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Journal of Physical Education in Higher Education


2009, Volume 11, Number 4, 1-14

Profound Playing: Implications of Cycling


Hsien-Hsiang Liu1 and Hung-Shih Chou2
1

Department of Recreation and Sport management, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung 824, Taiwan
and

Graduate Institute of Physical Education, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan

Abstract
The movie Island Etude provoked the enthusiasm of Taiwanese people to conduct
bicycle tours around the island and also raised peoples awareness and desire to search for
dreams and make them true. This article denotes the authors implications of the cycling sport
on a long-term personal experience and observation upon riders behavior. The paper refers to
Gadamers concept of playing to investigate the meaning of the cycling sport. It is found that
the process of bicycle riding is non-stop and interpretative, leading to a different sensation
each time. By going through various kinds of road conditions, riders realize the highs and lows
of life. Some riders would recognize the meaning of letting go. The consecutive pedaling
exercises bring about inter-subjective combination, to ensure the integration between the body
and machine. In the outdoor environment, riders get to appreciate the inter-subjectivity between
human and the nature, to reach man-nature integration by being refilled with life. At the
moment of cycling, riders part themselves from materialism, triggering aesthetic experience,
as a medium to be liberal. By playing, riders abstract themselves from the reality, as a
temporary ecstasy to experience total freedom of body and mind. These reports conclude that
with comprehensive self-understanding, riders settle down back to the reality with a profound
enlightenment.
Keywords: cycling, Gadamer, narrative inquiry

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