Bicycle Porn (and Chris Froome!)

Should we tackle the bike/porn nexus? I think it is time. Lord knows nobody else with fair intensions has the gumption to touch such a subject.

I’ll start by saying unprotected sex between actors is not something I would personally pay to be entertained by, for the same reason I no longer watch Danny Macaskill. I don’t like Red Bull, films made with Go-Pros, boxing or any such blood sport. They reduce the life expectancies of a gladiatorial class so don’t sit well with my humanistic outlook on life.

When I say bike porn I’m thinking more of that titillating fare that fills the girly mags we find openly sold at newsagents. I’m not afraid to admit I bought 5 or 10 in my late teens and early twenties. I couldn’t help it. Church youth group just made me so horny. But thank Christ for my Primrose, who was a rather energetic lass in those days and willing to be a repository of my not insignificant output of sin.

These days soft porn crosses my radar like lightning in my peripheral vision. And it can turn my head. My most recent brush with soft porn came while thumbing through a surf magazine in Newcastle’s best cafe for a short black. Spare a thought for my Primrose who I’ve already been mauling, now I have sex on my mind.

So to the topic of bicycle porn. I’m sure you all know how to un-filter search results, or can vouch for this claim from distant memories: the bicycle is a girly-mag trope.

But why is that so?

One explanation is that during that age of exploration (meaning, ones teens) bicycles took many of us, male and female alike, beyond the seemingly panoptic gaze of our parents. Oh those shady glens and their sirens! Oh those Jezebels! Where did they learn so many games that all involved flashing? Had we boys not had bikes, and those girls not had bikes (although two special lassies from my days of learning, I will never forget, had access to horses) we might never have caught those first glimpses of wild wiry hair, so terrifying to the innocent eye that this particular witness kept his distance for years.

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So in one way bicycle porn invites us to relive (or reconstruct) memories laid down in our teens. And nostalgia is good, right? A few among you with daughters may disagree.

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Let’s shift the discussion to the “bike-as-your-willy” cliche. I’m sure one day virtual reality will put viewers’ own tools in the picture, but right now, at the end of the age of photography, phallic props still have to suffice. The following collages are ones I made with a friend a few years back, to illustrate this paper I wrote about uses of architecture as a phallic prop by purveyors of smut.

In that paper I was able to argue that Andrew Blake’s adult films illuminate the Renaissance idea that architectural proportions are welded to those of a particular object, the Vitruvian body, by inviting us to look at buildings and bodies the same way we look at porn, not in search of human fallibility, but rather in search of formal beauty.

Why of course the same argument can be made about bicycle design! With components photographed the way one might photograph a starlet’s pink nipples with a wide aperture lens, bicycle parts are presented to us as 1. objects of desire, and 2. metaphors for our own bodies.

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If I write any more I’ll only start lying so I’ll finish with a god-awful fact. Yesterday morning, I flew in from Sydney on the same plane as Chris Froome.

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Do tweet this to him. He’ll be delighted to know he was accosted by someone who blogs about cycling and porn. I also saw him in the park this morning. I know, this is looking like stalking. But come on, I’ve been a roadie and road racing fan all of my life. This bike advocacy role could just be a fad.

 

3 Comments

  1. kfg says:

    OK, this piece is really to much hyperbOooooooodom hubs. I want those, and a pair of standard drilling, and maybe a couple pair of bacon slicers, and . . . I wonder if he gives bulk discounts and if I can pay with blood.

  2. crank says:

    hahah… while my bike did ferry me to the pharmacy to buy my first ever condom, and consequently back to lose my innocence at a tender age, I think my memories of chasing Mister Whippy around suburban Perth to get ice cream is the heartfelt joy riding a bike brings to me.

  3. Jai Cooper says:

    I’m waiting for someone to invite The Rev Phil Sano and The Bike Smut show to Oz. I think we’re much in need of it.

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