Bland On Bland – Ride

Photo By Jools Thatcher
Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Ride” (and it’s live).

We did a “live to air” broadcast from Bikefest in the city today, always great to play to an audience.

Ed Bates is sadly absent for this week’s poem

Play this poem directly in your browser! Just click the “play” button below:

Also have a listen to my album “Drifter


Spring Street Oval, a sea of mud
Dirt, saliva, perspiration and blood

Pock marked by studs on a thousand boots
Rutted by dogs and Gum Tree roots

The surface as barren as a desolate planet
Then baked through summer till it’s hard as granite

You straddle your bike, settle your feet
Your Dad stands behind holding the seat

“Pedal” he orders, a frustrated cry
It is after all your two thousandth try

“Faster” he screams “You’re going too slow”
But you’re far more concerned he might let you go

You pedal like blazes, both feet to the floor
Then you realise he’s not holding on any more

You’re riding! – Yourself! – Without help, unrestrained
Like a bird on the wing, a prisoner unchained

In that handful of seconds you feel your life change
From a battery hen to a rooster – free range

In an instant your world is ten times the size
Worth every graze of your two thousand tries

Then you crash to the ground, slam down on your hip
Skin scrapes from elbows, teeth through your lip

Mum patches you up, then you’re out there again
Back in the saddle and feeling no pain

These days I amble up Bluff Road hill
Bikes flash past as though I’m standing still

Decked out in Lycra, legs minus hair
Eyes looking down and bums in the air

Calves like pistons, teeth in a clench
Emblazoned with ads in Spanish and French

Chromoly, Kevlar, Composite, Titanium
Thermoplastic, Carbon Fibre, Magnesium, Scandium

Hydraulic disc brakes, bodysocks, fairings
Independent drive train, Low friction bearings

Lateral stiffness, rolling resistance
Rotational inertia, time over distance

Powergrips, Slingshots, Flexstems and Mags
Thirty gears, Camber thrust, Frictional drag

Bars that cripple, saddles that neuter
The ride dictated by a Cyclocomputer

Constant upgrading, endless innovation
What was the journey has become the destination

The latest advances, all dutifully tried
But none buys the thrill of that very first ride

Nothing I’ve ridden over all of those years
Comes close to my first bike – no brakes and no gears

© Copyright 2010 Ian Bland

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