Monday, March 05, 2018

the labyrith of solitude

Some things are best done alone.

Walking. Biking. Running.

There are few things worse in life than having to modify your own pace downward for the pace of others. At least, when you are exercising.

When my family was here last year (and I was in Australia), Darrel and Christy bought a pair of bicycles from two Mexican-American brothers who bring the bikes down from The States. The bikes looked good enough that I bought one, as well. And for the rest of their stay, we pedaled all over the area on social rides.

Darrel and Christy headed back to Oregon in the spring, and the bicycles went into storage. I put mine away because walking is my usual exercise regimen. My step counter is set up for a walker, not a bike rider.

That is not quite fair. My telephone automatically starts counting my steps when I start walking. It also has a cycling mode. But it does not start without me taking the telephone out of my pocket, finding the cycle mode, starting it, and stowing my telephone. Then, I need to stop it when the ride is over.

So, I satisfy my jones for numbers by relying on the walking step counter. Even if it does cheat me out of some credit.

Darrel now has all of the bicycles pumped and oiled for this riding season. I took advantage of his generosity by jumping on mine and heading out alone this past week.

From my house in Barra, the number of alternative routes is almost limitless. If I head west, I will end up in the Pacific. South, I will splash into the lagoon. But pedaling north or east takes me through shady lanes where horses, cattle, and goats share the lanes.

This is an agricultural area. Coconut. Mango. Banana. Papaya. Watermelon. Truck crops. Even while pumping my legs off, I enjoy the change of scenery. Even the packs of  dogs that chase me down the road like some threatening beasty out of Revelation.

And it is a nice change. My walking track has been fixed for three years now. The only reason I do not modify it is that I know exactly where the segment markers are and if I am maintaining my pace.

The bike is a little different. I ride until I break through the wall, and once I hit that pace, I can keep riding as long as I like through some of the most bucolic landscape imaginable.

But I need to do it alone.

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