Day Sixty Nine: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

It is well known that large cities attract swivel-eyed lunatics and Barcelona is no exception.  However it is unusual to find them in the wilderness.  Coming across a mad-man downtown, lecturing the pigeons in the Placa Catalunya is one thing. Cycling in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain and coming across a large man with a beard yelling at a tree is far more unnerving.

In the same way that you would not stop to tie your shoelace next to a pigeon lecturer, you would not stop your bike to adjust the gears within stabbing reach of a man that rants at trees.  I had no choice but to stop as the vine wound its way around my rear derailleur.

Someone told me once that you should never look a mad man in the eye.  He was an ex-pugilist turned doorman, that had left his job selling computer printers after a ‘run in with his boss’.  Apparently he once looked a mad man in the eye whilst on duty outside a trendy bar in London.  It took four bouncers to hold down the swivel-eyed pigeon lecturer, preventing him from battering my bouncer friend to death with a copy of Time Out.

The bearded tree abuser stopped shouting as I rapidly unwound the vine that was clogging my rear wheel.  I did not sense any movement from his direction but could sense his presence.  As I completed removing the obstruction I looked up to find him standing facing me with one hand over his eyes, the other hand pointing up at the sky.

I remounted my bike and cycled off wondering what on earth was running through his mind at the time.  Perhaps he thought I was an alien being? I certainly looked a bit odd, dressed head to toe in black lycra, wearing a helmet and a pair of wrap around glasses, he could be forgiven for thinking I was from a galaxy far away. Travelling to Earth to collect specimens for research.

I was of course from Barcelona.  Home of swivel-eyed cycling lunatics that ride in the rain.

And rain it did.  For nearly two hours it lashed down upon me as I explored the trail system high up in the Parc de la Serralada de Marina.  I spent about eleven minutes researching the area on the web and discovered that the park covers over two thousand hectares.  It is also home to the Black-eared Wheatear, the Orphean Warbler, the Woodchat Shrike and the Tawny Pipit.  In addition it is also an important stopover point on the migration route of birds of prey such as the honey buzzard and the Eleonora’s falcon.

It is also home to a strange man that shouts at trees.

I leave you with a great scene from Monty Python.  It is rather appropriate.


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