Passage #269: 1 October 2014

Roads? Where We're Going, We Don't Need "Roads"



On The Passage, we often explore boundaries, limits, thresholds, and the like -- "liminal spaces," if we want to get fancy about it. Enterings, leavings, becomings, disappearings. Neither/nors. Both/ands. Spaces become movements become spaces (if only, sometimes, spaces of a conceptual sort). You can of course make these movements mindlessly, paying little attention to any such spaces, waiting for us to point to a site or monument, to lecture on their history or discuss other Important Facts. And sometimes we do (we did last week a little). But, even when we do not, there is nonetheless a sort of rhetoric of the route. It is rarely discursive like a line of text, but if all you see is empty pavement as we roll down the road, your vision is probably too narrow.

This week, you have seriously bad vision if you only see pavement for we will be venturing well off pavement again for a stretch. And, indeed, the limit we will come up against is the very limit of a bike ride itself. To wit, when does a bike ride stop being "a bike ride" and start being "a hike, whilst carrying a bicycle"? Or, okay, that is overstating it a bit. Proportionally, the hiking part is a pretty short segment, not long at all, distance-wise. The bike ride will still be, overwhelmingly, a bike ride. The off-pavement stretch will probably, however, take sorta long, time-wise, for the trail we'll be hiking is only nominally a "trail." Definitions are going to get a little blurry, you see. Or, at least, the trail will in parts be somewhat ill-defined. Do you have a machete, basically, is what we're asking. (Just joking, of course.) (Ha.) (Ha.) (Sigh.)


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