Pacini-Ketchabaw, Kind and Kocher (2017) write of encounter as “a moment of meeting, where things and forces and human and non-human beings come together in spaces of difference. In this meeting”, they say, “we decide how to respond-whether to follow, join with, intervene, provoke, perhaps work against. Something is set in motion in this encounter” (p. 34). We live in a juxtaposition, a contradiction, when it comes to our encounters with the bike jumps of Haro Woods. The large mounds of compacted soil draw us in with our desire to climb, slide and challenge our bodies. But they push us away too. We discover they are created from dug up soil resulting in exposed and cut tree roots, erosion, disrupted worms and suffocating moss, lichen and wood bugs found on sticks and logs buried to support the form. One day we enter the forest ready to climb and ‘play’, the next we are armed with shovels and a wheelbarrowto deconstruct, rebury roots, ‘rescue’ the more-than-human-others. This continuous, non-linear tug-o-war leaves us both overjoyed and saddened by the jumps. These encounters are messy and disruptive—for bikers, more-than-human-forest-others and ourselves. Cohabitating in these contact zones —these juxtapositions, these contradictions—require us to “grapple” with the “sticky knots” (Haraway, 2008) that thrown together differences often produce.
Bike jump pedagogies ask us, can we begin to understand what it means to care, how to care and be care(full), with(in) not only bike jump encounters but all encounters, by continuing to look for those interdependent, interconnected, messy moments that bind us together?
Haraway, D. (2008). When species meet. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved from http://projectlamar.com/media/harrawayspecies.pdf
Pacini-Ketchabaw V., & Kind, S., Kocher L. (2017). Encounters with materials in early childhood education. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.