Their homes greet drivers with automatic garage doors, and the same controlled air and broadcast entertainment they were being soothed by 10 minutes ago on the freeway. They step from their car to their kitchen, turn on the radio or the TV, grab a cold soothing beer from the fridge, and don’t even appreciate what a dream run they’ve been given; their bodies soothed into gelatinous blobs with just enough strength to point a remote.
For the cyclist, home is nothing at all like the journey. The journey home has been exposed, energetic, and at times perilous. Home is markedly contrasting, with a hot shower, dry clothes, a litre of water and a biscuits or a banana to satiate hunger flats.
Now imagine a home that celebrated this contrast. Rather than prolonging the transition from pain to pleasure, with afterthought bike parking facilities and a lousy old shower off the side of the laundry, this new kind of home would welcome cyclists with the very best room, grand and well lit, with purpose built bicycle store racks, and an enormous hot bath in the middle.
The hour is too late for us to talk falsely now gents. The home has not evolved in this fashion, because our wives drive. Dads, we have optimised our bread winning capacity, by cycling instead of driving to work, and thus worn our cycling as some kind of hair shirt. Well enough of this, I say. It is time we converted the front rooms of our houses into bike display rooms, with our bicycling gear hanging from racks, the way we first saw it on display in the bike shop. I want to arrive home like a soldier returning to the Baths of Diocletian in Rome. I suffered enough on the road.
But even without this, I can be glad the concept of home is still stronger for me, than for those who cling to comforts wherever they go. Let their world be a blancmange. I would rather my life have some contrasts.