My faith in The Washing Machine Post was set in concrete today. To the best of my knowledge this seminal cycling review site is written by someone named Brian whose lonely Inner Hebridean existence on the isle of Islay leaves him whole days to ride between pubs testing the veracity of clothes makers’ claims. Don’t trust the label. Trust the authorial voice of the Washing Machine Post to say if Rapha’s new jacket is wind proof, shower proof, moisture wicking, whatever.
I have no idea how a copy of Cycle Space ever made it to such a remote part of the world as the West coast of Scotland. Perhaps in a bottle. But however it got there, I’m pleased. It found a reader prepared to scour it for spelling errors and gaffs more thoroughly than it was scoured in production, and digest its arguments with no interruption, except I suppose from the occasional puffin.
While I am deeply, deeply embarrassed to be told yet again I can’t spell (actually, I’m too heavily medicated to be the slightest bit bothered), the lasting feeling is one of great honour. A kindred eccentric in the bike blogging world has taken the time to read my whole book, or if they did skip a few bits, they have faked a full reading quite well. Sure, he lives on a deserted island so can’t see the point of bike infrastructure. And he has a chip on his shoulder from art school days, I guess because architects typically get great looking girlfriends while art students just draw them. But he has worked his way through my book with genuine interest, even finding where youtube links in the margins don’t work.
From my point of view, I see that it’s working: ideas I’ve personally agonised over, are being picked up and tossed around by a wider audience than I’ve ever received just writing for peer reviewed journals. And who are my peers anyway? One of my most respected rides between pubs in Islay.