The Seven Wonders of Cycling

a symmetrical image of four green bikes, two on each side of the white facade of Budgens in Whitstable High St facing towards the centre

Cycling means Green
And pleasant lands, where shiny happy people hold up their hands
Proclaiming ‘Earth. Air. Fire. Water. We’re your biggest fans!’

Cycling means Speed
Couriers unlock gridlock zip whizzing from A to B to Z
While Olympians, tourers and teens meet a deep genetic need

Cycling means Fitness
Lung bursting, calorie burning, thigh sapping, cardio maxing
figure hugging, good looking, god/goddess on two wheels

Cycling means Adventure
Where do you want to go today? ‘Far far away’
London to Brighton? Torquay to Timbuktu?
Remember to pack your passport, your bike and you

Cycling means Freedom
Bus fare, train fair, petrol costs, road tax, failed your M.O.T.
Wind in your hair, before you know it, you’re there
And it was absolutely free

Cycling means Meditation
In the life of a cyclist, lie the cycles of life and death
Needing eyes in the back of the head,
Completely centred in the now, when all around are seeing red

Cycling means Fun
Mum Dad daughter son
laughing along the lanes of some little hampton
mates having a lark, BMXers in the park
empty road nightriders after dark
all with still spinning wheels and last laughing hearts

by Chris Paradox
developed following a poetry workshop and collaborative session in Margate


And one of the collaborative poems created in that workshop session

The Seven Wonders of Cycling

Feeling the need for speed
Dreaming the feeling of freedom
As Green as the trees
Setting off on an adventure

Skill, power, exhilaration
Racing through to exhaustion
Each ride a Tour de Somewhere
A training for the next Olympics
Four years to accustom to Brazilian heat

And the steep climb to where Christ prevails
Upon the mountain where Mohammed wails
From where Buddhamind hails
Meditation on wheels, the Now of the road
Fully alive, an enlightened load

Look! Look at me
Fun and Fitness, all for free
Faster than walking, a heart pumping journey
Riding around all day, & still plenty of energy

The wondrous turning of the wheel of life
In the central park of paradise
Where friends can meet and ride to their liking
Oh how I love the wonders of cycling

Collaboratively composed by:
Hannah Willis
Nicole Turrell
Liz Mincer
Peter Mincer
David Mincer
Kelly Veasey
David Robert
Karen P
Ray Gibson
Chris Paradox

Here’s a couple of the group poems created during the workshop at Thanet Cycle Recycle in Margate, from which The Seven Wonders of Cycling emerged.

Group poem made in a Margate workshop.  Click image to listen

Click here to listen: I flew out of my flat urgently, And into a south westerly wind


Group poem made in a Margate workshop. Click image to listen

Click here to listen: Flying through the streets, Free as a bird

A bicycle does get you there and more… And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive.  Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal.  And getting there is all the fun – Bill Emerson