Thursday, 26 August 2010

On the Road

When Kerouac wrote On the Road in '50s, he neither knew that he would send millions of people to the road, nor was aware that his own restlessness would give inspiration to those who want to share the same feeling even if they hadn't had it. He was either driving, or hitchiking; staying in random places for weeks, falling in love there... Then he was on the road again. But he never cycled. He even didn't mention cycling. It is for sure that cycling around the US would be really avant-garde in 1950s, but what he did was already 'cool' for that time.

Cycling is not like driving in many ways. You can't listen to music, naturally you can't smoke. You can't have a chat with your companion unless you don't stop. You're just alone there and you have to concentrate on what you're doing. Otherwise you would fall as I did today. However, what we are doing is possibly the same as what Kerouac did back then. Sending ourselves on the road, feeling every inch of asphalt, smoking gas of passing cars, slowing down by wind and soaking wet when it rains. Is it misery? Was hitchiking misery for Kerouac? I don't think so... 

I remember about our enthusiastic plan with Olgar in the 7th grade in high school. We were supposed to cycle from Istanbul to Antalya; approximately the same distance as Edinburgh to London. After three days of non-stop pedalling now, I must admit that the original plan was nothing but a wishful thinking. It is not just because we were young, but also we definitely lacked the determination, which is required to accomplish such a task. But now, here we are in the UK, sent ourselves on the road. 

We didn't have a 'great war', nor a 'great depression' as Palahniuk said when he was playing with the so called 'happy people' of middle class. We just happen to be a potential members of the future middle class. Or, somehow we already are. But, what we're doing here is not something like we will do when we're gonna face a midlife crisis. What we're doing here is not letting our professions, responsibilities or duties take away what we planned when we were in the 7th grade. Kerouac gave us the inspiration to 'feel' the road, I hope our experience will do the same.

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