A pride of bicycles (Part III)

Every day I see outbursts of rage on the road. A pedestrian bellowing at a cyclist for running a red light. A concrete mixer truck weaving in and out of lanes, leaving fist-waving cyclists in its wake. All the while, motorbikes farting angrily. The thing that disturbs me is how easily I slip into a rage as well. It’s like the river of slime beneath the city in Ghostbusters II – a corrosive pink sludge rushing through the abandoned railways stations of my brain. I swear a lot. I behave as though the road is some kind of virtual world where what I do doesn’t reflect on who I really am.

Aron Wiesenfeldby Aron Wiesenfeld via CGUNIT

I don’t think about much when I’m riding along, other than the importance of staying alive. But the other day when I was riding along I had this sudden memory of lying on a trampoline at my first house in Te Kūiti watching thistledown (we called it fairies) speeding through the air. There were always fairies in the air. I could smell the memory: the plasticky burn of the mat and rusted metal on the springs. I remembered the howl of the five o’clock siren, and the neighbourhood dogs. Then the memory went away and I was back on the road pedalling hard to keep ahead of the double-decker bearing down on me. I don’t know why that memory turned up. Instead of falling into the rage river I fell into the past instead.

Charley Chase rides a tightropeCharley Chase rides a bike (via Rides a Bike)

Last week a cyclist got hit just down the road from my place. My friend Charlotte, who’s a doctor, was walking past on her way to the supermarket and saw a circle of silent people standing around him, with one woman trying to help the guy. No one seemed to know what to do so she stopped to help. The cyclist was a guy in maybe his thirties. He had blood coming out of his ear but was conscious. When an ambulance arrived, the officers saw the blood and said the cyclist’s prospects were bad.

Ronald Searle cat

Ronald Searle’s cat via Animalarium

Maybe in a city it’s wise to remain in your own world as far as possible. I like how Ronald Searle’s cat is oblivious to all the garbage hidden under the flowers. But then I think, actually the cat is part of the problem. Why doesn’t the cat open its eyes and pick up some of the rubbish?

Ronald Searle's hep cat

via Wombatbiker

If reincarnation is possible, I would like to choose my next life. I’d choose to be a fat cat with a gramophone. Or, failing that, someone like Brian Jones.

Brian Jones rides a bike

Brian Jones (via Rides a Bike)

I go to a gym, and often I go to spinning classes. There’s a woman I always see there. She’s slender in a sort of grew-up-in-the-country way and has brown frizzy hair that she always wears loose. She wears a baggy t-shirt and baggy grey trackpants, an outfit that makes her stand out from the other gym-goers, most of whom have nice leggings and colourful sleeveless tops. The crucial thing at the gym is the bagginess/tightness quotient – she’s baggy all over, whereas everyone else is either baggy/tight or tight/tight. The woman’s hair frizzes all over her face and eventually becomes very sweaty, and wilts. Sometimes she stops pedalling and gazes up at the ceiling. Then she lolls her head around and pushes her hair back luxuriously and smiles, with her eyes closed. I have never seen anyone look so happy in a Spin class.

Weekly Classic '21

via Chicks and Bikes (and no, it’s not safe for work)

About ashleighlou

Person, usually on bike
This entry was posted in bicycles, Happiness or not. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A pride of bicycles (Part III)

  1. Oshada says:

    Nice article! I found out I am the reincarnation of Brian Jones funnily enough. Born 1991. Hope you’re ok.



  2. Oshada says:

    Sorry, I’m not really sure about the above comment. Just forget what I said. Wishing you all the best!



  3. Oshada says:

    I probably have to admit that I think I am the reincarnation of John Belushi. I think I watched him on television when I was younger (not too young) and sort of panicked like I knew I was him. I was staring at my former self. Then I just ignored it and refused to believe it. Then I had a mental collapse and wasted my whole life without knowing. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was doing and saying a load of stupid things, especially in secondary school (not drugs or alcohol related). One of the first films I ever watched was Mrs. Doubtfire when I was really young and I knew immediately who Robin Williams was like a friend. I also knew who Robert De Niro was like a friend. I should have just trusted myself. It just took me way too long to convince myself that I was right all along. Now I don’t really know what to do with myself. Anyways, peace to you and your family and everyone around you!



  4. Oshada says:

    Nah, I’m not


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