Monday, May 9, 2011

The Art of Wheeling

I was reading another blog recently, and the discussion steered briefly towards the notion of cycling as art. Certainly, one can capture images of wheels in motion, or reproduce them with a brush, but the act of turning pedals in and of itself was decried as less than art. Comparisons were made to various masters of French Impressionism, and that their work truly defined high art.

Naturally, the conversation turned to Coppi, Merckx, Hinault and other grandmasters of cycling, their vast talent and accomplishments on two wheels. Yet, the detractors could not be swayed. They refused to acknowledge the poetry in motion on a bicycle; the nearly indescribable feeling of becoming one with your machine, carving turns as a sculptor his clay or a painter his brushstroke.

It would appear these critics are either ignorant, or know something we don't. For me, and perhaps all of the FT3 cognoscenti, cycling IS art. It is the practice of meditation, the expression of our talents, fears and desires. It's a communal process as well as a solo endeavor.

Anyone watching Bambi and Xteric vie for pole position on a steep, rocky decent can see that. Those of us dropped by Cap'n and Rock God on a long climb have witnessed it. The survivors among us who've followed NoCar and B on their epic adventures has experienced it. And to the neophyte rider who mistimes his sprint for the town sign, Lars and NoHandle will give you lessons. I could go on, but I think you get the point. For the riders of FT3, all artisans in their own right, the act of maintaining, prepping, and throwing a leg over your steed is no less sacred than the artist standing up his easel, rolling out his canvas, mixing his oils, and laying down that first brushstroke. Cycling is art, and we are lifelong students, practitioners, teachers, mentors, and enthusiasts.

With that overture, I invite you to come practice your art tomorrow night. Mother Nature has dampened the ground a bit, and conditions will be exceptional (read, small turnout).

While I don't know one end of my road bike from the other, I can say watching the Giro is inspiring. Having lived and traveled in the mountains of Italy, I can say, some of those @#$%* hills are legit. Check out the ragazzo in the yellow jersey, could that be our Bambi, sans capelli?

I for ONE am IN!!


  1. Thank you Councilman for the stirring Call Out.
    I'll make it 3.

    I have to wonder why, B? If you have a working drivetrain what do you hope to gain?

  2. I like that C-man is waxing all poetic on the blog. He is good at that. Nice art finds as well. He must have been wandering the net looking for man cave art work.


  3. I only paint with my fingers, but I am in,


  4. back channel from bambi: He is out. He claims the trail conditions will be too good.

  5. Are there thermometers involved with his absence?

  6. Out, in Oregon for business.

    I'll be representing FT3 in the Folsom 'Behind the Bars' race on Sunday.

    In, for No-Car & Alissa event Saturday.

    C-Man - I think I have your riding / shop glasses from our last ride.

    Great call out - I feel like a genuine renaissance man.

  7. Thanks for the great write up! If there's space for me to carpool up to knot lot, see you at Mosquito.