From a window


From the train  window I glimpsed him. A red jersey astride a mountain bike atop a field. A blanket cloud of greyness dampened all but freedom. I was sat on the 10 o’clock from Paddington as it neared Bath. The hills had gently risen, punctuated by occasional lanes and church spires.

In a snatched moment I saw everything I miss. Rolling countryside. A slog through long damp grass. Silence (save for my passing train). A hawk circling an unwitting quarry. The fresh breeze blowing through all. A solo ride for the soul.

I try not to forget the reasons why I ride. I try not to get burdened by commitments (both willing and forced), try not to lose the love of the thing that sets you free, despite a tendency to be trapped by the thing you love.

Tomorrow won’t be about training rides or coaching or riding to the next meeting. Tomorrow will be about finding a slog through long damp grass. Silence. A hawk circling an unwitting quarry. The fresh breeze blowing through it all. My solo ride for the soul.

Top image: where I’ll be headed.

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