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Don’t stop cycling

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Cycling is a school of instruction in wind.
You can count two kinds of wind in cycling: intrinsic wind and fortuitous wind. Intrinsic wind is that which is a product of global contortions or cosmic goings-on; fortuitous wind is that which a cyclist churns out all on his own. It’s his magnum opus, you might say, for his output of wind will go up in proportion as his motion is rapid.

Cosmic wind is that wind which hits us full on. Against it, I know no way forward but human solidarity. If you pitch up against a strong north wind that’s got truly stuck in, nothing can surpass a good companion with a broad back. You duck down and hang on to his mudguard and wait for it to finish. If I can clarify that, you wait until your man turns away to hand to you that all-important baton, and it’s your turn to put a bit of coal in your buzzbox.

From ‘Don’t Stop Cycling’ by Paul F, chairman of Oulipo, who is also a cultural official in London. This translation for Oulipo is by Timothy A, who says – ‘Cycling is my sibling’s portfolio at Transport for London.’