On marriage and bike races

First, Virginia Woolf, on marriage:

“But I was glad to come home, & feel my real life coming back again — I mean life here with L. Solitary is not quite the right word; one’s personality seems to echo out across space, when he’s not there to enclose all one’s vibrations. This is not very intelligibly written; but the feeling itself is a strange one — as if marriage were a completing of the instrument, & the sound of one alone penetrates as if it were a violin robbed of its orchestra or piano.”

Next, me, on bike races:

After a morning spent out in the cold, either racing or watching other races, I am thrilled to be indoors for the afternoon, cozy in my study, to read and write a bit. I rode in a men’s category 5 criterium (women can ride in certain men’s races), and stayed with the pack longer this week than last. That’s good enough. What I was mainly worried about was being the woman who caused a crash. Being a lone woman riding with the guys is fun at times because I get all kinds of attention the other dime-a-dozen men don’t (this is because not many women race, which is a bad thing, but extra attention and encouragement is the good side of the bad situation), but I don’t want people paying attention to me because I caused them to slide across the pavement.

A big part of going to bike races is talking to strangers who also go to bike races. I like the fact that you can tell very little about other people’s non-cycling lives (maybe you can tell something from the way they talk) and so I have conversations with people I might not normally. That turns out to be a whole lot of men in their 50s. I hear a lot of talk about bike gear (about which I know little) and a lot of blaming of things like “getting boxed in.” Hmmm. Not sure what I think about that.

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Filed under Books, Cycling

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