This was my designated Summer To Get On A Bike. (Eventually I also came to think of it as Getting Off On A Bike.) Perhaps it was overdue, or perhaps it happened right on time. But early last spring I vowed that I would not go another summer without spending a significant portion of it on a bicycle.
During the first few weeks, I was sore and raw and I cringed at the prospect of mounting up. Getting my crotch accustomed to the pressure was a challenge. But in a surprisingly short period of time, long stints became much easier, even pleasurable, on my tender bits.
Part of that ease and pleasure was perseverance, as well as installing a cushy, wide saddle for my ample hips and ass. Then I got some padded shorts. I wasn’t about to let soreness between my legs dissuade me from my goal.
I was born in the US Bicentennial year. That makes me 36 years old. I didn’t fully learn how to ride a bike until I was 27. Since officially learning how to ride nine years ago, I’d been on a bike maybe a dozen times. When people said doing something came quickly or naturally, “like riding a bike,” I did not relate. I had zero context for such a statement. To me, riding a bike was hard. Daunting.
But 2012 has been the year that I turned that around. I have fallen hard — in an emotional sense — for the midnight blue steed that I named Dawn. As parts of my personal life grew ever more challenging, and eventually fell apart, I increasingly turned to Dawn.
When sleep eluded me and depression loomed, I turned to Dawn. If panic began to crescendo, I turned to Dawn. As tears and frustration and despair threatened to overtake me, I turned to Dawn. Since she is inert without me, in tandem we saw me through some dark days.
I live near a flat, car-free biking trail that winds into the countryside. I rode Dawn on those long expanses of narrow pavement nestled between miles of trees and bushes, alongside creeks and wetlands. Since I wasn’t contending with motorized traffic, I’d put one ear bud in, listening to music or podcasts or audiobooks, with birdsong providing the stereo in my other ear.
I practiced basic skills like staying upright and balanced, riding in a straight line, standing up on my pedals while coasting, and dismounting without tearing up my shins and calves. I continue to learn how to use my gears. I’m slowly gaining the strength to stand up while pedaling, and to navigate hills. I am pushing my body. It feels amazing.
This summer I encountered the word “bikesexuality” (see Bike Smut, for more examples) and the concept blossomed within me.
Certainly my love affair with Dawn the Bike includes sexual aspects. Being physical and exerting myself increases my feeling of residing inside my body, ramping up my already-high libido. The vibration of turning wheels travels through the frame and makes my vulva quiver. That long, sustained, self-created vibe in my cunt leaves me abuzz. The edge of the saddle pressing against my lips elicits a quiet smile. Just the thought of time on my bike causes my thighs to twitch and my groin to contract. Being on my bike, my beloved Dawn, has become a highly erotic activity.
Often I enter a meditative trance when on a long trailride, as the tires create white noise, my legs pump, and the rhythm of my breathing lulls my spinning mind into quietude. Time spent on Dawn is making me present with my body in a whole new way.
There are also more thematic aspects to my burgeoning bikesexuality. The feelings of freedom cannot be overstated. As I fly down a trail, wind in my face, I must remember to keep my lips closed around my smile, having caught my fair share of bugs in my teeth. Joy floods me, fully, and I am flung open with expansive possibility.
Painful transitions this summer have been much easier to handle with the refuge I find in riding Dawn. The sense of capability, of taking myself where I want to go, by my own power, goes well beyond the literal aspects of linear movement. The wider message I gain from bicycling is one of capable empowerment. I can do this. I can go places. I can take myself there. My body is a vehicle of transformation.
With the birth of my bikesexuality, I’ve entered a revolutionary new chapter. I look forward to sharing the ride.
There is much, much more to say about bikesexuality, the tremendous role that bicycles played in the women’s liberation movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the social and political power of human-powered transportation, bike cultures and sub-cultures, and especially about Bike Smut, a fantastic short film festival touring North America this autumn. More to come (and come, and come again), especially on Bike Smut, very shortly.