It’s been a good year… for blogging

December 31, 2011

Prior to joining twitter and starting to post here I became a regular visitor and sometime contributor to the clinic, over on cyclingnews.com and hence my outlook was dangerously skewed towards the effect doping was continuing to have on both professional and amateur road racing. However, over the past year I have written about music, about depression, and most recently about my own cycling efforts and ambitions.

I started this blog for two reasons:

  1. to learn how to use Twitter and WordPress to reach an audience; and
  2. to contribute to online discussion of cycling.

I wonder how I did? Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Bicycle racing, doping and crucifixion: Alfred Jarry revisited

September 19, 2011

The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race

When Alfred Jarry wrote his interpretation of Jesus’ crucifixion it must have seemed a neat metaphor: the self-imposed yet stage-managed torture of the hill-climb is an apposite image to evoke self-sacrifice. Jarry also accentuates the technical and media-saturated aspect of this crucifixion: the crown of thorns becomes an advert for a puncture proof tire.

Of course, what with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Lloyd-Webber, the representation and artistic co-option of religious themes has become so commonplace as to evoke ennui; although of course some can still get overheated by a Piss Christ or Jerry Springer the Opera. As the juggernaut reaches ever closer to Armstrong and his cohorts and facilitators we seem to desire a quasi-religious cleansing (or stoning). Jarry’s essay serves to remind us that we should recognise the absurdity of such reactions, their atavism. Cheats and dopers deserve to be punished. But we deserve the same (oh, yes) if we don’t recognise our own complicity in this spectacle of the absurd.

For an antidote visit the wonderful world of Rainer Ganahl, such as this gem of mountain performance (with cowbells): The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race or I wanna be Alfred Jarry, 1903 / 2011 or if you don’t have 16 minutes, ALFRED JARRY’S CALL OF NATURE.


Percy Stallard and Beryl Burton: bikes to remember them by

April 17, 2011

I am off the bike at the moment due to post-viral syndrome: hence, by car, a visit to the 10th Annual Classic Bike Display, in Shelf, West Yorks today. The show was put on by the Bygone Bykes Club, and included a short ride (not for me, sadly) on period bikes, around the British League of Racing Cyclists’ ‘Beacon Grand Prix’ circuit.

The centrepiece was a lovely Percy Stallard mass start road bike:

Percy Stallard massed start road bike

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: