I never liked this apple much

If this post seems erratic and dysfunctional (and a bit long), I am sorry – but I am in a hella good mood! Because I am officially, or at least soon to be, back on my bike! (cue: fozzie bear noise) And, thanks to the magic of codeine, I can now walk across my room. Although I feel kind of fozzie when I do so.

This may or may not have bearing on your life, if only in one small way which is that – if I don’t ride it, I can’t write it. This blog I mean.

And I haven’t been riding lately, because there has been something wrong with my knee, or at least the ones I’m using for riding these days.

And dammit, there’s stuff in the pipes in the works in the jerks and the jams, but I have had major blog blockage.

What appears above is a crazy montage in no particular order, of the paint job extravaganza that Dale Gambler Beuermann from Gambler Body Designs hooked me up with recently on my new bike. Now, this was a leap of faith for me, probably as much as Dale. I’m pretty sure Dale works with more dudely customers than me normally, customers who like flames and black and red and tough skulls etc. For me, never, in my life would I have considered myself to be a person who would purchase such services either. I mean, what the hell am I going to get custom bodywork for?

Meh.

My bike.

Who knew?

On one hand, this seemed like an utter extravagance, and probably it kind of was. But you know what, I’ve always kind of hated the idea of carrying someone else’s branding around on my bike, just because that’s how bikes get sold. So with Jana, we just got all that stuff off, and painted over her in a neutral cream. Mick Peel from Busyman, recovered my saddle and that was this lovely process of having something nice and handmade adorn something I loved. This time, I decided to go for paint. Both as an experiment and an experience. And what an experience it was.

Firstly, it was way less intimidating than I thought it would be. Dale was lovely. And keen to try something different, having ridden BMX competitively, he was into bikes and into paint and so we seemed to get along fine. He was into my brief – “please make my bike look like my room” and even convinced me on some extra sweet details (cue wood grain blog writing and gold leaf HRH headbadge) which I would never have thought of since my primary aesthetic seems to be plain and matching. Really, not the most original of looks, so I’m grateful for the creative input.

Painting your own bike can be done, but I am not the person to do it, and I certainly wouldn’t have done such a sweet job. From the sidelines, however, receiving a text message every couple of hours seeing the bike emerge from pretty boring blue to woah nelly green, cream and woodgrain was like a reverse strip tease – put it on, baby, yeah, put it on!

I have never in my life owned something as pretty, nor have I had the chance to input into its creative generation. I didn’t do it on my own, no where no how, I had suggestions from Miyagi’s and poached ideas from other fine bike builders, it’s a remix of ideas rather than anything utterly original. But it’s mine, and I feel so delighted with the outcome, that I fear it’s rather a shame that I haven’t been able to share it with you.

Why? You may well ask these hard questions, you, dear reader*

Well, the simple matter is that I haven’t been able to ride the damn thing. I mean, I popped on it one morning, only for the Friday morning crew to hound me into the ground, because I am ultra unfit. And that’s kind of been it! A sin. A bike unridden, hiding in my room.

Ugh.

But it’s been my knee you see, the knee the spawned this whole bike lupe fiasco. Because Jana is too big for me, and her boots. So HRH is smaller, and I will get fitted to it, because my knee is killing me. But I kept waiting for said knee to forgive me for whatever it is I had done to it. But now I have a new physio and I am good to go with instructions and stretches and we’ll look at this next week and holy crap that hurt and wow that made a difference and yeah right and now wow… It’s time to get riding.

Because now that I know that I have not damaged my knee, but just tightened all the things that work around it, I know that these can be loosened if I am persistent and diligent and do my stretches etc. Which means I can ride. Which means we can meet. Which means I am happy. Which means things are good because really – no matter how pretty your bike is, the best looking bike is the one with the rider on it. So it’s time to get moving and grooving.

I have a lot of goals set for this year, although they are very amorphous and ill-defined. And you are a part of them, because this has all become a bit too much about me, let’s talk about you.

What do you think about me?

No really, I mean, what do you think about this? Do you read this? Strangely, I think you do. Or at least analytics says you do. But why? Mainly you are from Brisbane or Melbourne so I assume that I know you or that I met you while riding and you are politely reading away. But why?

I know next to nothing about cycling, and hardly ever talk about helmets. I shall aim do better on both these fronts. However, I also like other things about cycling, like cyclists. And chatting to them and talking with them. Are you a cyclist? Can I talk to you?

