Dear Bike Lady

November 21st, 2015

woman bike ad- freedom_1woman bike ad- freedom_1 butterfly bikerI  tossed off a rant called Stop Selling Shit Bikes to Women, two-and-a-half years back. It got posted to Reddit and went viral, getting 20,000+ views and hundreds of comments within a couple of days. The amazing thing is, I still regularly get emails based on that article. Most are from 40+ women who want to find bikes that are comfortable, durable and efficient. Many feel badly served and unrespected by bike retailers. They ask my advice and I give what I can. I didn’t apply for this job but apparently, I am The Bike Lady.

Why am I The Bike Lady? Roshi Joan talks about identifying one’s ‘north star precept’. A personal core mission statement, that can shift over time, but which will always show you the way home. My north star precept is to liberate myself and others from fear. The best way I know to experience joy and overcome fear is simply to get on my bike. The bike wheel morphs like a 3D postcard, from dharma wheel to bike wheel and back again. The wheels promise freedom and they deliver the goods. My job is to pass it on.

So here I find myself once again, as ever, in transition. Moving soon from Cortes back to Vancouver and trying to figure out what to do there. Knowing I need some sort of job or project to keep me grounded and to pay the rent. Running through the many possibilities i notice that what lights me up from inside, always, is the dharma—the self-evident truth—of the bicycle.

So hey people here’s my question: how best can I help others to rediscover their freedom, through bikes? For all my semi-illlustrious career moves and brief stabs at fame, my lowly job as bikeshop drudge has offered me the most brilliant flashes of pure fulfillment. My passion is helping folks find their perfect ride, and coaching them through to confidence. I especially like to help women, and in particular, those of that certain age (my age), to ride comfortably and efficiently.

Dear Universe, I am standing by ready to receive. Does anyone see an opening for a Bike Lady now?

BabyNoBaby, meet Scary Mommy

October 26th, 2015

cupholderI speak here to BabyNoBaby. BabyNoBaby is a brave and funny woman who blogs about the buffeting winds of choice and possibility. To assume the cloak of motherhood, or not? So many arguments for, so many reasons against. Today it is yes, tomorrow it is no. As the clock goes tick tick tick.

BabyNoBaby’s most recent post describes her fantasy life as a stay-at-home mom—a SAHM. She is bored in her work and at a loss for what to do with the rest of her life. Today, the appealing vision of spending whole days at home in her pajamas, puréeing organic baby food and baking, wins out. Today’s decision: Baby. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving Dinner

October 13th, 2015

thanksgiving-turkeyThanksgiving dinner was potatoes, omelet, and kale.

Potatoes rough and fragrant from the now-sleeping beds, boiled, fried in butter, with pepper and salt. Eggs gathered in a basket from the United Nations of chickens, green and tan, blue and pink, freckled, and brown. Folded with onions braided onto a string. A few cherry tomatoes, wet and burst from the rain. And cheese, melted, inside.

Also kale dark and ferrous, with red russian veins.

Dessert was a cookie—bought, not home-grown. Baked and sold at Friday market by my neighbour, Joy. With spices and cinnamon, pecans and seeds.

I dined alone, on the misty blufftop, to the sound of the waves.

For this.

I give thanks.



Not waiting for the bell

October 11th, 2015

bellThe meditation app on my phone is my little monk with his whacking stick, keeping me in line. I find it impossible to meditate without a timer, my mind constantly wondering if that’s enough, how much time has passed, and blah blah blah and blah. I  hear people say that they just sit ‘for as long as feels right’ but i’m not convinced about that approach. Not only because my mind is so fluttery with no end in sight, but also because i know that sometimes it is necessary to sit a bit longer than is actually comfortable in order to get a felt sense of what’s going on in my body and mind. Read the rest of this entry »

The wake of Kenny-La

October 3rd, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKenny was the reddest man I have ever known. Pure fire. A burner, of bridges and walls and so much more. He left a wake of creation and destruction, chaos and art.

Kenny was my teacher in so many ways. He taught me about my own anger, my ego, my pride. There were times I genuinely wanted to kill him, but I kind of believed he was unkillable, since by all laws of physics he should already have been dead many times over. He forced me to work with the fire of my own anger, and in that Kenny was right: fire purifies. He taught me about forgiveness. Kenny did not hold a grudge against anyone, his own demons included. The times when I hated him for what he said or did, I had to confront my own monsters eye to eye, forgive them, and move on. Read the rest of this entry »

Tree: 1 Island: 0

August 6th, 2015

treeShe did not go gentle into that good night, oh no. A windstorm took her head off and her body soon followed. When she fell this 700-yr-old grandmother fir shook the ground, swiping the power lines and taking the island down with her.

We were 30 hrs without power, the silenced grid a soft blanket. A generator chugged here and there, a whiff of gasoline dissipating in still air. Bertha’s General Store quiet and dim but the till still open, popsicles and beer kept cold by the genny growling out back. But away from the puffing engines, so quiet, and at night the darkness so rich. Read the rest of this entry »

The perfume of fear

July 30th, 2015

1054326558_ultsdamselA woman in a red bikini drifts toward the sandbar on a grey inflatable dinghy. The lagoon at low tide a playland of clam-diggers, happy dogs, and children with float toys. Bikini lady is shrieking at the top of her lungs: noooooo!!! I’m SCARED!  help me help me help me! Laughter mixed with shrill mock-terror. No really i’m serious hee hee hee ha eeeeeeeeeee i’m scaaaaared HELP ME! The men on the beach turn follow the seductive waft—the smell of a damsel in distress. Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Randolph and the Bitch

July 22nd, 2015

AnnRandolph3Ann Randolph is a storyteller/performer from LA. She’s got the courage to get on stage and not be pretty, which makes me want to fall down and kiss her feet—I am so sick of watching women on stage in pretty dresses crooning pretty songs with pretty guitar chords, trying desperately to be sweet and inoffensive. Ann does real, and it isn’t always pretty. Just wearing those camel-toe pants on stage is an act of supreme chutzpah. Her stuff is definitely adult content, which is a rare enough thing for family-friendly Cortes Island to get me excited. When I saw Ann’s show, Loveland, last summer, I laughed so hard I just about strangled. And then of course, I cried. I was torn by envy and awe. Ann will perform her new show, Squeeze Box, at Mansons Hall this Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

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