North to South. To the ends of the country. Seeking escape, seeking friendship, seeking solitude, seeking adventure. Distraction, immersion, therapy. My head is swimming...
I’m sitting, staring out of the window. I’m not sure how long I’ve been looking at the same view. It isn’t, in fact, the same view. It is changing subtly second by second.
I don't get injuries. Actually, let me rephrase that. Other than those caused by acts of stupidity or acute skills failure at untimely moments, I don't get injuries. I don't pull muscles, or get joint pain, or get a bad back. I'd like to think that some of this is down to the fact I at least try to cross-train, going to the gym and working on my overall strength. In reality, I'm sure some of it is down to pure luck, or kind genetics at the very least....
Is out now... http://singletrackworld.com/shop/product/issue-100/
Go buy and read. It includes my write up of the perfect "Classic Ride" in the Lake District. Four tough mountain passes, four riders, one very long day. James Vincent captured the day perfectly in some beautiful photos.
Singletrack are also donating a proportion of the cover price to the cancer charities, Macmillan and Cancer Research, both of whom have directly supported my wife, and me in the last two years. To find out a bit more about why this is so important to me, then read here.
A day trip has rarely felt so much like an adventure, so full of the unknown.
We walked, side-by-side at your pace. Not your pace. The pace you now have to walk at. The pace that even you have to adjust to. Hardwired athlete.
We sat, side-by-side and stared out of the new, but familiar seascape of the east coast.
We ate, side-by-side, shovelling fish and chips in the cooling evening air.
Mist condenses on my bare hands, cooling them gradually. I can feel the finest drizzle against my face, and water droplets cling to my now dew-heavy beard. The morning is silent now that I’ve left the road. There is no wind, no sound of another person. I stand, still astride my bike. Pause for thought.
What’s the furthest you’ve run? When does a run become a long run? When does a long run become a bit silly? I think the furthest I’ve travelled by foot under my own steam is around 40miles in a day. I’ve raced this kind of distance once before as well. Finishing, I’ve felt exhausted, overwhelmingly happy to see the finish line, pleased that I don’t have to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. Could I have kept going though? Just carried on running? And for how far?
Its maybe a strange way to open a new website, but I’ve lost the love for writing a little bit lately. I just haven’t felt inspired to write much. I’ve been working on commissions for magazines and websites, I’ve loved each and every one, but they aren’t writing for myself. I’ve simply not felt the desire to.
This is partly because I’ve felt like my words haven’t had a home. I created projectenduranceracer.com to document my racing and training. Changes in personal circumstances have meant I simply haven’t raced as much as I used to. Perhaps as a result of this, perhaps as a desire to find challenge, play, a sense of adventure outside of racing I’ve been looking elsewhere for the sense of self that being outside brings me.
I’ve come to realise that one of the reasons I loved racing was that it created stories. Stories I could sculpt, shape, tell and retell. Doing something that inspired and tested me, inspired me to write, and hopefully that writing inspired others. Telling the stories let me explore my own thoughts, offered a new perspective on experiences lived through and encouraged me to seek out new ones.
I want to re-find this. I want to tell new stories, I want to reignite my creativity.
What was lost will be found.
New website, new focus.
Check back for new words :-)