Artist Spotlight: Jacquie Phelan

My latest experiment in fighting colds has failed. Badly. But does anyone really want to know about this, no. But I’ve been holed up in Miguel’s apartment condo trying to reach a normal temperature again. I’m almost there. Miguel’s sick, too. The saddest part in recovery, however, is knowing that soon I must bid farewell to my Bonnie Tyler voice. It’s times like this when my voice resonates in a sexy, scratchy way. I would drag myself up onto that karaoke stage, but no, is that common sense talking or my low grade fever.

Anyway, I’m sharing with you a link to an essay written by Jacquie Phelan. Long before I knew that people even actually raced bikes (aside from watching the Tour de France on tv), I had done some Internet “research” on mountain biking. I’d just acquired my trusty Trek 850 complete with toe clips. I was tired of feeling like crying every time I rode with my then boyfriend Gumbo Lumbrusco (that is his stage name). I never fell nor hurt myself, I want you to know. That’s because I walked my bike most of the time. This is a whole ‘nother story.

I somehow found myself looking at the Wombats.org webpage. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Women’s Mountain Bike and Tea Society. This seemed like the perfect group for me. But I never joined. After Gumbo and I broke up, I never tried mountain biking again until I rode into a tree in Sedona, Arizona, which brought me even closer to meeting Jacquie Phelan one day, but that, too, is another story.

The story is that I was supposed to be entering orders into the database, as I was a Jandel Scientific Order Hotline Operator. I was highly specialized in my craft. But no, I found myself surfing the internet reading every article ever written by Wombat founder Jacquie Phelan. Never mind that she was in her day the most successful mountain biker ever. Her writing triggered something in me. Since then, I’ve wondered, is there a connection between riding and writing? And then is this connection only in English? Escribir and andar sound so completely different, for example.

Autocross never inspired writing like this, none that I’ve read anyway, and being the daughter of the owners of autocrossing’s only literary review, you’d think I’ve have at laest some insight. It was reading Jacquie’s articles that planted some kind of seedling of an idea into the fleshy flower pot of my brain, and that idea was, Whoa. You mean there is life outside of the parking lot?

It would please Jacquie to know that she unpaved my path.

So I’m sharing a link to one of my favorite Jacquie Phelan essays, Kicking Back at Fate (you have to click the quote below to read the whole thing, and you should!). 

I sometimes wonder if the laws of physics will be repealed when I am in the middle of a winding, slick descent. The devilish programmer in my upstairs viewing room runs a segment of ‘Flights of the Paranoid’ until I remember I’m the one with the clicker, and I switch channels to ‘Replays of Great Races’, ‘Peaceful Ponds’ or my favorite: ‘Wombats: Bulldozers of the Bush’. My elbows unlock and my neck loosens.

No matter what else is going wrong, when I’m in the saddle, one thing in my life is in balance.

You can read more of Jacquie’s essays here.

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About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Cycling, Leisure, Random Ramblings, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

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