Diversion Diary | Fantasy Futures and Lockdown Dreams

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Just like all of us, Hannah is looking to survive the social distancing and lockdown. The Diversion Diary is a tale of love under lockdown, and bikes. Only, there’s an added twist: Hannah’s partner, BK, lives in the USA, and they’re locked down on different continents. This week, she’s losing herself in lockdown dreams and fantasies.

We’ve been in lockdown long enough now to really long for things. A routine of sorts is developing, immediate concerns of toilet roll and flour have faded into some kind of new normality. For many of us not on the front lines of healthcare, we’ve got headspace to look forward, to fantasise about what we’ll do when this is over. I’ve seen a few ‘Fantasy Futures’ on social media – given the sort of people I follow, there’s usually a bike, and a trail, and pine needles involved somewhere along the line. Here is mine.

There is a place I really want to go when we’re all free to move again – and it’s not Utah (though I want to go there too). But first, mostly, above all, I want to go to the sea.

There is a particular campsite that I want to go to with BK. I’m not telling you where it is – then it will be forever booked up, and half its charm is the ability to turn up when the weather is right. There’s no online booking system, no marked pitches. It’s just a couple of fields by the sea, a two minute walk from a cove. Here, time it right and you can wade quietly into the cool, calm water as the rocks shelter the high tide from the rest of the sea. Walk a bit further, 15 minutes or so pasts drifts of sea carrot and thrift flowers, and you can have a mile long stretch of white sand almost to yourself. Fly a kite, leap in the waves, body surf, or lie in the sand – that short walk keeps the crowds at bay and gives you all the space you could want.

BK is heavier than me, and my kite is too big for me in such an exposed spot – I want him as ballast. I want him to hold me like in some cheesy RomCom, hands over mine on the kite’s controls. I want him to help carry the picnic through the coastal flowers so that my kids can run ahead unencumbered by anything more than their body boards. I want to egg each other on deeper into the cold sea, and scream as the waves catch warm dry flesh, until we plunge into the water and suddenly everywhere is cold, yet it’s less cold than partial exposure. I want to show him the cave that sucks scarily as the incoming tide swallows it, to wonder together how far it goes. I want to toast marshmallows on a stove between the rocks, out of the wind. To walk back to the campsite at the end of the day warm, tired and sandy with salt in our hair. I want to sit with him by the fire as the last of the embers die down, watching the stars come out and listening to the night time wind whip through the gorse and reeds on the edges of the site.

I want to go to bed tired, and wake up a little chilled and stiff, aches easing as we brew that first coffee of the day with dew between our toes. The quiet faff of the camping cookset, the smell of the gas, the hiss of the warming water.

This is my post-lockdown fantasy. In the scheme of fantasies, it’s a fairly modest one, but it’s the one that has risen to the top among all the other things I want to do in the future. What’s keeping your boat afloat right now? Come with me now into a land of lockdown dreams.


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Dreams – To Future Rides

I am dreaming of future rides too. And you can’t go wrong with a bit of Alan Watts. Though, I’m not too sure about some of their Instagram choices in this video.

Instant Dreamscapes in Isolation

This is an art project of images taken during bike rides in isolation. The rider was with her daughter – it’s worth having headphones in to pick up the faint soundtrack with her daughter’s commentary in it. Anyone who has been for a ride with a young child will surely smile at the recognition of that delight in spotting things and asking questions as you ride along.

If you’re interested in art, this is a nice piece about art under lockdown.

Bicycle Sounds

I got my road bike out the other day, for the first time in forever. I remembered there is an annoying tick. I should really get round to checking over all the bolts before I forget about it and have another annoying ride.

Dream Warriors

Forty minutes of BMX footage, with a nice laid back sound track – perfect for whiling away the time when you’ve hit that fuzzy dream spot after a strong beer or two.

Fingers Crossed

Maybe you have an idea – a dream – that you turn into reality. Episodes 1-3 of Fingers Crossed BMX are out now, following the dream of making a full suspension BMX. It’s fun, but I did spend half my time wincing at the bodges, and the other half of the time wondering why they didn’t just try riding a slope style bike.

And back to reality. Well, nearly – first, another sort of lockdown dream. I had a plan this week, to sleep in the garden in the hope of finally seeing the hedgehogs that I know are out there. After a bit more prosecco than was wise, and a pint of water to rectify my error of judgement, I snuggled down to sleep. In the early hours, I found myself in some version of the Hope Factory, searching for a toilet. Everywhere I went, there was some problem with the toilets I found. One was in a meeting room, around a conference table. One was actually an armchair in the corner of a staff room, which I was assured was ok because the foam would just soak everything up. I was held up getting to one because I had to stop and talk about flat pedal prototypes, and then someone else got there before me. Fortunately for my sleeping bag, I woke up before finding the perfect porcelain throne in my lockdown dream, and headed back indoors. I still haven’t seen those hedgehogs.

