Ghandi said that.
A sage man indeed, other than driving cars far too many miles, far too fast, eating shit from service stations and running to one meeting after the other, the rest of me seems in some kind of slow moving stasis. I haven’t ridden my bike for a month now; cold/flu appalling weather and a back that I must have bought from an Ebay Scammer (seems to lack the fundamental movement the makes a spine a spine) in a drunken haze.
If I sound a bit sorry for myself I have been. I’ve felt conspired against by my own body, night time brings pre-sleep dreams of big rides and power in my legs, morning finds a shuffling apathy-filled human who’d like to stay in bed in longer.
This weekend I went walking, Bert and I. Both of us sent out of the house under mild duress. Bert’s own interpretation of Ghandi’s words is to walk at any pace he likes and wander off wherever he wants with whomever he wants. He’s reached such a level of transendence that my words mean little to him (it may be the deafness and the milky looking eyes that he has, but I think he’s already on the next plane) So as a walking couple we’re perfect for each other.
Habits being what they are, my walk still was put together in the same way I’d plan a ride, so which trail joins which and how to keep away from the road as much as possible.
Walking down one of the local classics, I looked up at the adjoing trail we also ride, for the first time ever I noticed the the trail didn’t just join the trail I was on; it crossed it into another trail probably for only another twenty metres but with a really awkward step-down ending that looked ace. How come I hadn’t noticed it before? It wasn’t hidden really it just needed to be seen and normally that’s either a full tilt bit of trail or I’m too giggly and filled with adrenaline to notice very much around me.
Topping out I find another trail I’ve never seen before. Not terribly exciting but another way from A to B and depending on which way you were going could save you a bit of climbing to get to the next bit, Bert using his transendence to higher plains had found this particular thin slice of sheep path (that and a piece of rotting carrion halfway along the path to tempt him) and we both celebrated his humble wisdom by stopping and taking in the view,which was stunning, and not a blurred peripheral streak in the background or filled with stars from hard effort and lack of oxygen and none the worse for it.
On our return leg an hour or so later I took a right rather than going straight on and walked (with a rider’s eye ) a path back down to the valley, it wasn’t an unkown trail to me, but unridden for perhaps three years, I couldn’t believe how good it was and somehow missed all this time.
As I kicked off my boots at home and contemplated washing the mud and offal-covered Bert, I realised how much I wanted to ride again, if I hadn’t have got out on foot I certainly won’t on wheel, and the slower pace reminded me of how much I miss in the rush of it all.
I decided to give washing Bert a miss and go and see if there were any cows nearby that needed a scrub – Just to say thanks to our Indian friend.
UPDATE :- After much searching and some emails the lovely people at TFL arranged a poster for me , soon to be framed on my wall. Thanks to Silka Kennedy-Todd, and her Colleague Candice for sourcing one for me.
UPDATE 2 :-
Looks fab hey ;] ?
Posted on: December 14, 2009 by singletrackmatt