I wasn’t sure what to call this one. It was actually a store errand.
Errand 4: Peaceful Everyday Action
Destination: A lot of my riding is a 7km loop to the local shop. This was one of them to get some margarine but I have used up the store errand quota.
Rationale and observations: The ride is quick, convenient to coax the boys out on a ride and doesn’t waste petrol or pollute the environment. I spent Saturday evening taking apart a large wardrobe and loading the van with the MDF and chip board components so that I could be at the recycling & refuse centre when it opened the following morning. This I planned, would avoid any queues as people would over-sleep due to the clocks going forward. I was right and was home for brunch before cleaning the space and painting the wall that was hidden by the wardrobe. It was sunny and mild. The birds were singing, people where walking and riding on the shared path behind the house, enjoying the spring weather while I was inside lamenting my lot.
After a most excellent late lunch roast pork, I added a second coat of paint while listening to the emergent details of a hostage situation in France and an Australian cricket scandal before tidying up and invited my family out for a ride. Mrs B2W was tired after a late night out, Master 13 was laid low with headaches, fever and sore throat (man ‘flu) while master 10 would rather practice his acrobatics on the trampoline. So I offered to ride up to the shop to get the much needed marg for the next days packed school lunches. After a weekend of chores and taxi driving I decided that I needed some space so I hopped on the 29er for a spin up the Flitch. I didn’t bother kitting up save the spd shoes and helmet. It was just a loose base layer under a rugby top and a pair of shorts.
The trail was dry and the sun was still out blinking through the clouds. I am mostly a solo rider so usually do a lot of thinking when I am out on a ride but not this time. All of my personal woes and trials had evaporated. No Twitter feed, no latest crisis on the news, no in-law with cancer, no loved one in the grip of anxiety and depression. I felt like a kid again jumping the kerbs, taking short cuts and trying (but failing) to do wheelies. I was reminded of a simpler life when I was younger and the only way to go where I wanted was by bike; exploring different routes and often staying out all day.
But times have changed. I was on a deadline to be back and when I got back my previous lethargy was gone and there was a smile on my face. I am reminded that the beauty of a bike ride is not limited to a method of transport but offers me a remedy from my own anxiety and stress. This may explain some of my lack of enjoyment doing it over the last month. I have treated riding as a function that must be done to maintain fitness, save money rather than be mindful to my surroundings when I am out doing it. The days are getting longer and it is getting warmer-a timely peaceful everyday action indeed…