Just like all of us, Hannah is looking to survive the social distancing and lockdown. Only, there’s already a heap of distance between her and the one she loves.
My partner lives in the USA. This situation is less than ideal, but it’s how it is. With the current lockdown on travel restrictions between the USA and UK, I have no idea when I will see him again. If we get sick, we’re not going to be able to look after each other. We’re apart, and we’re stuck that way, and beyond washing our hands and social distancing, it’s all out of our control. This sucks more than I have the words for. It also puts a bunch of stuff into perspective. Maybe I’ll write more about that in the coming weeks, right now I’m doing what I think in this day and age people call ‘processing’.
Lockdown Good Times
In an effort to escape from Covid19 news, and feeling hopeless, and endlessly comparing and contrasting the public health advice and rules being handed down by our respective leaders, we’ve been seeking to immerse ourselves in some online diversions. Finding things we can do together, remotely. No, not that sort of thing – this isn’t that sort of website.
Since we are both bike nerds, there’s a fair amount of bike stuff in what we share or watch together. It’s a theme at the very least. And then I figured, if we liked these things, maybe you would too. And if we needed some time away from Coronavirus scrolling, stressing, scrolling again, maybe you would too.
My intention is then, for as long as we’re watching videos together, and while distraction from the news seems like a good idea, or while we’re all in Corona virus lockdown, that I’ll round up the things that get us through the days, and share them with you. There’s this big thing called the internet for videos of cats, so I’ll try to keep them out of it, but it probably won’t all be strictly bike related. The links may be tenuous.
If you’ve seen something great, why not tell me in the comments, and maybe we’ll add it to the viewing and discussion schedule.
For the record, and context, and to make this easier to write so it sounds a little more like a cosy and relaxing space than a law firm, my partner is called Kevin. You might know him as Fahzure. Amanda calls him BK – short for Big Kev. If you want to know how come he’s there, and I’m here, and we’re a thing, then you should read the Last Word in Issue 120, where it all started. So, come join us in taking time out to tune out and chill out. We’re not in lockdown, we’re on the sofa, watching TV together.
Tea And Biscuits
We start with Tea and Biscuits, a new 45 minute film from the maker of A Slice of British Pie. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, there is some spectacularly skilled riding from some people having a lot of fun, and I like the playfulness of the film. On the other hand, it’s hard to watch, since much of the time the riders seem to have very little regard for their safety and well being. BK has had 81 broken bones. He has not grown out of the desire to deliberately throw himself through the air on a bike as he has grown older. These two facts may be correlated, possibly even modelled in some fancy moving graphic. Nevertheless, even he found himself calling out ‘Give that guy a Leatt [neck brace]!’. We think we spotted two being worn in the video. We spotted no women at all, apart from a brief shot of a Page 3 model. Which is another reason I’m not wholly convinced I like this movie. It’s a bit too testosterone fuelled, and I struggled with that a bit. Anyway, watch it, and tell me what you think.
My friend and riding buddy Rick had his birthday on Friday – Happy Birthday, Rick! In a stroke of genius, someone sent him a potato in the post as a present. I find this very funny. Rick likes to cook (consider yourself very lucky if you receive trail snacks from him, they’re a treat, but watch out for the hip flask that follows), so he put the potato to good use, and published what he titled ‘My Birthday Potato, A Story In Pictures’.
I need a chip butty now. Don’t you?
Lockdown Art Gallery Tour: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
This suggestion kindly came from BK’s mum – despite any lockdown or restrictions, you can tour art galleries of the world using Google. We had a wander around a few places together, including Crystal Bridges. If you’re wondering what the bike link is here, it was chosen because it has bike trails in the grounds, and is in Bentonville, home of one of the coolest emerging mountain bike scenes in the USA. The tour experience is a little clunky – we kept ending up in different places and struggling to both be looking at the same painting ‘I’m looking at a picture of a man in a big hat’, ‘Yes, and he’s holding a fish?’, ‘No! Mine’s holding a horse! Go back to the red room, and take the door by the gardening tools sculpture’. It was rather like one of those very early D&D style role play computer games, where it was all text and no graphics, and you had to decide whether to try and kill the troll or go and find the lump of gold he wanted to let you pass. Anyway, it was kind of fun, and bit different. There’s heaps of stuff on Google Art – I recommend you use the search facility and check out ‘bicycle’ and ‘bike’ for a few more bikey things like this that may be of interest.
Mountain Biking and Gold Prospecting
This video comes from what is quite an incredible corner of the internet. The AvE channel has this Canadian mostly taking apart tools and household items, critiquing their construction, and putting them back together again, all the while keeping up a running commentary that is informative, funny, totally off topic, often sweary, and occasionally rather offensive. In this video, he goes out for a bike ride with his son, but the running commentary is still there. Prepare to learn things about geology, laugh at stupid stuff, and wonder who the heck this guy is.
Right, that’s the end of the diversion for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed switching off for a few minutes. Thanks for being here. See you soon.