A soft, steady and roasting solo 50-miles plus in the Peak yesterday - sort of Stoopid Loop - interrupted only by the wanderings of suicidal grice (yes, the plural of grouse is definitely 'grice' or should be), an ice cream stop courtesy of coincidental friends and a very dead right-hand pedal. Big thanks to 18 Bikes for selling me new ones.
A day of proper, luminous happiness under a burning sky made bearable by the wind. Had this playing on repeat in my head and later on my shuffle along the Longdendale Trail...
Funny stuff. Somewhere in the last six months, I've lost the cold, hard, glittering ball of sadness and anger that I've used as fuel for too long. Trying to ride in the moment, feeling the drumming of tyres on parched trails made rutted by dinosaur bike tracks and the sound of the wind brushing past. Which all sounds like a load of rubbish, but there you go.
Someone once told me that I rode a bike as if I hated it. I'm not sure about that. I think it was more that I rode like someone who didn't like himself very much mixed in with the intrinsic brutality you sometimes need to ride stuff in the Peak. And some people are very good at picking at your insecurities and throwing them back in your face. And no, I'm not Nijinsky on a bike, but so what.
But anyway, it was a cracking day of warm, trashed legs and a sort of calm, slightly poignant happiness.