Cycling, watching myself cycle

I can’t begin to explain just how happy my new cycling jacket makes me when I cycle while wearing it.

It’s not a particularly exciting jacket: it’s bright yellow, admittedly, with super-reflective piping along the inside and outside of the arms. It has a hood under a velcro strip, and when the front is zipped up its warming capability is on a par with a ski jacket that’s three times its weight. Otherwise it’s unremarkable.

But when I wear the jacket, and I bomb around in my usual loping, veering way, I look down at my bejacketed arms and think: I look like a serious cyclist. This article of clothing is as genuine as articles get. I don’t look like me. I look like someone else, who’s maybe wearing the yellow jersey, is certainly stick-thin and grinning out of his up-hill-and-down-dale suntan at the camera.

When I wear my jacket I gaze out of the very lifestyle-aspirational tag that was attached to it when I bought it. I’m not just being a cyclist; I’m playing at being a cyclist. I’m caught up in the stories told about my mode of transport.

The moment passes; I have to look where I’m going; there’s oncoming traffic that won’t work out how to move out of the way. But don’t mess with me now, man. I’m cycling, therefore I’m fly.

This entry was posted in body, cycles, cycle_accessories, mind, person, transport. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cycling, watching myself cycle

  1. K says:

    I found that I got a lot less aggression from motorists when I first started wearing a fluorescent jacket (a tabard-y affair rather than your thing of all-covering luminous wonder). I think this is for the reasons you describe – you look like someone who knows what they’re doing and belongs on the road.

    Also, buying fluorescent stuff does wonders for SAD.

  2. I think being seen is actually far more important than a helmet as if you’re seen, there should be no excuse for mowing you down whatsoever.

    I just have a cheap neon tabard, but it does the job. With bright red jacket underneath.

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