The Body Issue
Welcome to Rouleur 117: Body. Following our last magazine of 2022, based around the theme of the mind, we knew that we had to cover the other half of life’s metaphysical duality and make an edition about cycling’s relationship with the body.
Professional road cycling has less of a prescriptive body shape than other sports. Basketball players tend to be tall, marathon runners small and slight, sumo wrestlers bulky and swimmers tend to have long arms relative to their height and large hands and feet. Of course, the factor pro road cyclists have in common is that they are lean, but beyond that, successful racers can be short, tall, broad and narrow. They can be muscular, or slight. It’s a reflection of how diverse a challenge road races are that many different riders can thrive – the territory can be mountainous, or punchy, or flat, or a combination of the three, and even then, strategy and tactics can enable riders to win on terrain that isn’t necessarily favourable to their body type.
But cycling’s relationship with the body goes further than the sport. What about the rest of us? In the past, cycling has been fairly narrow-minded in deciding what constitutes a cyclist. However, we live in more enlightened times: anybody can ride a bike, and everybody who does is therefore a cyclist. Rouleur 117 celebrates the diversity and inclusivity of life on two wheels. We cycle, therefore we are cyclists.