Occasionally, I'll hear someone whining about how e-mail, instant-messaging, blogs and the Internet in general are destroying human communication. What a load of crap. Yeah, maybe they're beating spelling, grammar and punctuation to a bloody pulp, but you've gotta love the way they bring people together in a way that older technologies never could.
I've communicated with distant relatives, old classmates and bicyclists around the world thanks to the ease of firing off a quick e-mail. People I haven't seen in years (if ever) have tracked me down via the Internet and gotten in touch, which they probably never would have done without the speed and convenience of technology.
I used to think blogs were for geeks until I realized how much writing one—and reading others—keeps me in touch with a much wider circle of cyclists. Maybe blogs are still for geeks, but we're bike geeks dammit, and that makes it OK. Instead of being isolated up here on the winter ice and summer singletrack of the frigid north, I know what's going on with bike messengers in New York City, singlespeeders in D.C., and what the local crowd is up to in Minneapolis, which must have more blogging bikers per capita than any other American city.
I was thinking about this as I read my latest e-mail from Stephen Grant, a rider in Scotland who reads this blog and stays in touch from time to time. I've never ridden in Scotland but I enjoyed taking a little vicarious vacation through his descriptions of his recent "400 Permie" tour:
"I stopped for sustenance, breaking into a gel. ... Thats legalised EPO to you, and got a decent kick out of it to take me away from the shelter of the loch on up to Dalmally for my tea. Dalmally wasn't expecting me and had shut!! Bass. Well, there's always the Green Welly in Tyndrum ..."
Now that's good stuff.
In Alaska we might have post-ride beer at a place called Moose's Tooth. In Scotland, they stop for tea at Green Welly in Tyndrum. And we all get to swap stories about it.
That's pretty freakin' cool.
Keep 'em coming, Stephen.