And now, the term “poetry in motion” is suddenly more than a just a hackneyed expression.*


HkuTrioSha* There was a time, son
when hills like these were my friends
Ford was president.

We can scarcely imagine that Meiji-era poet Masaoka Shiki could have foretold his timeless and beloved poetic genre haiku would be exported to the English language, much less grace a garment made for cycling, but progress works in strange and circuitous ways, and, well, Masaoka-san, here we are.

Over the course of years, we’ve collected ingenious haiku submitted by our loyal customers and fans, and, after perhaps a few too manyAsahi Super Dry, decided to infuse some truth into the overused term “Poetry in Motion” by creating our Haiku jersey. This little gem showcases 84 of your fellow cyclists’ very best poetic depictions of life on the bike, which we hope that both you – and those on your wheel – will enjoy reading. And when you sport the famous red polka dots, no words are needed to signal your affinity for climbing is as earnest as your taste in cycling poetry.

Cycling Haiku

Do you have a Haiku that can break into our top – 34? If so we’ll flip you our Hi-viz slap band. (submit to: info@elevengear.com).

“A Catalogue of Observed Wildlife While Cycling the Joe Rodota Trail at Twilight”
Two barn owls, field mice
coyotes, three jack rabbits
a barfing wino
-Luc L.

 

“The Adventures of Speedy Man”
Chain’s now cleaned and oiled
put on superhero kit
click in and hammer
-Matthew B.

 

“Undertrained”
Paceline killing me
just hoping for a red light
to nurse my bottle
-Michael D.

 

“Climbing Gear Adjustment”
Shifts great in the stand
yet now, on that last hairpin
W.T.F.
-Raymond P.

 

“Cramps Always Have Perfect Timing”
Coiled serpent patient;
final rise, she strikes both calves
immobilizing
-Diego B.

 

“Mysterious Creaking Noise”
Checked headset, both hubs,
bottom bracket. This bike needs
an exorcism
-Enrique P.

“Ending”
Techs judge older bike
unworthy for modern wrench
dumpster finale
-David A.

“One point six miles at 10 per cent”
I thought I could climb
then I hit Coleman Valley
o my quads, my quads
-Alicia D.

 

“Dreaded Bonk”
Both energy, time
compress completely. Seeking:
carbo infusion
-Hank S.

 

“Dogs”
Allow a wide space
for festive mongrels as they
make sport in roadway
-Manuel Y.

 

 

“Dawn Ride”
Shed door creaks open
gravel crunches underneath
I am the wind
-Peter H.

“Hairless Hundred”
Back woods country store
shave gel coupon kiwi scent
are you man enough?
-Karen P.

“Anachronism”
Singlespeed? Misnamed.
Actually there are two;
riding and walking
-Sean M.

“ ‘Chamois Butt’r’ Gel Pak”
Sucking on a gel
a long ride spoiled by the taste
of chafing lotion
-Daniel M.

“Breaking Away”
Caruso Singing
slacking boys at the quarry
cutters win lil’ 5
-Doug B.

“Feigning Intent”
Grace personified
falling over at the stop
I meant to do that.
-Fredrik S.

“Undesireable View”
Thinning lycra of
the cyclist in front of me
revealing secrets
-Jim S.

“Bargain Shrimps”
Scarcely five miles in
and a foul rumbling below
conceal me, dear shrub
-Chris H.

“Poseur”
Pink kit, tattooed calves
shiny carbon euro steed
he better be fast
-Nick C.

“Utility”
Sing ho for beaters!
with trickle-down components
and lumpy, patched tubes
-Nate S.

“Fatigue”
Suicide break failed
I am fodder – let me be –
To pedal in squares
-Michael D.

“Accidental Poet”
why write bike haiku?
perhaps your bike got stolen
at poetry class?
-Mike K.

“Climbing”
There was a time, son
When hills like these were my friends.
Ford was president.
-Jim C.

 

“Embrocation”
Bengay, good for legs
not as good for chamois cream
O God make it stop!
-Rico Suave Miles

“Passing Fashions”
Shifters on down tube
uncool? It’s not like I’m still
riding Biopace™
-Jeff J.

“Lessons Learned”
First time in lycra
what, the padding goes inside?
so that’s why they laugh
-Rico Suave Miles

“Disappointment”
With a quiet moan
I reach what I was sure was
the mountain summit
-Phil B.

“Velodrome Mishap”
Velodrome surface
slow tires won’t stick to it, but
skin has no problem
-Philthy

“The Barbarians”
Three brothers set forth
the youngest had massive quads
he won many wives
-D.P.

“Relative worth”
how do I explain
a rear derailleur that costs
more than my mortgage?
-Jeff J.

“Fixed Gear”
Hipster on Fixie
Scraping your flesh off the road
too cool for brakes, huh?
-Jeffrey M.

“Early Season”
Fitness is lacking
thankfully spandex stretches
why not one more beer?
-Rico M.

“On the High Plains”
Big truck, you would slow
for a tractor or stray dog
so why not for me?
-Sue H.

“Ketosis”
Thirty miles remain
four dimes and stale ClifBar™
can I make it home?
-Rick P.

“Piety”
Damn! Another hill
Lord, please forgive my cursing
and level this land
-Heather B.