Friday, February 04, 2011
The Art Of Cycling
I love learning new things. I love experimenting with training/movement/diet/scheduling. And I love my job, which has been bombarding me with all of the above with three new programs in development. I had a night recently where Tony Horton, Steve Holmsen, and I were in a hotel gym til probably 2AM on a Sat night working on new movements for mc2, after which I was up later transcribing it and, then again, 3 hours later because I had an epiphany about how to put it together. A couple hours after that the three of us were working on it some more. Great stuff, but...
It’s nothing like time out on the trails. I got my first mtb ride of the season in yesterday and, even after all these years, still find it amazing how 2 hours of playing on singletrack and slickrock can change your mind set. Training and theory and experimentation is all fantastic stuff. Dead interesting, and I feel very fortunate to be able to turn a passion into work. But it’s in the actual application of human movement in a natural setting that, at least for me, ties it together. Take away nature and you take away life, meaning, and a reason to co-exist and attempt to continue to improve.
Add a bike to the equation and it all starts to make sense. I think the bike is one of our greatest inventions. It’s the perfect synergistic hybrid of animal and machine. Moving through nature on a bike is nothing if not sublime. And with that drum roll, I present Danny Macaskill as Friday’s psyche.
I’ve presented this video before. My wife, who studies music, calls him Mozart on a bike. And the more I watch him the less hyperbole I find in her statement. Mozart was an unparalleled artist; doing more for the advancement of music in the three decades he composed than happened in the three centuries prior. He was simply gifted with something no one, before or since, seems to have been graced with. It’s not that he didn’t work hard; he was obsessed, so there may have been others who never tapped their talent. But most historians seem to agree that no one else’s gift for composing music has come close to Mozart.
Admittedly, this is pretty lofty praise to heap upon a young Scot and history may indeed show it’s exaggerated. But when you watch this kid ride, much in the same way as like listening to Mozart, you can’t help but feel that there’s something special happening. His bike seems like an extension of the man, which he wields like a superhero. Honestly, if this video had come out 20 years ago it would have been dismissed as special effects. Even today, I’ve had this video sent to me from non-cyclists in wonderment who ask whether or not it is real. So, without further ado, Mr. Macaskill, who has transcended cycling from sport to art form.