5-7-5? Sounds like an odd gear ratio…

17 Feb 2011  |  Posted by GARETH  |  Categories: Curiosities

The wealth of poetic talent apparent in our blog’s comment section and on our Facebook page since the weekend would lead the casual observer to think they had somehow stumbled upon Samuel Coleridge’s previously unpublished musings on the subject of cycling up and down hills.

So far we’ve been (poetic license ahoy) inundated by a flood of burning lungs, oak-heavy limbs, sweat-salty brows and flatteringly happy posteriors.

Most of our haiku writers are managing to keep correct count of their syllables. We had to check this one from Belzal Geretz twice though…

When I saw the box
I knew I had won.

Has lots going for it. Haiku judging panels can never get enough of self-referential playfulness. Opinion is divided in this case, however, as to whether use of the past tense assists, or detracts from, the poem’s ability to capture a “moment”. Belzal’s optimistic offering describes a “moment” for sure, but it perhaps doesn’t put “us” right “in” that “moment”.

Ken Wolfe‘s middle name is “Prolific”. His nickname is “Punning Yoda”.

Sun there is, and time.
My cycle Brooks no excuse.
Today, ride I must.

Here he is again, narrowly avoiding disaster, possibly.

Seconds from a fork!
Speed necessitates instinct.
Swooping to the left!

Whether it’s a bona fide moment, or merely a tiny fraction of a second, only Ken can tell us for sure.
Practice does make perfect, though. Here’s Ken once more.

Sixty miles til lunch.
Gastric echoes of breakfast.
I regret the milk.

Tough guy Bryan Rierson takes up the story…

Hammering warms me
As the crisp air bites my face
Water bottles freeze

All he needs now is a set of burning lungs and some struggling calf muscles, or vice versa. Step forward James Iain Mackeddie.

Calves burn, Lungs struggle
Slumping on top of saddle
Body pacifies

Not drunkenly passing out at a barbeque while the smoke from grilled steaks wafts over him, as it at first glance might appear.
Seamus Kelly goes all stream-of-consciousness on us…

Hot wind drying throats
Sticky tar stuck tyres dragging
Tea stop quenches thirst

“Tyres” is one syllable, as we saw last week, so it’s a regulation seventeen syllables. It’s also about seventeen moments, though.

A long journey on ahead
Roll in the wake of
The journey we leave behind

By placing himself ingeniously between a journey “ahead” and a journey “behind” Patrick Foley is on course to capture a moment, but then somehow finds himself rolling in the wake of 19 syllables. Wake up, Patrick!

More waking- Paul Wakefield sticks to seventeen in his lung-free advertisement for the Oxford Rain Cape.

Sleet scythes steel-grey sky.
Gnarled, ancient hills loom; legs groan.
Lights beam hometown hope.

While Jennifer Friesen can manage but (a nonetheless sweet) sixteen,

Target just ahead
Legs outstretched, eyes closed tight
Puddle sprays fender.

Only the lowest of pedants would ask how she knows it’s a puddle spraying a fender with her eyes closed tight; but said pedant could be quickly put in his place by informing him that puddle spray makes noise, and that most people use a bit of common sense when they’re reading poetry.

Here’s a nice one from Thom Denton, describing a spin on his gaffer-taped, cable-tied, twine-clogged frame.

Silent blossoms fall
Obscuring hasty repairs,
Wheels whir softly.

If he’s hoping to win new bike parts be causing us to pity him, he’s come to the wrong place.

Keep those entries rolling in, preferrably in the comments section below, or alternatively on our Facebook page. We’ll have a look at another batch over the next days, as well as a few more of the fine rewards we have on offer for the most pleasing efforts.

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  1. roger carlton 
    Posted 7:12 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    here is mine:

    stars are bright tonight
    people shine in the moonlight
    comets in the sky

  2. Aaron S. 
    Posted 7:42 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    This is the best I could do. haha

    I do not believe
    The semi-nude bicyclist is
    Not bi-curious.

  3. Nigel Greene 
    Posted 8:31 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    Water quenches thirst
    Sun rises in the morning
    Brooks saddles feel good

  4. Stepha Zanella 
    Posted 8:56 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    here’s four haiku making a (true) story:

    I have killed my bike
    The new one is on the way
    Good-bye dear old friend.

    I can salvage tires
    Saddle and the bungee cords
    But not too much else…

    I’ll leave it outside
    Hoping someone will take it
    And give it new life

    Til then I shall wait
    I expect to ride faster:
    My new bike is green!

  5. Stepha Zanella 
    Posted 8:58 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    I wasn’t aware
    I needed HTML
    to put in spaces

  6. Paul Wakefield 
    Posted 10:08 pm
    17 Feb 2011

    Getting in the miles.
    Bad case of Monkey butt, now
    Brooks no argument

  7. Nil 
    Posted 6:53 am
    18 Feb 2011

    Hallo, here are two for trhe competition.

    How about the air
    Cycling makes the world go round
    Black smog, dark city

    Bike ride through the snow
    seeking somekind of treasure
    Toes go numb and hurt

  8. BREGAN 
    Posted 8:07 am
    18 Feb 2011

    Yay Stepha, see you in March!

  9. Stepha Zanella 
    Posted 5:57 pm
    18 Feb 2011

    See you in March, Breg
    I want to win this contest
    I have a new bike!

  10. Stepha Zanella 
    Posted 1:18 am
    19 Feb 2011

    Addictive Haiku,
    Once I start you I can’t stop!
    Goddamn you Bregan…

  11. Stepha Zanella 
    Posted 1:21 am
    19 Feb 2011

    trains, boats and two wheels
    brought me to my new pony
    it’ll need new cranks

  12. Brent Badeaux 
    Posted 6:37 pm
    20 Feb 2011

    My skin feels like pa-
    per, the February wind,
    booty-grooved leather.

  13. Travis Wells 
    Posted 10:22 pm
    20 Feb 2011

    Exhaust fills my lungs
    The stationary cars honk
    I pedal faster

  14. Travis Wells 
    Posted 10:54 pm
    20 Feb 2011

    With Brooks on my bike
    Faster and faster I go
    The ride never ends

  15. Matt Elworthy 
    Posted 9:33 pm
    22 Feb 2011

    Quick tale of the weekend for you:

    Adventurous ride
    Never before seen landscapes
    Bloody hell I’m lost

  16. Anne-Marie Bur 
    Posted 10:51 am
    3 Mar 2011

    Life will reflect my new saddle
    Classy, polished
    Not split at the seams