Standing astride my bike and looking across the Bristol Channel last night, I was reminded of what cycling – for me at least – is all about. It’s not about the bling and the exotica, shaved legs and chaingang, century rides or manic downhills. Sure, it’s about that sometimes. But it’s not what makes the whole. Spread before me was a South Wales panorama. Nantgarw plunged away to my left. The masts of the millennium stadium stood proud over the Taff. Aberthaw powered our tellies and kettles from its port like position. The Beacons were stoic in their rear vanguard. But things are transient. Only the last of these will stand the test of time. So it makes sense to enjoy their presence in the here and the now (and ‘sense’ is what cycling is all about).
So what is ‘sense’? Is it perfect and obvious? Or is it touch and feel? It’s both. Its the feeling of solitude and the sensation of space. Its grinding and hurting or slow, comfortable and easy (you have the power to determine) . Its noticing things. Really noticing things. It’s bumping into friends for a snatched chat (I stopped three times), its discovering something new or revisiting something old. Its bouncing over ruts, or clambering over rocks, or willing the top of the mountain to loom into view. Its contemplating what lies ahead.
Cycling, as the enlightened urban commentator points out (above), makes perfect sense.
Graffiti beneath Victorian railway arches, hidden in Llandaff North. Nikon D7000, 50mm lens