Language seems sometimes to ebb ever outwards to the corporate…
We have moved from subjects, to citizens, to consumers. Our discourses, despite the glories of a wild and somewhat egalitarian Web, are too often corralled and marshalled by large media organisations. These are easy observations to make, said many times before. But we gotta keep saying them! The need for independent, radical public discourse is as important as ever. There is something slightly insidious to so much of our online communication being hosted by massive, venture capital funded companies.
Within cycling, huge amounts of money swirl from bike company advertising budgets to magazines and websites from large publishers, churning press releases and gear-fetishism on web pages flickering with animated adverts or wafer thin articles between copious ad copy. And who didn’t read Naomi Klein’s No Logo years back and feel the requisite skin crawling?
Boneshaker stands to the side of all this, it’s back turned to the dirty brown sludge of the cycling media estuary.
Boneshaker is for us. Boneshaker offers us stories that click like a freewheel singing on a downhill, pawls springing over tales too random, too serendipitous, too wild, for any other forum. There are no adverts teasing at us: this is a safe space. Opening an issue of Boneshaker, printed in a Bristol press, is to join in in a howl of joy at the power of the bike. Most cycling magazines have so little ambition for the bicycle, unable to appreciate the expanse of human experience that our pedals offer us. Tied up with the minutiae of parts and pieces, performance and races, they barely hint at the real stuff.
I read a quote (damned if I can find it in the internet morass now…) that said that skiing wasn’t really about sliding along on two planks. That actually, skiing was just an excuse. A reason to be in the mountains, to be out. That’s how I feel about cycling. And that’s the truth that Boneshaker captures. That’s a fucking radical vision in our media, simple as it sounds. We have control of how we talk about what we do.
Cycling is ours. We can tell our own stories of what it means for us.