Bike Story: The Love Potion Flask

Posted on 27 June 2014

Bike Story - The Love Potion Flask


All day chalking out patterns;

tacking lapels and kick pleats.


Every evening cranking up through

the gears – a Tag-Relay on the track,


or a Time-Trial into that East wind.

And on a weekend it’s an Endurance:


organising the girlfriend

to make up enough sarnies;


to be at the right Feeding Station

at the right time; to mix plenty of sugar


in every water bottle; to hold them just so,

her arm straight; not to flinch


as he trams past gasping, stuffing

sarnie into mouth, spare into back pocket,


bottle into cage. The hours flickering

past in hedgerows. The lanolin – slapped


inside his shorts at dawn – leaking

into the weary saddle till, eleven hours in,


207 miles under his belt, a personal best beckoning

in the final blur of light over Little Fransham,


a slick bend brings him down – loose gravel thick

inside a knee, one elbow a knob of snapped bone,


and her a panicked flag of seersucker

running out of the gloom with a tartan thermos.

Char March


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 Reproduced with the kind permission of 509 Arts

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