Death Listener

One of my favorite quotes is from the third Road Warrior movie: Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome where Tina Turner says, “Death is listening.”

I often think of that quote especially during times, like the other day, when I read an article about how “we never really think about death.”

While that’s true for most people, I’m sure that most cyclists have had a thought or two about death especially when you are riding into the valley down a street which makes you merge with fast moving traffic.

While I don’t want to die, I’m OK, on paper, about myself dying right now due getting hit by car because I’d be doing the thing I love, the third funnest thing in the whole world. It’s nice to know that you have an opportunity to die living the way that you want.

Thus, when people talk about the supposed dangers of cycling, my eyes glaze over. I’d cycle even if it was dangerous which it is certainly not.

I think that the true dare devils of this world are the motorists. There are deaths on even the biggest vehicles and ironically some of the bigger trucks are most often more deadly.

Motorists are mostly oblivious, though I am very afraid when I ride in a motor vehicle. The fear is kind of fun, though, like riding an amusement park ride.

I, too, am becoming oblivious to fear and to death while I ride which is probably because I do the same ride daily.

This really scares me because I feel that fear keeps us safe like Vanderbuilt talks about in his brilliant _Traffic_. People who _feel_ safe are actually in the most danger because as the Zen monk says, “attention, attention, attention.” Fear makes us pay attention.

Every now and then I get into a scary place where I find myself passing on the left when people are really slow. Then I realize that I am totally insane and once again, I impatiently struggle to cultivate the best of mental powers: patience and discipline.


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