.

Inspired in part by William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways, I hitchhiked

and drove from sea to shining sea in my early 20s, when putting as many miles on the odometer as possible was my mission. You might say no destination was too far.

Never seriously fancied cycling it, though. It’s not really the length that puts me off, Homeric as that would promise to be. Crawling through otherwise appealing big sky country like an ant, getting buffeted by thousands of cubits

of wind across the Monsanto fruited plains states, and worrying about 327.2 million texting motorists (everybody drives, even the unborn on the way to the nearest picketed abortion clinic) and country roads sprinkled with mad dogs, not all of the canine variety, doesn't even make my extended bucket list.

The Godfather of Soul's anthem to a nation ceaselessly on the move (pity about the Rocky bits in that otherwise brilliantly edited vid) always strikes just the right note when I’m feeling, well, good!

Some people have great names. Don Howland is one of them, thanks to that embedded howl. Don stocked shelves alongside me at a B. Dalton (though I had a talent for snagging the information desk, a much coveted job because everybody hated stocking).

Oh, it wasn't that bad

He contributed reviews to Spin and the Voice and others. He's had a radio show, a mission to expand musical horizons. I had no idea he played until googling him. His music is rooted in brutally honest expression.

He's not coming anywhere near my ipod.

This guy might've:

Daryl “Buck” Dull used to sit behind me in one of my classes in high school. That voice came as a complete surprise. He died at the beginning of the year; reading between the lines of the condolences, I get the feeling it was suicide.


This still comes back to me nearly word-for-word a very long time after hearing it break up Saturday morning cartoons and commercials for

All of us kids lapped it up. It was only later, with some Howard Zinn under my belt, that I started feeling distinctly uneasy about manifest destiny. Call it horribly catchy.

It took a move to England, then rural East Sussex, with our nearest neighbour comfortably out of sight, for me to once again be able to sing the praises of elbow room.


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