Greasers and their motorbikes have been overtaken by the middle-class and their climate-loving embrace of the bicycle's lithe frame.
I blog about being a girl on a bicycle and am anticipating the day when someone asks me: “Was the inspiration for your blog the seminal film, starring Marianne Faithfull as a leather catsuit-wearing 60s sex siren romping around the country on a motorbike, The Girl on the Motorcycle?” The short answer is no, that didn’t occur to me at the time but now you mention it, it would have been nice to have an identifiable inspiration rather than just something literal. In the film, Marianne Faithfull wakes up underneath a Rolling Stone one too many times and decides she’s had enough. With nothing more than her catsuit on her back, a lot of talcum powder, some class A drugs and an eyeliner pencil, she jets off on her bike to pursue a life more wanton, carefree and psychedelic. And is thus re-born a new, empowered woman who later goes on to embarrass herself in middle age by constantly appearing drunk on TV shows. Or this is as much as I can glean from IMDb.
The motorbike has always had its place in sexual fantasies. All the tight leather and fast speed, iconic images from James Dean through to The Lost Boys (vampires are terribly sexy) and the height of eroticism, George Michael’s Faith video, have all led to this vehicle being perceived as the pulling steed of choice. But, really? What about Dr Fox (the not-a-real-doctor version) on his Harley doing 15mph down King’s Road? Or the hairy bikers, bringing great sausage rolls to the country? Are these truly the exemplars of eroticism that we should be looking to? No, I say, no. The motorbike has had its day. We have entered the day of the push bike.
Long gone are the days when a cyclist was the butt of all jokes. The fat policeman wobbling around, the bumbling fool falling off, Terry Jones in tiny shorts being downtrodden by a forceful wife. These are all images from the past. This is the dawning of the age of the sexy cyclist.
And these are 5 reasons why the cyclist is now the master of the road:
1. Cyclists are rich
Now that they are no longer vilified by their car-owning or tube-taking workmates for being a bloody hippie, their colleagues realise that they have simply discovered a way of getting to work for free. They have found a way to travel that also covers off their exercise requirements, thus saving further money on gym membership. In an average month, this equates to £200 which they can spend on cocktails, sexy lingerie and the odd taxi when the cocktails have been a bit over-enthusiastically consumed.
You think that guy is looking over your shoulder at the melons in Waitrose? Think again, it’s your own bounteous fruit he has his eye on.
2. Cyclists have great legs
It takes one to know one.
3. They have their eyes open at all times
This usually applies to watching out for cab doors being opened without warning and pedestrians crossing the road while gazing dolefully at their iPhones, but on the more pleasant side, it means they are alert. At all times, they are primed. You think that guy is looking over your shoulder at the melons in Waitrose? Think again, it’s your own bounteous fruit he has his eye on.
4. They are versatile
As an urban cyclist, you don’t know where your day might take you. So there is the struggle to work, throughout all seasons and all weathers, all potential traffic collision hazards and all potential distractions from the call of duty (ie Topshop). But once you’ve got yourself somewhere central, you have the world at your feet. At a moment’s notice, you can whizz off to anywhere in the city without having to worry about public transport whimsy or how the hell it costs £20 in a cab to travel 2 miles. The city shrinks in size, as Shoreditch to the West End is a 10 minute breeze. The cyclist will be wherever you want them to be.
5. Cyclists sweat
Sweat (as long as it is not allowed to fester, and you become one of those cyclists who PONG), releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel horny.
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