There are days when the sun shines. Days when the air feels warm. Days when the wind is calm. These days are rare in Ireland, but when they arrive you must get out there and grab them.
On these days I like to head off out on the bike without any computer or electronic device. No Garmin, no Strava, no PB’s, no KOM’s and no C’s OTB. No distractions. No big ring and no energy drinks, bars or gels.
On these days I choose quiet, deserted roads to explore on my bike. I sip plain water and look all around as I meander along in the small ring. It may be on roads that I have travelled thousands of times before, but on these days I notice much that I have not noticed in the past. Flowers in fields, leaves on trees. Derelict castles that once protected Lords from attack that now barely make their presence felt from behind a blanket of ivy. Their strength is long gone but their majestic presence remains.
I smell the sweetness of the flowers and the bitterness of the slurry. I hear the songs of the blackbirds and the moans of the tractors in the fields. I sometimes stop to taste the blackberries or the cool crispness of the water from a mountain stream. I sweat on the climbs and then enjoy the feeling of the wind on my face on the descent. If I come across someone I know I stop for a relaxed chat, if I come across someone in trouble I stop to help.
Out there on the open road, on a bicycle propelling myself along I notice how calm my mind has become and I relax. My body still puts in an effort but my mind is at ease.
I feel alive and I feel free.