Today haws been a win.
Other than one wrecked hip, one wrecked shoulder, and a rolling migraine that felt like having an icepick rammed into my eye socket but without the soothing lobotomy, today has been fabulous. Borrowed a friend with a van, and made the four-hour round-trip to pick up Brrrm from the other side of the Pennines.
Got home, refuelled myself, then after a few minutes of oohing and aahing at Brrrm with the Downhill Neighbour, I went for a quick five-minute pootle around the village. I followed the route of the bus, which circles the village before going into town, then instead of going into town went up to the garage and refuelled the bike as well – Five pounds to fill the tank, over the reserve. At that point, it started raining, so I turned around and headed home. Not a long ride, half a dozen miles at most and none of it over 30mph, but it felt good to be out. The GZ125 is, as I’ve mentioned, slow and squidgy, and this one seems to want to be in third gear to go at twenty miles an hour. But I’ve mastered the stalling-at-every-stop thing, and I no longer insist on slowing to an absolute crawl at the slightest bend in the road, so I think I’m on the right track. And more to the point, sitting on it is comfortable. Like, the posture that the seat encourages – Arms relaxed, shoulders back, knees apart, feet straight and supported from the soles – is actively good for me. Add to that the sudden blast of fresh air and being genuinely on my own with my thoughts was invigorating. One of the things I really miss are my long walks – Before I got ill I would do my long walks, ten to twenty miles at a time, always just setting off from my house, or a friend’s house, or just deciding to walk home from whatever far-flung point I was at. Preferably in the cold, on the kind of day that’s got a low, white sky and still air and the promise of snow. They were my time to think – To just let the body deal with itself (one foot, then the other foot, nice long strides that take no energy at a pace that I could keep up for days) whilst I let my mind run wild, solve whatever problems I had, write reams of prose, soak in the surroundings and just generally exist without anyone bothering me. And now this has opened up the possibility of feeling like that again.
I got off the bike and felt more awake than when I’d got on it.
Tomorrow, I have grand plans – Maybe do a short stint at work, then go out into the hills for a bit to take photos of sheep. Or cows, maybe. I saw an amazing belted galloway calf, About two foot tall and for some reason in a field full of full-grown anguses, so might try to find him again. Also, further away there was a field full of cows (friesians, I think – Black and white and ddairy, anyway) in orange high-vis vests, which was a special kind of special. I know it’s practical, but the poor beasts looked so undignified.
And now I can just go out and see where the road takes me. A sensible trip might be to the local biker cafe, where if nothing else, I can basically guarantee someone to put the bike back together if it comes to bits, and also where I can get something to eat mid-journey without being looked at askance for being in leathers.
Here’s to enthusiasm.