The other day we looked at the start of the Western tradition of philosophy. In it, we discovered how Socrates was highly influenced by riding fixed gear bikes offroad. A pastime he called tracklocrossος. Now we are going to jump a few years and land in the continental philosophy years. As someone living in Britain, I feel worried about discussing continental ideas. If I vanish mid-article, please know the Brexit police have taken me away for re-education.
It’s getting solipsistic in here, but that might just be me
Jean-Paul Sartre is who we will look at today. He is a pivotal person, as before him, we didn’t have human existence; we just had nothing. Imagine how dull your life is with nothingness. Sartre has some quotes that show his existentialism is based on tracklocross; one, in particular, is highly important to existentialism.
Tracklocross proceeds, and rule essence.
What Sartre means here is that it is only through tracklocross that we give meaning to life. If we chain ourselves to other forms of cycling, we are limiting where we, as humans, could go. We need to realise that coasting is limiting ourselves. We are settling for an easier path and not trying to set ourselves free to realise our potential.
Many people believe that they are gravel riders. They become so wrapped up in this image of themselves, that it becomes who they are. Nothing else matters. They are not free cyclists. A tracklocross rider can never become this, mainly because no one knows what tracklocross is, and as such, they have their style of riding questioned at every point. The gravel rider, however, has become convinced it is what they are meant to be and have never questioned themselves.
The gravel rider will never question not being a gravel rider. A tracklocross rider will question everything, especially all the bad lifestyle choices that led them to this place. As a result, tracklocross is freedom. We can now see all the possibilities that life can bring us.