Damo the computer guy at work has added me to the list of teachers who have access to YouTube at school, so I probably could've done version of La Musique Mercredi (which I just refer to as "Music Wednesdays" in public) one myself. But I'd already lined up Teagan-Jane, and hell, both her rants and her music selections are so rad that I had to use them regardless. So here they are.
I doubt I could even count the number of perfectly composed, slender secretaries who’ve looked past my outrageously dishevelled, sweaty, actually filthy-from-riding-the-road-all-day Self while I’m working to say kinda wistfully, not even pretending to look at the delivery they’re signing for, something like ‘I bet you get to eat whatever you want hey..’ and I’m like errrr yeah I guess I mean I had ice-cream for dinner and doughnuts for breakfast but have you seen my hair it actually looks like I found a piece of 7 week old road kill and decided to rock it as a hat.
Point being, athleticism is perceived as so important and beneficial for us on both an individual/health level and collectively as a social medium towards xyz. Healthy body healthy brain/soul, I get all that and honestly couldn’t agree more. And hey you get to eat like a human and still feel/look like a ninja which (can't speak for a male perspective) for women is a pretty big plus, considering the perpetual and inescapable bombardment you cop from media and society in general informing you of how utterly paramount your physical image is to your intrinsic worth as a human being. So now you’ve got this bike between your legs and it’s not only ridiculously fun to ride and race and the endorphins are throwing a party across your cranium but more than that, suddenly you’re allowed to be strong and fit and fast and it’s deemed sexy as hell apparently so you’re insulated from the societal onslaught of incessant ‘inadequacy.’ Problem is if the bike becomes a mere tool to maintain this strength, this physique, this alternate aesthetic reality, you might be safe from the afore-mentioned bombardment but does your body not become some kind of machine requiring constant improvement, supplementation, augmentation, progress? In perceiving our bodies first and foremost as machines we need to ‘work on’, don’t we become so sadly estranged from them, like athletic absent centres dissociated from our own skin?
So I’ve recently ventured out into the raucous tumult of competitive cycling. I’ve fallen head over heels for track and I’ve got some pretty big dreams and only half my twenties left to pursue them. I’m looking in the mirror and I’m seeing a machine that I could ‘work on’ to get where I want to go, and that’s fine, but that’s not where I came from and I figure if you forget where something started then you’re like a kite with no string and you’re going to crash into shit whether you want to admit it or not. So I was thinking about what cycling really is to me, underneath all that sensible (that doesn’t mean unimportant or un-real) talk, which quite possibly sounds like an utterly inane question to ask but it’s a good reason to not work on my thesis for five minutes and let’s face it right now I’ll take any excuse I can get.
So you know that feeling when you’re crying a raging river I mean you’re blubbering like such a fucking fool it doesn’t even cross your mind to attempt to maintain a semblance, even a shred, of composure or dignity because in that moment those words don’t mean shit and those ideas have entirely ceased to exist? Well that moment, that intensity, that almost excruciating drowning in pure sensory awareness, now subtract the sadness of this picture and THAT, that drowning in just feeling alive, man, that is what cycling is about.
It’s about piss-bolting home or between parties at 4am jumping gutters blasting jawbreaker screaming your lifelust like your legs are screaming go while the wind whips your hair up your nose and stings your eyeballs and right then you’re flying right the world might be full of friction, contradiction and rules but you’re a lupine-engine in the shape of a Trojan battle-sword bathed in dragon tears and everything’s yours, nothing can stop you and no one can touch you or hurt you or hell even SEE you and while all your earthly woes dissipate in the insane simplicity of flight everything’s somehow more real and red and raw than you could ever wrap a pen around because you’re moving faster than your own heart and lighter than anyone else’s man you’re howling at the asphalt under a Fat Black Moon and all that you understand is the air you’re breaking with your face as you vaguely try to remember to maybe pay the slightest attention to avoiding decking yourself on tram tracks or cutting the next corner too close to that gnarly looking bouncer at the pub down your street who glares at you every time like he’s pissed at the idea a single human could possibly be having THAT much fun on something as simple as a two-wheeled hunk of junk.
Mate... this is escape. Escape from the mundane horror of the Everyday.
This is tying the race-face back to the thought where it all started, not fitness not image not health not progress or how pro your socks look.. not even competition-dreams: Just ‘riding bikes makes me inexplicably happy and thank fuck at least one thing on this planet is that. deliciously. simple.’