Zen and the Invisible man

So, had a couple of decent rides this week covering about 75km over the course of two days, which is both a source of pleasure as well as a bit of a source of concern. So let’s get the upside, down onto paper, (or whatever the electronic version of that is) first. Two rides, two days apart both of which were roughly two hours in the saddle and I’m still enjoying it. It was no walk in the park though and whilst I was still comfortable after both of them, it has come to dawn on me that for Poole to Paris, we are looking at 400km across 4 days and that means it’s a relentless cycle of eat, cycle, sleep and repeat and at the moment I don’t feel all that comfortable (perhaps that’s due to the way a certain part of my anatomy is aching) with that prospect.

I am though really looking forward to the trip, just need to feel like I can face the bike for 4 consecutive days. So back to the rides. I said last time that I enjoyed cycling in company, but for Saturday I was out there alone and its bit of a different experience but still enjoyable. When I’m on the bike on my own I find my mind wanders to all sorts of places so here are Saturdays thoughts. Firstly on that being alone thing, I’m very comfortable with my own company and spending time alone,  in my youth I tended towards sports that were individual efforts, where you were responsible for your own successes or failures and while I was in both the school soccer and rugby teams (and just the once in the cricket team), I was also happy with cross-country or long, high or triple jumps. I think as I’ve aged I enjoy company more than I did.

Then, next my mind wandered to books. The book that first sprang to mind was Zen and the art of motorcycle mechanics, partly because it’s a road trip book (and one of the aspects of P2P, that I’m most looking forward to is that road trip element), partly because the author Robert Pirsig, recently passed away, and partly because its one of those classics that I had a couple of goes at reading and probably should revisit. For me books and films are entertainment at the time but very few stay in my memory in much detail. I have copies of a few books that I consider to be classics, Catch 22, Zen, and The Dice Man, although the latter of those I recently recommended to someone who didn’t enjoy it. But whilst I can’t remember the plot of any of those I can recall word for word the lyrics to a whole bunch of 35-year-old songs. I caught myself, on Friday evening singing along to firstly Top of the Pops 2 which featured the killing of Georgie (parts 1 & 2) and then there was a documentary about Carly Simon later in the evening, ending the speculation about who was the subject of  “You’re so vain”, but back to the bike ride on Saturday it was a completely different song that popped into my head  prompted by the amount of (or more properly the lack of) space that motorists seem willing to give to cyclists. And that gives me an excuse for todays bit of video because some of the motorists must think I’m the invisible man. (heres looking forward to some genuine French Courtoisie). Enjoy Queen

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