Gideon’s Icarus All Road Bike is a Vessel to Experience Silence

Longtime readers might recognize this bike. I first documented it in 2015. Unfortunately, when our server crashed, we lost the images from 2015-2016, so when I had the opportunity to re-document it, I had to jump on the opportunity. The frame was built by Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames. It was designed to clear a 45mm 700c tire, and yes, those are quick-release axles! This bike was ahead of its time in terms of “gravel bikes” and it’s still alive and well, now rolling under my bud Gideon Tsang who bought it a little while back. Gideon is a good friend of mine, going on 10 years. He’s a spiritual person, a counselor, and as much of a sage individual as anyone I know. Check out this piece he wrote for the Radavist about riding bikes and embracing the silence only found on self-isolating rides…

Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.

― William S. Burroughs

I moved to Austin in 1999. Having grown up in the bustling metropolis of Toronto, a medium-sized, marginally trafficked city like Austin was a haven. Fast forward 18 years and I live in another cliched overcrowded urban populous.

For respite, I ride my bike. Only cyclists understand the therapeutic nature of long solo days in the saddle, with stretches of silence occasionally interrupted by the rustling wind and the mechanical click of a shifter followed by the gentle clunk of a derailleur.

I believe it was Woody Allen who said that “God is Silent. Now if man would only shut up.” For extended days to “shut up”, I take an annual pilgrimage to the Santa Fe National Forest, an hour north of Sante Fe. From US-84 you turn off onto a 13-mile dirt road that dead-ends into a Benedictine Monastery. In the calm of each late afternoon, I take my two-wheeled companion out to enjoy the sun’s slumber into the star-filled night. I climb up rolling hills that follow the Abiquiu river only to descend back down into the tranquil dusk.

Since silence is the point.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.

― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi