When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Waking up to a cacophony of white noise and unanswerable questions inside my head was not the best start to the day – I sat – I procrastinated – I got really freakin’ annoyed with myself and I knew that the only way to rescue the day was to turn crank.
Life has so many questions at the minute and not many answers, juggling too many balls and catching none of them, the only way I can eliminate the fuzz and quiet the brain is to turn crank, doesn’t matter what way it is done so long as it happens before the noise builds and my brain explodes.
I crept quietly around the house, the ladies in my life in quiet blissful sleep, something I knew nothing about – I spent time gathering kit together, filling backpack with requisite supplies and emergency items before unlocking the garage door and breathing in the cold winter air.
Car loaded I made for the start of my ride some 10 miles away, I travelled in silence, my brain trying to make sense of everything, anticipating the ride to come.
The ice on the pavement was an early indicator to just how cold the air temperature was; the low winter sun offered a coating of yellow if not heat to the day, pitch perfect riding conditions once wrapped in wool.
There was no mission today other than to pedal until the brain went still, much of the ride to the trail head was spent in a hypnotic daze induced by the metronomic clicking of my left pedal – circle, click, circle, click – only the barking of a distant dog awaking me from my rhythmic breathing.
I entered a Zen-like state once the trail turned from frozen tarmac to dirt, nothing in the world mattered to me other than that which sat twelve inches in front of my wheel, connected with bike, flowing as one, shift weight here, lift wheel there, weight back for the drop-off, it was all seamless, it was everything.
I stopped at some stage close to the return back to the car to stretch my legs on the motorway overpass, watching lives pass by underneath, part wondering where they were going, part not caring, part glad I was out of a tin coffin breathing in the winter morning, glad to be alive again.
I may not have answered any of my questions on the ride but at least the white noise was turned off for just another day at least.