Ride

So mounting life we’ll screech and ride and burn

careering round the country without lights

we’ll roll our bikes get up and spit and learn

 and dash on through the dark dragging our rights.

When we are younger helmets guard our thought

as down those lethal hills we shift and fly

our heads are strong our muscles flexed and tort

as hairpins bend and buzz us round and by.

Chicanes defied we leap our faith and nerve

and pay no heed to riders left or felled

unhindered by the boulders and the curb

past flags and friends as though we are propelled. 

When whipped and lapped by attitude we swear

at step and crossroads, brake and all but chunder;

footfaulting in our sudden wheel of care

we grip the bars to stop us going under.

 

Cyclist – for Bradley Wiggins, Shane Sutton and cyclists everywhere

From the moment he slid into a saddle

he wide straddled the earth on a thing without wings

aerodynamically bound to conquer contours

race rivers hurtle hammer and shift he had the gift of speed

the physical need to flex his legs and work a precision machine

feet flashing bending bridging the cadence of his heart changing

to meet the cardiovascular thrumming of the pedal fall and rise

 

as if he rode in the slipstream of the gods.