Author Topic: The Joy of Cycling


The Joy of Cycling
« on: February 14, 2013 »
I'm here today to tell you about the joy of cycling. Perhaps you think you've experienced it, but I want you to ask yourself: have you really? While most cyclists I know may be fully versed in Freud's pleasure principle, whereby they will try to avoid pain and suffering (e.g., getting hit by something bigger than them, heading out into driving wind and rain, dodging Clarksonisms) in order to satisfy those biological and psychological needs not met by noncycling activities, their actual pleasure seeking often seems to be short-circuited by an urge to take it all a bit too seriously.

The evidence is everywhere: enthusiast magazines graced by grim-faced road warriors; the actual grim-faced road warriors we run into an a daily basis who aren't on a photo shoot; online watering holes given over to the vented spleen; blood feuds between the helmeted and the bare; blogs all worthy and no whimsy; that voice in your head that's even now as you're reading this telling you to tell me that life on a pushbike is a serious business and I had better start taking it seriously.

I understand. 15 years dodging urban motorised mayhem doesn't tend to make one prone to bouts of cheerfulness. And yet, at some point in my self-propelled education I was overtaken by Pollyanna and decided to try and keep up. My attitude adjustment was brought on by a growing appreciation that cyclists take first chair in the orchestra of the road.

Granted, somebody needs to tell the other traffic. That's not my job.

When conducting an ode to joy it helps to remove your hands from the handlebars. Don't try this on the High Street. Don't try it at all if you think it's going to end in a trip to A&E. But if you're feeling confident, just do it: let go. See how good that feels? How it turns the bike into a time machine transporting you to when you were just starting to learn what was possible? How that next level of freewheeling ratchets up your expectations of pleasure and leaves you wanting more? OK, you can stop now, we're making a turn onto the Boulevard of Desire and you wouldn't want to fall off.

Now have a look down at that sexy beast you're riding. It doesn't matter how new it is, or what model. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, what's important is that this steed [use of 'steed' not optional] is yours, the one that would glide up to you at a whistle if this post was being written in an old western, Brooks saddle optional. Chances are you chose it with some care, after consulting your muse. As you've spent quality time together you've grown tolerant of its foibles or taken it to surgery when necessary. You groom it, at least for company. You would almost certainly die a little inside if it were stolen.

Of course it's not all about the bike, though a cyclist without wheels is, plainly, a pedestrian. We ride bikes because that's the way we roll, in perpetual pursuit of that place where DIY intersects with the sublime and finding it often enough to make it worth the thorns in our path. Quite simply, moving helps us feel the earth move.

Joy takes many forms. It may be exploring idyllic country lanes with your GPS turned on or left at home under a couch cushion, faithfully triangulated by satellites. It may be dancing on those pedals all night long accompanied by friends and other joy-riders shapeshifting in the magic light of a full moon. It may be cake, guilt-free. It may be personal best numbers on a computer, the roar of the wind replaced by the roar of the crowd, tutting about Lance over tea with Bradley in a post-race daydream. It may even be diving into the adrenaline rush of city traffic, restlessly searching for the path of least resistance.

Give yourself permission to be a hedonist now and then. Infect the world with your smile. Wave cheerily to Jeremy the next time you pass him stuck in traffic. Tell him you've found your J-spot.


The Joy of Posting
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019 »
Dear Reader,

Here's a blast from the past to set the mood. I’ll wait.
Is that clock actually ticking?

Now a screenshot from the admin section of this site:

1. Been there, done that.
2. A state of equilibrium has been reached.
3. Redefining site stickiness.
4. These numbers are a little wonky, unless the stats facility is rounding down.
5. This is me.
6. This is he.
7. aka 1-2-3
8. Also been there done that. I don't recommend it.

This isn’t a mean and sheam exercise, and not just because we have no prawneds (belated anagram alert). It's an illustration of the reality I face every time I decide to post.

As an inveterate forum talent scout, it used to frustrate me that I couldn’t scoop people up and deposit them into clearly classier digs; and that those who had crossed the road seemed inexplicably to be unwilling to settle in. But there’s nothing baffling about choosing to spend your time where you can rub shoulders with fewer crickets: with actual friends, even.

What can happen when you google crustacean rather than frustration

I use social media primarily to help me indulge my passion for playing with words and pictures. One example is Please stay, where the observant will note that care has been taken to establish a visual theme

even as this post continues another.

I’m no friend to amoral data hungry beasts whose only interest in me is my resale value. ‘Instagram influencer’ of any rank will never be on my CV. I don't even Strava. My credentials as an anomalous social media specimen are rounded out by distaste for the cheap baubles of smileys and likes, as well as an (antisocial?) aversion to happymemes (unless it's one of mine, of course). This grouch isn't entirely a figment of my imagination. You get the picture. is probably the best fit. Such a pity that way leads to the writers conclave witches coven – or so I imagine is the chilling end of Followers.

This Simple Machines Forum is a typewriter in a room of my own. It has a panopticonic view. Next time you pass by, if you see me waving, I’m not drowning but stretching.

Sam the singularity

Darlings killed ____