‘You and me, creatures who exist by the grace of the open road, fellows whom you can rank among the privateers, the masked desperado’s, the scarred and graze-covered countrymen, the audacious, those packed and filled with sympathy, doubt, animation, the bottle filled to the brim with bravado… Ziggy, who are we?
‘We are good-natured wheel-folk, loyal, with a willing heart and smooth propulsion. Modesty and solidarity flow through our veins and brake cables – on our skin and frame we carry, visible to all who will see it, alertness, friendship, affection. We, the self-proclaimed ministers of the winding path, form an inimitable, restless, harmonious pair. Carelessly and readily we hand out awe – admiration and curiosity we do not hide behind our backs, nor under the saddle, nor in our travel bags. We, two-wheeled citizens of Mother Earth, crawl over flat maps, roll silently through nameless streets, stay true to the known and unknown stars above us, move from west to east, without ever abandoning our homeland.
‘Me with the scrawny arms and sun-tanned calves, you with the broad tires and slender carriers – of all people, of all bikes in an early flight, tailed by a group of gifted climbers, shortly behind them – bent and buckled over the handlebars in a wild goose chase – the lost driver, chased by a stomping, thundering, wide-spread platoon of friendly reformers, bona fide bricoleurs, chaotic outdoor friends, plotting and scheming folk, and, dangling at the end… the day-dreaming, wide-eyed innocent explorer.
‘We – with the sun in our eyes, the dewdrops on our beards, the grass between our toes and the free wind along our shins – frantically and blissfully string together the kilometers. On the handlebars our dreams, on the rear rack our memories – fresh, beautiful, ugly, wild. Today, tomorrow, until the end of time.
‘We, the rolling barons who own that which we can carry – on our back and in our heads, do not forget where we come from, and never let the notion that we are at all times among companions – the moving ones, those who are never alone and sporadically lonely – slip away. We breathe, flow, curse, sing, buzz, puff, growl, sway, suffer, whizz, kiss, cry and weep. We do not think, we pedal. Loose that kickstand, dance on the pedals, flutter across the open road, swing, push and pull, flourish wide, live deep. From here to there, from yonder to elsewhere.
‘You and me, Ziggy, we are never above anything, nor do we stand at the bottom. With love for the unknown as our fuel and reverence for the unexpected as our guide, we sniff oxygen-rich air – with deep, long gulps of breath, we who often bend but seldomly break and greet everyone and anyone, we shall be held accountable for our fleeting existences by tree and leaf, mountain and forest, sea and wave, fur and plumage, hamlet and city, and… by the open road. By continuing to rotate, by laughing mercifully, by steering bravely. Everywhere and always, Ziggy, we are on the road, we are privileged.
Bicycle and cyclist is who we are, laughing and pedalling our ministry.’