Boys who ride their bike without using their hands


“Look at me, aren’t I cool? Aren’t you impressed by my mastery of this pedal-powered vehicle? Aren’t you in awe of my balance and co-ordination?”

No. None of those things. In fact, what I really really want to happen right now, as you glide by, arms flopped at your side with that eminently punchable look on your face, is for your front wheel to unexpectedly hit a small obstacle or a divot in the road and your expression to change from misplaced cockiness to abject horror as your ridiculously-clothed body finds itself unexpectedly altering trajectory and heading – at speed – towards something hard and unyielding.

You’ll notice girls hardly ever ride a bike like this. It’s not because they can’t, it’s because they don’t want to. Girls are more sensible, you see. That’s why they do better at school and tend to get arrested less.

It’s not even as if you’re taking advantage of your hands being free. Your arms just hang there like they’ve been injected with anaesthetic. Use a phone, eat a packet of crisps, check a map…DO SOMETHING.  Take advantage of this skill you’ve learned; it’s a fucking pointless skill, but make it count for something!

But no, it’s just a statement, isn’t it? You’re a maverick, a rebel and a risk-taker. You are oh-so-achingly cool that you don’t even need a helmet, do you? Seriously, think about how many hands-free cyclists you’ve seen – did any have a helmet on? Of course not. But you know, I’m glad. Because when they fall off – and the law of averages dictates that some of them will fall off – I wouldn’t want them to have the luxury of impact-absorption when their skull hits the pavement.

If you’re so adverse to handlebars, ride a fucking unicycle to college.


  1. A. B.

    But sometimes I like the thrill of letting go of the handlebars… it makes me feel free

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