Ever eaten a bear? Raced your bike through a strange Austrian’s apartment? This issue tries both – as well as wild adventuring, philosophical questioning and simple championing of the bicycle as a tool for social change. There’s poetic intimacy and inappropriate underwear, mind–body wrangling and pioneering bravado on a bike held together with string. But the chain that drives all this is the humanity of the riders and the pure, instinctive fun that bicycles bring.
Flann O’Brien puts it well in The Third Policeman: “How can I convey the perfection of my comfort on the bicycle, the completeness of my union with her, the sweet responses she gave me at every particle of her frame?… She moved beneath me with agile sympathy in a swift, airy stride, finding smooth ways among the stony tracks, swaying and bending skilfully to match my changing attitudes, even accommodating her left pedal patiently to the awkward working of my wooden leg.”
Buccaneers though we may be, Team Boneshaker lacks a wooden leg. But the rest of Flann’s flow rings true in our ears. The other day we headed out on an Audax through freezing fog and ancient villages, and found just that agile sympathy, those smooth ways among stony tracks. Calmed by the pedals’ perfect revolutions, the world draws closer. The body is poised and pulsing, the mind is free to wander where it will, the senses alive to the land as it tumbles by.
Welcome to issue #8!