“Great writers supply us with the strengths to measure their weaknesses; but the latter are always there, to generate the air through which the dove flies, dreaming of freedom.” --Clive James, Cultural AmnesiaToday I give thanks to good st. olaf, who took it upon himself to make some sense of his life through cycling on behalf of all those deprived of the opportunity. oV’s blog seems to be informed by the awareness generated from ‘an inner light produced by all the aspects of life illuminating one another, in a honeycomb of understanding.’ The fruit of his endeavor is we have learned a lot about cycling and ourselves.
I'm just a-sharin' my thoughts here, that's all. ...and, they continually go under refinement
Though he had a questionable taste for road cycling, and an even more questionable taste for cyclocross, he did not withhold his attention when he discovered the party-like atmosphere of track racing. He loves it all, but is compelled to improve and continually test himself and the sport. For over two years, oV’s blog has relentlessly attacked the make-up of cycling to see what could be proven, discovered, discarded and created. With his prolific postings, oV laid down his creative impulses, forming high quality written product, not so bad for a seat of the pants kind of guy with a regular job and 100+ races a year to do. Using technology to have an advantage from the isolated world of the novelist, oV created a blog around which a community coalesced. oV led with a carnivorous curiosity and enthusiasm that only increased the variety of the cycling world, never diminishing.
If there's one thing i like to do ... it's attack. –OV 12.22.05
oV's blog was not a small task at all, but a big project, sewing together snippets of cycling and life with such a strong cohesive force that the blog became a living affirmation of a stream of passion that runs through all cyclists. It was this continuous stream we all tuned in for, looking for a drink of water, or simply to enjoy the shimmer and play. On July 24, 2007—the day Vino’s wine was found to be closer to brandy—93 comments were posted on Vanderhoot. Regulars were checking in and freaking out: “what did I miss” happening on this blog?! The blog had become part of the cycling community, as much an aspect of community and communication as it was a mechanism for. News itself. A daily confirmation. A sensation of the underlying force. That’s why I tuned in. It was not just me, there have been lots and lots of thirsty people.
Lunch rides have always been my favorites. –OV
Adding to the news and facts and sweaty details, oV wrote extended commentaries and stories that tenuously connected daily happenings with long-playing acts in the dramas of our lives. He tried to see how each part of life effected cycling, and one of the things suggested is that if you are to get everything you can out of the sport of cycling, you’ve got to pour everything you’ve got into it.
Me thinks I needs some lard in my beans, vegetarian or not. --OV
Un-sacredness. He will keep no shrine. The words stand for the process, and we don’t have to hold on to anything so tight that we forget someday we’ll be letting go. Even the blog can go. It wasn’t the point itself, it was evidence of the thing itself, smoke from the great fire. The embers still glow orange red. The play of passion is the conscience turning circles.
“The reason we go on thinking is because of a feeling. We have to keep that feeling pure if we can, and, if we ever lose it, try to get it back.” --Clive James, Cultural Amnesia
Mystery Blogger’s note: this is the first installment in a series of posts reflecting on Vanderhoot and his blog. If I quoted and borrowed from Clive James too much, I can’t help it because it is what I’m reading and I’m doing this on short notice. Plus, everything is in there. --Loftygoat