Here’s my article on Greek Stoicism and the Self Sufficiency of Puncture Repair for Boneshaker Magazine.
You can pledge for the crowdfunding Boneshaker book project “Mind is the Ride” about my 4000 mile bicycle journey from Western to Eastern Philosophy here:
My book “Mind is the Ride” in association with Boneshaker Magazine is crowdfunding now!
PLEDGE HERE AT UNBOUND
The Video for the crowdfunding pitch is being made by my friend Ben. We’ve got roll along shots with his camera attached to the chainstay of his bike while I rumble down the hills. We’ve got overhead drone shots in the mist and fog. We’ve got shots of me doing my best, talking-to-camera look, in a bike workshop. All we need now is Ben’s video editing skills and a bit of techno chicanery and the video should soon be up on Unbound
Keep you posted. In the meantime check out the details on the project below and do fill in the contact form if you’d like to be updated.
I’m excited to be writing a new book called “Mind is the Ride.”
It’s an adventure through Philosophy and Cycling based around my year long bike ride from Bristol to India. The book will be published by a bold new publisher called “Unbound” who raise part of the costs through crowdfunding. Unbound have already published some remarkable titles including the Booker nominated “The Wake” by Paul Kingsnorth and are currently funding a title by Bella Bathurst who wrote the excellent “Bicycle Book.”
There’s more information on how it all works at Unbound…
The project is a joint venture with Boneshaker magazine who I’ve been writing with for sixteen issues.
We’re hoping to start the crowdfunding process sometime in November and I’ll be keeping everyone up to date on progress with blog posts etc.
Please get in touch if you want to know more about the project or get involved.
Bring. Bring. (Copyright Bike Bell Sound). Let’s pedal.
Some thoughts on watching hundreds of naked cyclists go by on a “World Naked Bike Ride” ;
I love bikes. I love people, mostly. I love bodies, mostly. Naked bodies on bikes. Tops. Mostly.
I’ve always thought of bikes being an extension of bodies. Those posters of apes evolving into humanoids and then humanoids evolving into bicycle riders aren’t just funny, they’re true. Those two wheels are the fifth and sixth limbs of man and woman and seeing hundreds of naked people cycle round a city centre on a hot saturday afternoon was fruity social biology. I love the way that the flab and cellulite flaps and bops and wobbles with an endless variety that is mimicked by the endless spectrum of fancy dress bicycles.
Humans used to be hairy apes, then they became less hairy cyclists, and soon all the hair and skin will go and we’ll just be skeletons riding around on bikes. And everyone will see that the bike frame is just the bones of the body elaborated. And soon enough the bike bones and body bones will mingle and we’ll all be wheeling along like Chorlton and the Wheelies (1970s “kids” programme about the surreal unicyclist creatures fight against a kettle witch.)
What I don’t like about naked bike rides are some of the fully clothed responses. The bald guy with a pint outside the roadside pub laughing and pointing at the genitalia rolling by.
Your bald head looks like genitalia. But I don’t point.
I’m stripping off my lycra.
I’m riding to the beach.
I’m cycling off the pier edge.
I’m cycling the sea bed.
To meet my starfish friends.
The bald headed guy can sit on his deck chair sinking cans of Tenants.
I know where the fun is.
With the seaweed and the bike bells and the bums.
Cycling back to the reptiles.
Revolving back through evolution.
To meet my naked friends.
Everytime I lean my heavy touring bicycle against the inverted “U” of a municipal bike stand it invariably topples over. The toppled bike then topples the bike on the other side of the bike stand. There then follows a very British internal monologue that runs along the lines of:
“OK Lets pick their bike up.”
“I hope they’re not watching. They’ll think I’ve deliberately knocked it over.”
“They’ll probably think I’m trying to nick it. To replace my ridiculously heavy touring bike.”
“They’ll probably come out now and hit me with a saucepan cos I’ve made a microscratch on their classy Italian spray job while I’m trying to nick it.”
The solution to all this neuroticism and to bicycles, toppled like drunks, is magnetic bike stands and magnetic bikes.
If we can magnetise fridge magnets and the bodies in MRI scanners why can’t we magnetise bikes; the bike stand one polarity, the bike frame the opposite flavour? That way we get a bit of tactile adhesion before the lock is applied. That way my ridiculously heavy tourer won’t slide over when bumped by a shopper with a weeks load of groceries or a bad boy doing a pimp roll too near to the urban cycleways.
But no. No one wants to magnetise bikes. No one wants to put them in an electromagnetic tunnel and connect it to the mains. No one wants to make bicycles stick to the railings and the lamposts like hungry clinging flies. Fools.
There is a sign for a motorway service station on the M5 between Bristol and Gloucester that reads “now fully open”. And this fills me with regret. Regret that I have never been to the motorway service station on the M5 between Bristol and Gloucester “now half fully open.” In fitful dreams, yanking back the linen of the dawn, I go to that place “now half fully open”, between junctions 13 and 14, junction 13.5, slipping down the sliproad like a rabbit down a hole. In this place, “now half fully open,” burger chefs are flipping patties of meat not yet cooked, UFOs of bloody mince, hang in the air, unsizzled. The cutlery is not yet stamped out from its blocks of industrial plastic. The carpet not yet laid, the lino untacked and undisguised. The plastic ketchup and brown sauce bottles are translucent, ungutpunched, unfingerprinted, like the hourglass waists of glamour models yet to be squeezed. And there is nothing in the gift shop. Nothing. Except a tea towel of Gloucester cathedral, a cathedral with no roof, just the timber struts of medieval labourers and a wide open sky.