Day Sixty Four: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

The Blue Ringed Octopus is beautiful.  It is also one of the most poisonous creatures to inhabit the ocean.  It contains enough poison to kill twenty-six people. It is roughly the size of a golf ball. At present there is no known antidote to its venom. I was thinking about this before I set off on my latest mountain bike route.

When I lived in England I used to ride in a place called Swinley Forest.  A lovely green area, full of trees, interlaced with plenty of tracks and small climbs.  It was safe.  You could take random left and rights all day long without fear of ever getting truly lost.  The park is surrounded on all sides my major arterial roads. Apart from being unfortunate enough to cut through your own arteries, you were pretty safe in Swinley Forest. You could crash, knock yourself senseless and be confident that one of the crowds of mountain bikers would stop and attend to you whilst waiting for the medics to arrive.

The same cannot be said for the area that I now find myself riding in.  It is wild, and although in terms of distance, it is close to the city, the tracks are not heavily populated.  There are not hordes of cyclists riding the same trails.  There are no kids on bikes riding with their parents.  I have not seen any people walking their dogs.  No ramblers.  Take a tumble here and you could end up in a ravine with nothing but rocks for company.  There is a good chance that you would lay there right through winter.  You might be found next spring.  You need to be sensible here.

I packed a spare jacket into my CamelBak.  I took spares, zip ties, a mobile phone and a safety whistle to attract attention should I fall and break a leg. I was riding down a narrow rock strewn gulley, carving my way past jagged pieces of granite, trying to avoid the ever present cactus and their needle-like thorns.  I had set myself a challenge.  I was trying to ride the entire descent without having to unclip and ‘dab’ with a foot.  I had only dabbed once on my previous attempt the day before.  In order to make it, I would have to negotiate a tricky gulley section.  Riding in the gulley istself was not possible.  The only way through involved riding a narrow ridge above the gulley.  It was in many ways a natural section of ‘North Shore’.  Make a mistake and I’d be in the gulley, bent, twisted and bleeding.

I banished all thoughts of death and bodily injury and took in the view.  They trail was absolutely beautiful.  Beautiful yet slightly dangerous.  A bit like the Blue Ringed Octopus.  I now have a name for the trail.  I shall shorten it to ‘BRO’ and hope that it doesn’t bite me anytime soon.

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