18 MILES PER HOUR 1 Mile RIDE REPORT: ERWOOD, Powys Wales to well, erm ERWOOD, Powys Wales • May 11, 2011
18 MILES PER HOUR 1 Mile RIDE REPORT:
ERWOOD, Powys Wales to well, erm ERWOOD, Powys Wales • May 11, 2011
Less inspiration more cathartic.
I’ve just returned from an eleven-day business trip to Helsinki and London. That’s a long time for me, away from the family, away from friends and away from the hills. It’s not healthy, and this time, pushed me to my limit. Boyo, it’s good to be home.
I interjected the trip with two nights in Wales. It’s where I’m from, I have family there, it’s green, it’s very Welsh and it rains like buggery. It didn’t disappoint, on all counts.
WHAT IT WAS LIKE:
I woke up early, it was raining, real Welsh rain. We’d talked and drank wine into the night which led to me only getting three hours sleep.
I needed to just get out, get on a bike, spin the legs, breathe deeply, but be back with family for breakfast. So I borrowed my brother-in-law’s single speed, a bike that used to be mine (future post or two about this – Hand-Me-Down Bikes and revisiting long, lost bikes). Off I went in jeans, hood up, borrowed shoes, flat pedals, thick head and looking down at a familiar bike that I’d ridden and raced roughly 5000 miles West from this particular, familiar part of Wales. The emotions were welling up.
I followed the road that parallel’s the River Wye. A river that divides two counties Radnorshire and Brecknockshire - two of the Thirteen historic counties of Wales. I did a ‘there and back’ (which I normally dislike as a ride) but came to rest beneath a tree next to a Craft and Tea Shop that used to be an old station. More emotions flooding in. The peace. The solitude. All interrupted by the well-meaning, old lady tea shop owner who came outside to see who the nut in the rain was.
“…’evrythin’ orright luv?”
I garbled a “…used to come here….used to be my bike….brother-in law from up there (and I pointed)…now live in California….. enjoying the rain…”
She responded curiously, “Rightyew are” before backing into the shop.
I didn’t go far, about a mile. About a mile maybe!? I know. That’s not a ride. But that’s the point of this report.
At the time - far from home, in a place I used to live, on a bike I used to own - It was not about far, it was pure head clearing, soul mending, sentimental, cathartic necessity.
Rides needn’t be far, fast or grueling to be a real ride.
HERE ARE THE STATS:
• 1 mile.
• 7 sheep
• 1 phone box
• 1 Tea Shop Owner