My mate Mike stayed over on Tuesday night. He bought curry and covered the front room in lightweight kit before spending hours wrestling with a GPS / lap-top nexus and finally getting up at 5.30 am and dragging a bloody great bike box to Glossop station en route for Manchester Airport.
He's off to ride the Divide, which is ace. And he's kind of scared and excited and wearing ridiculous old clothes to throw away in Banff and watching him filtering ride kit and backpacking kit and kit kit reminded me of packing for a big mountain climbing trip.
And I have to admit I was a little envious. But at the same time, very, very glad I wasn't off to ride endless American hardpack for days on end.
I like stopping and looking at places. The best thing about extended traveling is being able to stop and take in the good bits at will, not rush past them and through them and over them. And I can see why people like the feeling of movement, of passing through, of motion. But sometimes stopping works too.
And then later, when Mike was somewhere over the Atlantic, I snuck out for a ride with my mid-week riding bud, a twice-postponed mission in search of local tech and we found it. Awesomely lovely rocky downhill singletrack with enough flow to keep it fluid and enough rock to make it consistently interesting.
Bloody ace and ten minutes from my front door.
Sigh. Best thing I've ridden for ages and good company too. And with added cake.
Sometimes the best things are nearer than you think.