By Jon Day
Cyclogeography is concerning the bicycle within the cultural mind's eye and likewise a portrait of London as visible from the saddle. within the nice culture of the psychogeographers, Jon Day makes an attempt to go away from the map and reclaim the streets of the town. educated by means of numerous grinding years spent as a bicycle courier, he lifts the lid at the solitary lifetime of the courier. touring the unmapped byways, shortcuts, and concrete edgelands, couriers are the declining, invisible crew of town. The parcels they convey maintain issues working. should you live on the crushing sturdiness of the activity, the bicycle can develop into what holds them jointly.
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Extra resources for Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier
With my eyes closed I’m sure I could recognise, just by sitting in the saddle, the texture of a road long ago inscribed in me. It’s Friday morning and I’m getting ready for the day’s work. I put on a woollen cycling jersey and pull on my shoes, still slightly damp from the previous day’s rain. Outside, a woman throws batches of sodden bread from her balcony. Pigeons wheel in to feed. I drink a pint of milk and turn on the radio attached to the bag strap that runs like a bandoleer across my chest.
It’s been written about from the perspective of the rambler and the stroller, but never much from the saddle. This lack represents a greater gap in travel writing, which is so often associated with shoe rather than saddle leather. Though there are ‘a lot of walker-poets’, as Paul Fournel – member of the avant-garde literary group Oulipo, keen cyclist and author of Need for the Bike, the best work of cyclophilosophy I know – has argued, the bicycle is less well represented as a literary vehicle.
At every juncture where there was an opportunity for a choice,’ Self writes, ‘he took the right one. Carlos had not only apprehended every road, he had anticipated every alleyway, every mews, every garage forecourt and the position and synchronisation of every traffic light. ’ Carlos is able to assess the flow of the whole body of the city by observing its movement at any one point. ‘Take me to any street, any street in London whatsoever where there is a constant traffic stream and just by looking at it I can know the state of every other road in the city.
Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier by Jon Day