Catch up with the love under lockdown Diversion Diary:


Comments (18)

    I’m afraid I lack the imagination needed to come up with something inspirational. There are a few things to be done post-lockdown, however:
    Take my wife somewhere that makes her happy.
    Driving day with the eldest.
    Lake District with the youngest for his A level photography project.
    A ride with my dad. He’s a roadie, but I’ll suffer it.
    A ride with my mate, anywhere, definitely involving alcohol.

    Oddly enough, one of the things I’ll miss is these dairies, even though I think we’re all rooting for you and BK to get together.

    Nice one, Hannah. Thank you.

    @brakestoomuch That’s a good list, enjoy making it happen. Thanks for the kind words – this isn’t the usual bike stuff and I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read it!

    This is why so many of us love singletrack. Articles like this remind us that you are real human beings, with real lives and not just advertising revenue generators. Please continue to entertain and delight us with your off centre articles.

    “I want to egg each other on deeper into the cold sea, and scream as the waves catch warm dry flesh, until we plunge into the water and suddenly everywhere is cold, yet it’s less cold than partial exposure. I want to show him the cave that sucks scarily as the incoming tide swallows it, to wonder together how far it goes”

    THAT’S JUST PLAIN RUDE

    @jasonmiles for once, I actually didn’t intend that! Jesus. Now you’ve pointed it out…

    More filth from Hannah… 😉
    My post-lockdown list probably includes:
    * A road trip from Brighton and Bournemouth to at least Fort William and Inverness
    * Drinking some quality alcohol with some quality friends
    * Doing some Type2 fun (which I usually avoid when I can) with some friends. Long rides, uncomfortable sleeps, that kind of stuff
    * Getting rid of some stuff. I have too many T-shirts, jeans, shoes, tyres, guitars, books and clutter. It needs to get sold, gifted, lent out or charity shopped
    * Some loooong rides! My longest mountain bike ride in the last six weeks has been about 12 miles…
    * I’ve realised that some of my friends are less outgoing in being super-social and in this current situation, they’ve all but disappeared. I’m going to invite myself round to see them, whether they like it or not. 🙂
    Some more I’m sure I’ve forgotten about. 🙂

    Are we going to start seeing copies of singletrack left in hedges now?

    As for me, once this is over I’m looking forward to a big old ride in the lakes with as many riding buddies as we can muster and going to the pub after. Nowt fancy

    Oh, and I’m going to get down to one of Chipps’ Tuesday Blues Jams (it’s in capitals now so it’s official)

    Like you Hannah I didn’t spot it on first read but thanks to @jasonmiles I think you may have a very promising career sideline as a romantic novelist (Mills & Boon for those of a certain age).
    As far as my post-lockdown list goes I need a Welsh trail centre road trip and a long fantasised bivvy ride in the far North West of Scotland. I’m fortunate enough to have Parkwood Springs as my local ride but it’s been interesting trying to keep it “mellow”…

    I just want to go and see my dad, TBH. He’s been very ill and it’s awful not being able to help out at all.

    I will be treating my son to a trip to South of France for some road riding (his preference). There will be big hills, long lunches and a dip in the sea at Menton after a good plunge downhill.
    Dog walking with my daughter somewhere towards the coast close to home.
    Trips out to the countryside for lunch by tandem with herself.
    Barbecues and drinking with friends/relations (We start and end with family).

    * Getting rid of some stuff. I have too many T-shirts, jeans, shoes, tyres, guitars, books and clutter. It needs to get sold, gifted, lent out or charity shopped

    As on double lockdown, thinking on getting and continuing guitar lessons that started around late 60s I got as far as chords C, G, F (with difficulty) ,E and D, as a change from beginners Greek.

    Nothing complicated or arty just out with mates MTB’ing the Dorset countryside, arriving thirsty, hot, sweaty and muddy at the local pub ……
    “Welcome”
    “are we ok to come in this muddy?”
    “of course, no problem, what will you be having?”
    “4 pints of your finest ale please”
    Ahhhh longing for those days to return 🙂

    I quite fancy a kebab.

    It’s yeilding softness as my tongue explores it’s opening.
    The aroma, quite unlike any other, which makes my stomach flip-flop with the thought of the delights to come.
    The sauce dripping down my chin to gather in my manly beard. 1
    And once it’s over, the wonderful warm feeling of true contentment.

    And as I walk home, strangers will look me, notice the wry little grin and wonder what could possibly make a man so happy.

    Then the guilt. My wife doesn’t understand the compulsion that ravages my soul, torturing me until the next time.

    Adieu, sweet doner.

    @Pete Good work. Thank you for that 🙂

    Sorry Hannah, long day.

    Enjoying your lockdown series.
    Chin up, love will find a way, it always does. The fact that you’ve had to work so hard at it will make everything so much sweeter in the long run.

    You’ll have more great stories to tell.

    Love to all.

    ps. Sorry to hear about your dad Jase, much love from me and Sue.
    Buy you a pint if you’re back this way when all this is over.

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