Karl Whitney’s cycles around London and Dublin during the pandemic made him consider the connections between not only speed and attention, but also trajectory and narrative.
The view from the bicycle’s saddle offers, he believes, a unique viewpoint from which to consider the complex interplay between city, society and subjectivity. The bicycle, then, is more than a functional machine for self-propelled transport, rather it is a catalyst for thinking about the relationship between world and self, providing a tactile and visceral experience of place, one accompanied by internal monologues and accidental encounters that suggest future possibilities for writing about the city.
Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin, 2014) and Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2019). His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.