Posted by: ahallatt | August 13, 2009

The buzz of cycling

I haven't drawn Oscar's bike yet as I have to work out how his stumpy legs will reach the pedals

I haven't drawn Oscar's bike yet as I have to work out how his stumpy legs will reach the pedals

I love cycling. Not the lycra-clad competitive sort (I’m a wuss and my dorky bike attire only goes so far), but the freedom-of-exploration kind. You see a lot more by bike than by car and can easily stop when distracted by something of interest. Last week, I came across Brighton cemetery and took the time to wander through and read some of the tombstones. I encountered a fox in broad daylight and it was amazing to see it dash off over the crypts.

The fox was too quick for me to photograph it

The fox was too quick for me to photograph it

Cycling back from friends after a couple of glasses of wine is, as Alexi Sayle said “the nearest anyone comes to flying.” David Byrne also echos my feelings here

There’s a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you’re self-propelled and decide exactly where to go. If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn’t so easy in a car, and you can’t cover as much ground walking.

The physical sensation of gliding with the wind in your face is exhilarating. That automatic activity of pedalling when you have to be awake but not think too much, allows you to let subconscious thoughts bubble up and things seem to just sort themselves out. And the adrenaline wakes you up if you weren’t properly alert. If I’m commuting to work by bike, I’m fully awake by the time I get there, having dealt with a little bit of New York traffic en route.

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