17 June 2009


Well, we made it. Over the two days my handlebar-mounted GPS reported that it had travelled 98.6 miles, exactly.

Caen Hill by lovestruck.
I, in contrast, travelled 104 miles approximately

The difference? Well, it was the three miles-or-so that I cycled along the tow-path while my GPS was no longer, it transpired, handle-bar mounted.... and the four-miles-or-so that I sweated back along the tow-path looking for it. (no it wasn't at the pub where we had lunch, it was on the ground near to a nasty pothole and no, I obviously didn't loop the fail-safe lanyard properly around my handlebars and, yes, I am therefore an idiot who deserved this extra 25 hot and sweaty minutes' pursuit.

Fortunately, I have considerate friends who, despite still smarting from my cougar-like ascent of Caen hill and consequently unassailable hold on the polka-dot jersey, agreed unanimously to wait for me.

Well, they said, in fact they thought they might keep going, they said, until they got to the next pub, they said, where they would wait for me there; and it was my round so don't be too long, will you?

Still, my carelessness gave them time to check their blackberries, upload their photos, post to their blogs, download details of nearby geocaches and text their tweets, for we are all - much to our children's incredulity - connected, now.

For isn't everyone? Seems to me 2009 is the year that forty-somethings finally found facebook. So for the older in tooth, but curious despite themselves, here are the seven stages in the adoption of social networking:
  1. ignorance... what's a blog?
  2. incredulity, derision and willful misunderstanding .. you mean several times a day, short messages, but who on earth cares that you've just finished the washing up?
  3. fear and suspicion... when I was their age we spoke to our friends, it can't be good all this screentime - and these people I heard of: they tweeted they were on holiday and their house was burgled
  4. unwillingly intrigued... well, apparently she saw it on facebook and so..
  5. toe in the water... No, I'm only on it to see what the children are doing..
  6. gentle usage - no, hardly at all, just a few status updates, but, wow, it's surprising all these old friends that find you, I hadn't seen her for nearly 20 years and out of nowhere she friended me
  7. immersion - so, I've got my facebook updates going out automatically as tweets, plus on the sidebar of my blog, I've got 129 friends, which is too many really, I'm going to start refusing
At what stage are you?

Here's where we went...

View Kennet & Avon Canal by Bike in a larger map


M4GD said...

I’m at zero and unlikely to change! The seven steps sound very reasonable yet similar to reading Lord Byron’s line: “Like measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life.” But is ‘it’ dangerous?! (Note: my ‘it’ here refers not to love but to the foregoing seven steps it takes a forty-something to form a ‘Facebook Nation’ and the word ‘dangerous’ here refers to the level of dependency on such a nation) Well, naturally the answer is: it depends. What is dangerous and intense to one is not to another. The key/safety pin that holds it all together is fairly simple: we are tribal animals. The need to connect and belong is embedded. We can’t escape it. The joy comes in witnessing the different manifestations of this tribal behaviour in moving up and down your seven-step scale. And in this regard, the full spectrum exists: the herd sheep mentality, indifference,… to revolution! Or may be this can better be explained with the different layers found in the Fogg’s Behavior Model http://www.behaviormodel.org which states that in order for a behavior to occur, three elements must converge at the same moment: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger!...oh so Where were we again?! Yes, I’m at Zero and unlikely to change! My position is more at a break-even point and not reflected on your scale! Or is it like Dogbert saying to Dilbert: “What did I say that sounded like “Tell me about your day”? And Dilbert sheepishly saying to Dogbert: Go ahead ask me now: How my day went…” (this is verbatim from the pictures and what’s written on my coffee mug). And here is to Botogol our cycling hero: keep smiling. keep writing.

M4GD said...

I’m affirming: You’re a cycling hero to me! As to why? Because I do not know how to ride a bike (No I do not have symptoms of DCD Developmental Co-ordination Disorder)
Learning how to ride a bike is on my 100 to do list before I die. As you may be aware Leo Tolstoy learned how to ride a bike at the spring age of 67 or so. I guess there is plenty of hope for me;-) Now you are my role model - not in losing your GPS and crushing the poor insects but in your tenacity and focus and that may get me to do it sooner:-) Don’t take your cycling for granted. It’s a blessing!

Burgin Streetman said...

Scribbler is... someone who never ever ever ever posts status updates on her Facebook page.. and only after reading this


article decided to stop using the Bub as her profile picture and start using random "hot" celebrity pictures like chevy chase or gary cooper.

i hate twitter and i only like my blogs because they keep me from feeling like a complete and total housewife, sell-out, loser. i used to be a well-paid publishing executive in nyc... now I just drink starbucks and mooch off my husband and sweat a lot.

my bianchi sits in the garden shed, covered in filth and dog hair.

i suck, therefore i am.

Botogol said...

@M4GD - zero? I'm not quite sure I believe that.. you seenm to know your way around the online world.
Any you also know a thing or two about anonymity, I'm guessing there's a facebook page out there somewhere with your photo on it. Am i right?. Cycling - you're never to old to cycle.

@Scribbler - a bianchi? wow. I have two specializeds: an allez (road-bike) and a hardrock pro (which the mechanic at the bike shop unkindly referred to as my 'tank' last week. I am going to replace it when it reaches 5000 miles - not actually very long to go.

Sir Walter said...

I have a Raleigh "Chopper"

M4GD said...

- Yes, it’s zero. Explanation: Knowing my way around the online world does not equate to a desire to create a Facebook Nation i.e. no Motivation + Ability + Trigger concurrently existed! And unlikely to exist! I’ve come across Facebook when it was in its infancy and never had the desire to join despite the hammering and pressure I get from friends all over the globe. Just today alone I received six invites one of them surprisingly was from the US Embassy. They are now on Facebook too! It’s great - the more the merrier but not for me. So, in summary, No I don’t have a Facebook page or any equivalent for that matter floating / lurking anywhere!
- Do I have photos on line? Yes, I do! My former employer has the right to some in their promotional material - not sure if they use them now. And my last postgraduate institution also still has/uses my photo/profile online and in hard copy in their promotional material. That’s about it!
- BTW I’m reading on ‘Green Dolphin Street.’ I agree with you I’m not sure I like it. It does not grab you and there is something weak in it I can not pinpoint it yet - may be I will when I get to the end. I started ‘Human Traces’ by the same author but still at the beginning. And on the side also reading a cleverly written book: ‘Oil on the Brain’ Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline by Lisa Margonelli. Finished ‘The Glassblower of Murano’ It’s a very very very light summer read. Speaking of Venice NY Times Lens had some very nice postings over the past few days re the biennale check’em out. Listening to an audio of ‘My Life’ read by Bill Clinton himself about his own life. I have yet to reach to the part about Monica but so far it’s great. And your latest mention of Kandinsky made me dig in boxes to find an old book that I never finished: ‘Kandinsky Concerning the Spiritual in Art.’ It has a lovely timeless exploration of how various artists tried to reach the spiritual in their paintings. For example, he argued that Matisse, in reaching the spiritual as a ‘supreme end’, focused on color and Picasso focused on form! This was news to me as I thought Picasso had both!
- Well, thanks for the encouragement re Cycling! Now that would be truly a rare Kodak moment if it ever happens! :-) Stay well.

P.S. As time goes by, if you have not already noticed, you will notice that when I answer a question I always state the truth. If I don’t wish to answer I’ll say so too :-)Peace!