I would also like your help this year, I need to know about your bike. So I can write not about your bike. Will you help with this? I will make your bike not very famous but that would be really nice for me.

Can we go for a ride together?

Are you there God, it’s me Margaret.

Send me a message if you are reading this blog – because probably with an audience of only five to ten people I can give you really specific content. No need to worry about all those other readers who want facts, and cycling tips, and Lycra lessons.

I have to go stretch. And then ride. Let’s talk soon, alright?

*you dear reader.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

11 comments

  1. I read it, and I enjoy your perspectives and freshness. Sorry about your knee. Hope we ride together many times in the next decade or so.

    1. Bruce!

      I hope to ride more too – and I working on getting myself fit enough to ride with you powerhouses on Friday.

      Oh, and I am doing some sort of non-rain dance all the time too.

  2. Oh my god, my favourite Bette Midler reference. Brilliant.

    So you are wondering why we show up? And curious enough to have looked at the analytics – I’m impressed

    Well I don’t ride a bike (although this is under consideration… again – but if I wait long enough the urge to exercise WILL pass), I object to the state forcing me to wear a helmet on philosophical grounds (bloody nanny state) so scratch an interest in skid lids, that leaves the part of your audience who signed on for your stories. Yep that describes me perfectly.

    Your stories are sometimes about fetishistic and neo-totemistic objects, that would be the bikes and helmets and really who cares what they are about, the sense of wonder that you imbue these ojects with with raises them to the stature of the holy grail, objects of perfection that are to be striven for and yet always remain tantalisingly just out of reach.

    The journey as Joseph Campbell pointed out IS the story*. Helmets, bikes, holy grails, perfect lattes, world peace (no wait that’s Sneakers reference) are mearely props that allow you to spin your tales around something familiar and concrete.OK world peace we wouldn’t recognise if it rode up on a bike in a clown suit… see what I did there? (and I digress…)

    The stories are why we come back. People on the train in Japan write stories and SMS them to their audience, fellow travellers(a wonderfully archaic and subversive phrase these days), I find this so totally amazing on so many levels. Some of them have a reading audience bigger than Steven King.

    To prevent further digressions head over to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_phone_novel and you can read all about them. No hurry, I’ll wait.

    {insert cheesy gameshow thinking music here}

    OK you’re back. So in your tweet** and post you “ask if you’d like me to write you a bike story”.

    Absolutly or a helmet story or a brisbane story or a story about matching the colours so they don’t clash ( see I did read the post before embrking on a comment that may actually end up longer than your post). The point is I don’t care what you write about, I just enjoy reading it.

    And would like to do so more frequently… hint hint… see that was subtle.

    thatch

    * Blame StarWars and Jools
    ** when you look at the analytics I ‘m one of the people who came to the page via twitter.

    1. Okay Thatch, this is the best comment I have ever received. I don’t know why it took me so long to answer!

      I WILL WRITE YOU A SUPER GOOD BIKE STORY… Now, where did I leave my creativity? Cell phone novel. Novel. Right, as per usual you have given me more ideas than I’ll ever be able to give you!

  3. i for one enjoy picking up what you put down…

    reflective, subjective, internal, inquiring, extrovert, passionate, informed, quirky and engaging.

    today i: made a ‘go fast’ ipod play list. rode like a demon through the city traffic in the sun singing out loud for the simple joy of being free and riding. cooked the team bbq at bike polo. changed a flat. dreamed of my new wheels. plotted a thousand bike related goals for this year. and felt generally ecstatic to be surrounded by a group of like minded, friendly, accepting cycling fiends.

    thanks for your creativity and sincerity! x fe

    1. Fe – oh… I keep meaning to ask you to post a bit of Perth life for me! There’s too little of it being popped on the interwebs, it’s like a whole other world… Would you want to be a guest helmet lady?

  4. Yes, I’m reading, but can’t recall where I came across this, as I’m pretty sure I’ve never met you.

    I don’t think I’m that exciting as a transport planner, but hey, I’m willing to meet, ride and talk if it helps. I’ve sadly got a broken tow right now, but am ken to ride again when the rain stops and I can get a locker in my new office.

    1. I do!!! But I felt like it was getting a bit weird, look at my bike and not enough woot woot I’m riding my bike, so just hang about for an action shot.

      AND IF YOU ARE THINKING OF GETTING ONE PAINTED UP MAN DO IT BECAUSE IT WAS AMAZING FUN!

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