Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I rarely dream about bikes. If dreaming is the subconscious mind trying to make sense of your experiences, perhaps this is understandable. Bikes are one thing, perhaps the only thing, I don't have to "rationalise" and "understand" they just "are".

If bikes do make it into my dreams they are in the context of the classic anxiety dream. Being late for the start, going one way when everyone else is going the other, not being able to find my chip, losing a shoe. Or turning up in calf-high black socks, next to which turning up naked is eminently preferable. Besides, let's face it, most Sunday's we're functionally naked in public anyway, with only a single layer of high-cut lycra we fervently hope isn't too see-through between our collective modesties and the little old lady who got caught on the course while driving to church.

Last night I dreamt I was in the UK renting a bicycle. A fixed-gear bicycle. Every time I said "fixed" the rental guy said "single speed". Even when I was talking to my travelling companion, if I said "fixed" he'd "correct" me.

WTF indeed. Firstly I was in the UK, the one place I don't need subtitles under me when I speak. Or so I thought. Have I lost the ability to seak British English. Was I now speaking some mid-Atlantic collabo, mixing bits and pieces from the various (English-speaking no-less) countries I've lived into a creole that only I understand?

Secondly, I was being corrected on a point I knew something about, and indeed being corrected "incorrectly". Sure, all fixies are single-speeds but not all single-speeds are fixies. Yet the rental guy was adamently, and consistently, mis-correcting me. Grrrr.

So the dream ended, presumably when I turned over in my sleep to say to my dream-land companion (sotto voce)...

"This guy knows nothing about fixies"
"Single-speeds, sir"

...and I woke up. Not screaming or covered in the night-sweats, more a vague sense of academic disquiet; why this dream this night? I'm not worried about anything in particular, or at least I didn't think I was. Sure I worry about the usual things; did I turn the oven off, making the rent, did I use monobasic or dibasic potassium phosphate in the PBS, but who doesn't? Besides, Boston isn't for another 146 days and the dream wasn't in the traditional anxiety-dream mould anyway. If anything, things are pretty copacetic, on and off the bike. Right? Must be the cyclocross. After all, voluntarily spending 50 minutes red-lined in the granny in the mud with ominous grinding noises emanating from your hubs, bottom bracket, headset, knees, lungs and chest is enough to make one question one's most deeply held beliefs. Ya, must be the 'cross....

No comments:

Post a Comment