Sunday, 22 November 2015

Time leaves us polished stones

This post starts off like it has a serious and profound message, but in the end you'll realise it's about cycling and the same as all the others. It's very clever.

I wonder how many people realise that today is the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of President Jack Kennedy. I didn't see anything about it on the news.I wonder how many people then knew that it would happen. He wasn't the first US President to die like that, he was the 4th, and plenty of others had near-misses.  I wonder if he thought it would ever happen to him.

On the day this picture was taken, I had earlier been in a train that filled with smoke. Brakes jammed on, but for about two minutes I didn't know that and thought it was going to get quite worrying. After the panic subsided people got annoyed about the delay. I was just grateful I wasn't actually trapped in a burning train.

I saw this beautiful sunset on the way home, and though these pictures never look quite as good on an iPhone and a blog-post, you can see where this train of thought is going.

I'm pretty sure there is no God. You are too if you analyse the situation carefully. Of course you'll bridle with indignation about it, but you know I'm right. Spirituality yes. Plenty of that, and plenty of quiet contemplation, but the need to believe? That's just a craving for the dopamine of certainty, and a need to be part of the in-group.

It inspires people to this type of architecture, all that belief. Especially when you have just skidded down a very muddy 15% gradient of a country lane, and have got to go up another one to leave it.

A real Winter's day for sure yesterday, Beast of a headwind, for once Ned Stark's warnings were all correct. I bet he never thought he'd get his head chopped off either. In fact I'm sure he didn't think it would happen to him.

But I knew I'd eventually get to Wales. Or pseudo-England as my real Welsh boss calls Monmouthshire. Although go back three generations and he's from Staffordshire. And I'm from London, Devon, Somerset. And France if you go back far enough. All the same really, there weren't enough of our predecessors for us not to be quite closely related. So wherever this was, we all come from there. Snow or no snow.

Despite the haggard experience, the next picture wasn't taken today, although I look just as bad today as I did when it was. In spite of what you may think, or others will tell you, if you can do something like 140 miles in a day on a bike, it's not that hard. It just takes practice and motivation. Like everything else. It's ordinary.

So what's stopping us?