As everyone knows, there are few sports so blatantly homoerotic as cycling. We shave our legs, we wear tight clothing, and we kiss each other full on the mouth.
Okay, the kissing part doesn’t happen as much, but the leg shaving and tight clothing certainly do. And it doesn’t stop there.
Tonight at our local Atlanta track, Dick Lane Velodrome, I participated in madison practice. Madison is a style of track racing invented in New York City, as I have just learned from Wikipedia. To give you an idea of what a race looks like, here’s a video of the 2005 madison world championships, featuring Mark “Manx Missile” Cavendish, or as he is known to fans of BikeSnobNYC, the “Man Missile”.
As you can see, people are riding bikes and occasionally holding hands, and the whole thing is pretty chaotic. If you could hear any of the audio, you would probably get a sense of just how homoerotic the whole thing really is, as I did earlier tonight when I heard my fellow riders screaming at top volume to one another things like “Hand! Put out your hand, I’m coming underneath!”
As a beginner, I was required to spend some time practicing with my madison partner on foot before we took the track, which is even more awkwardly homoerotic because it’s not like you’re even riding bikes at that point. You’re just holding hands.
All things considered it was a lot of fun, and as sketchy as it was to ride fast and sling one another around, it got more fun the more practice we had at it.
With a little more practice, I can be ready for a real madison race, but it will take longer to sort out my feelings as of all the hand holding.