Cycling with the Vélo-Flâneur
“Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flaneur finds the world ‘picturesque.’ ” ~ Susan Sontag
Cycling is a deeply aesthetic practice. Riding transverses the city and country; it bridges the mechanical and the organic. Here readers will find some thoughts on the intersection of cycling and modernity from the relatively dispassionate and fleeting, yet productive position of the pedestrian or cyclist. This is not about racing. Velo Flaneur focuses on everyday, utilitarian riding, randonneuring, jaunts through urban and natural terrain and watching, listening, and feeling.
The flaneur observed the unfolding metropolis of the nineteenth century in a disconnected manner. Today, from behind the handlebars of a bicycle, one can survey architecture, society, art, politics, interaction, production, consumption, and the natural environment as a flickering rush of images.
Welcome to vélo-flâneur, my most recent discovery in an ongoing quest to identify intriguing flaneurs meandering the information superhighway.