What I learnt from getting a bicycle
I haven't picked up a bicycle since I was about 9. Apart from that moment of humiliation - i mean courage - in Nice last autumn. But circumstances have led me to get one in Ibiza, and I must share with you all the deets. The experience of being me, on a bicycle, in Ibiza.
As an adult, I am full of wonder at what I've learnt in my short span as a biker (yes, I am calling myself a biker now).
1. A path, any path, is so f-g beautiful. I'm seeing, hearing, smelling things I didn't know I was missing. Like trees. And birds. And flowers
2. Cyling is the best form of meditation. Because I have to be focused on the road, and there is no sound coming from my vehicle: just the birds and the trees moving with the wind. I can really disconnect.
3. Solitude. Because I don't drive cars, I've never known what it's like to be on the road alone. To get lost. To just ride by yourself. It's amazing! And I wish I had done it sooner. London just does not lend itself to these experiences.
4. Cycling has given me a glance inside a man's community, and it is fascinating.
Because bikes are predominantly a guy's thing, it's full of men and I constantly find myself running into them, having conversations with them. It's so organised and straightforward. Life from this perspective feels like a set of instructions.
Women's activities are so chaotic next to these. You never know what's going on. A man's activity is so easy to follow, it makes you feel very safe, it's a completely different kind of energy, one that's very stable and focused on one thing at a time. It's hard to describe but it's an incredible difference that I had never seen so clearly because I never formed part of it.
In art, even though most people are also men, it's a very different kind of man, one that generally dresses in pretty jackets and does not dip into any form of sport other than cocaine and occasional swimming in St Tropez. It's a man who's bound too by the slap of the hurricane that is female, artistic energy.
4. I feel like a total adventuress when I get to a destination: An oasis at the end of the road. An oasis with shandys and stuff
5. And every step of the way there is a milestone
6. A bicycle is the best vehicle to get a nice suntan
7. There is nothing you crave more, after a two hour ride, than alioli with bread
Or grilled chicken
Or a pisco sour
Basically I get hungry, and I need a drink.
8. I love dressing like a cute biker
Shorts are the perfect biker outfit
Heeled sandals? Not so much but I try.
9. I notice the little signs in the road. (Especially the ones directed at bikers)
11. I make friends everywhere I go
No, but really. Somehow, being outside, exposed, one with the environment, makes you more social. If anything, I constantly need aid. Parking the bike, running into and over people with the bike...etc
12. Going to get a pedicure on the bicycle is not so farfetched
13. I can also go shopping for shoes on the bicycle. Which leads me to
14. I can carry so much stuff! I might be over indulging myself and my hoarder tendencies here, but I have found that in the double pouch behind my bike I can fit several notebooks, a spare cap, a change of shoes and clothes and even my chanel Jumbo. Moreover, the handles are great to sling shopping bags or dry cleaner bags. Who knows what I could carry if I had a basket too!
15. I have a new found love for my leather biker jacket that I haven't used for years. Because you know what it's perfect for? Biking.
16. Riding a bicycle in a mini bodycon dress is probably the most uncomfortable thing I have ever experienced and I won't be doing it again
17. Women never let me through. When the street is 4 metres wide , why are you walking straight towards me making me get off the bike? Men don't display such hostility, they show manners. Women, it's like they have something against you.
My theory is that women are so scared to engage with other women, that acknowledging me is already difficult, and when they do see me they'd rather make my life harder than help me out. For some reason, the instinct of women in Europe is to make life difficult for other women, I observe this daily. The reaction of moving to one side to let the other person through, is very difficult to women. It's like it's humiliating to them. Like no, you didn't do anything to deserve my generosity of sharing the pavement. It's a mindfuck. It's holding us back. It makes simple acts so hard
18. An italian cornetto is only 10 minutes away on the bike
19. I'm more attracted to pages than to phones. The more you involve yourself outside, the less you want to deal with screens
20. Finally. The ideal Biker Outfit consists of
- Either shorts, or jeans. Because you need to straddle. Honestly, I'd rather get my legs dirty than my jeans: my jeans are covered in wheel marks right now. But to each their own. You could always go for dark jeans and have them be dirty in secret.
- A leather biker jacket. Great windbreaker, all-weather-ready coverup in case it gets chilly when you need to ride back, and short so it doesn't interfere with your legs. Perfection.
Happy Sunday everyone x