Tuesday, April 25, 2006


As I've mentioned before, the Aerostich folks put out a great catalog. Their focus is gear for motorcycle adventures but a lot of gear in their catalog also comes in handy for human powered adventures as well. But the great thing about their print catalog is that it isn't just a listing of shiny dodads and geegaws, they intersperse the product descriptions and pictures with quotes from folks who actually go out and do stuff. Their latest catalog has quotes from such bike people as Grant Petersen and Maynard Hershon but my favorite quote is this one from Sterling Hayden:

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest... "I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are emmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine. And before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need, really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in -- and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all, in a material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

- Sterling Hayden, Voyage, 1976 (Thanks Doug Hackney)

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