Today we left Mishiwaka, Indiana and rode through the University of Notre Dame to get to Knox, Indiana. I’ve always wanted to see the home of the Fighting Irish, so I’m glad that I got to see it, even if only for a short while. I did get lost in there, though, because the GPS was being silly (by the way, we are currently searching for a name for our GPS. Comment with suggestions and we’ll choose the best one!). The day was hot, out of control hot. We tried to get an early start but the slow-up in Notre Dame basically guaranteed that we’d get stuck riding during the hottest part of the day.
Around noon, after riding for about three hours and nearing our destination, Thomas noticed that the road we were supposed to be on disappeared off the GPS and then reappeared farther south. He figured that just meant that the road was a dirt road, and thus he offered to give me a five mile break, knowing how much I hate riding on dirt roads due to the serious energy depletion and wrist pain that I suffer on dirt roads.
As we approached the Bermuda Triangle, we realized that it disappears off the GPS because we were heading onto a private farm road. The entrance to the road had a sign that said, if my memory serves me correctly (and it definitely does), “Keep Out.” But we’re from Massachusetts and we do whatever we want. Down the road there were some piles of bricks that my poor car (my car’s name is Cale, by the way) bottomed out on. Then we ran into some mud that Thomas got the bike stuck in, again and again. Then we found out that the private farm road ends… and we had to turn around… in the burning hot… and the increasing winds. Turning around we ran into some trouble getting the car back over the pile of bricks. And when I say, “some trouble,” I mean that it took us twenty or so minutes to push and pull the car, with smoking tires and dirt and brick fragments spitting everywhere, through the path. For awhile there I really thought we were going to be stuck in some farmer’s private road and we were going to get arrested and this trip would have a rather embarrassing end. We did see the farmer out harvesting some crops out in the field and he could probably see us destroying us his little road. We got a lot of good video of the whole experience. Unfortunately we did ruin the farmer’s road…
Still, I am proud to be a Masshole. To me, Masshole is a compliment. The word generally refers to Massachusetts drivers that cut off people from other states (that don’t know how to drive). Here’s the thing: we’re called Massholes by other states because they really don’t know how to drive, and then they get mad at us for trying to show them how to drive better. Similarly, we may often do stupid things and people get mad at us, but hey, we’re from Massachusetts and we know that life is about having fun adventures, and that’s why we do whatever want (within reason, obviously).
I’m also proud to be Masshole now because of the bill that is going through our State Congress to improve the regulations against human trafficking in our state. Thinking about that, I’ve decided to name Thomas’s mountain bike Lycurgus. Lycurgus was the great law-giver of the Greek city-state Sparta. I was going to name the bike Leonidas, but most historians believe that he killed some people to be one of the half-kings (Sparta was ruled by two kings with equal power). Instead I went with Lycurgus, who, as far as we know, was an upstanding citizen. Sparta’s foundation throughout most of its exalted history was given to it by Lycurgus’ primitive but far-sighted laws.
With Thomas’s bike having a new name, I think about Lycurgus and the importance of good laws. Though I am an anarchist, as long as we have a government we need to use it appropriately. Having good laws and then enforcing them is a must if we are going to stop human trafficking. So folks, it’s up to you. Political representatives, though they may seem aloof, really do react if they are flooded with letters and requests to respond to a certain issue. Let’s do that, then, eh? Write to your political representatives, call them, annoy them, do whatever is necessary to make sure that they know they won’t be re-elected if they don’t push hard for better human trafficking regulations. That’s how Massachusetts got it done. But there’s always improvement that we can push for.