Monday, August 06, 2007

Once a Cyclist....


Once a cyclist, always a cyclist.

At heart anyway if not by active participation.

Eric Clapton, in his youth, rode a bike as well as played guitar; he even raced a little and rode a few time-trials.

The guitar became his number one passion and won out over the bicycle, but the bicycle keeps popping up now and then throughout his life and career. In his early days with Cream he made an album called Disraeli Gears.

The story goes that one day in the recording studio Eric was telling the other band members about his bike racing and his road bike. One of them asked, “Did it have those Disraeli gears?”

This was quite funny because what he really meant was derailleur gears. Benjamin Disraeli was a British prime minister in the 1800s during Queen Victoria’s reign. This is how, the now famous album, got its name.


I recently discovered Eric Clapton has a personal blog. He doesn’t write much, mostly posts pictures of his travels, and of objects that interest him.

Recently he posted a picture of a Unicanitor bicycle saddle along with pictures of some cowboy belt buckles. You would be hard pressed to find more dissimilar objects than these and no one but an ex-cyclist would find a bike saddle interesting enough to take a picture.

A search through the archives, unearthed a picture of a Cinelli badge, the kind they used to put on their steel handlebar stems. Also, a fixed gear Cinelli track bike.

I checked back through all the previous posts via the “Back” button to the very first one posted on November 17th, 2006. At the top, he wrote:

“Driven by insatiable passions, governed by the need to be free and independent.......these are some of the things that stop me in my tracks.”

This quote is followed by photos of two different Ferrari cars, and a Dodge Night Runner truck. The fourth picture is of a vintage Cinelli Special Corsa road bike that appears to be in new condition.

Just goes to show how the experience of riding a simple machine like a road bicycle, even briefly in one’s life, can become embedded in a person’s psyche, their subconscious, and it never leaves.



4 comments:

Andy Scherer said...

That's just brilliant. Was just talking about that album the other night.

Colin Griffiths said...

Really interesting. I have been trying to make a list of music associated with biking, this will make a good entry. Thanks.

Tuco said...

In that last section with the car, truck and bike, I definitely like the bike picture best. : )

VeloJon said...

Speaking of Cream, I remember reading somewhere that drummer Ginger Baker had also done some bike racing. Can anyone confirm?