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Bikexchange.com Column #6

A Natural World Out of Balance
(A Bike-illogic One In Perfect Harmony)

 By Gianna Bellofatto

Gianna Bellofatto is a freelance writer and avid cyclist who whose column, Life Is a Bike, appears regularly in The Bicycle Exchange.

According to a fifth grade science teacher of mine, on the equinoxes (March 21 and September 22), at precisely 12 noon, an uncooked egg can be placed on a flat surface and remain perfectly balanced on its tip. The stars and planets are in a synchronous alignment. Gravity and other forces are all in symmetry anabling this feat. There is also an equal division of daylight and darkness.

This may also be a good time to remove your kids training wheels and balance your checkbook. It may also be the best time to have your day in court, since the scales of justice will be perfectly balanced. And while you're at it, you may want to end your diet since the scale will indicate that you have arrived at your ideal weight. Are thse any more illogical than a 200-pound personwho maintains perfect equilibrium on a 25-pound bicycle with wheels two inches wide? It's bike-illogical. It's where the laws of gravity do not apply and properties of physics are defied. Bike-illgic is logic "stood" on its head. Which is not such an easy way to ride your bike.

Another example is June 21, known as the summer solstice or the longest day of the year--another curious concept since all days are 24 hours. But in the topsy-turvy world of bike-illogical, Wednesday is sundae; if you have a long weekend then Thursday becomes virtual Friday; you can spend a month of Sundays missing a loved one; while yesterday or tomorrow are both only a day away. Who cares whether the chicken or the egg came first, all I want to know is can the eff remain balanced on its tip? If you're trying to make sense of all this, it may help if you read it backwards.

This past March, I decided to test the validity and reliability of the equinox. I approached the experiment like a scientist. I checked my watch. I removed one uncooked white egg from a clear plastic bag. Held it between my thumb and forefinger. At precisely 12 noon I attempted to balance it on my desk at work. The moment I released the egg chaos followed: The phone rang; then a package was delivered which I had to sign for; a colleague burst in to see if I was ready for lunch, and her son who was visiting inquired why an egg was rolling off my desk...splat.

# # # #

In the world of bike-illogic, the elegance of physical, mental, and spiritual balance is experienced from the saddle whether it's March, September, May Day or your Aunt Tillie's birthday. Any day is a great day to put this to the test. Wide wheels or road wheels, makes no matter. All that is required are two bike wheels where the rubber meets the road. It's an ideal mixture of man, machine and the natural environment brought together in perfect harmony. The scientific explanation of how we remain balanced on a bicycle is another topic in itself, well worth exploring another time. In the meantime, it makes perfect sense that Life is a Bike.

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