Day Seventy Three: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I woke up smiling.  I had been immersed in a dream so vivid I had to check to see if my hair was wet.  I’d been swimming with dolphins, head beneath the waves, watching them tear across the water above my head.  The loud clicks and whistles were crisp and clear as the pod swam alongside me in the middle of the bay.

It was warm, the water was as clear as the night sky, I remember marvelling at the bright green trails of phosphorescence as a large bottle nose sliced through the water, obviously enjoying itself. It was almost smiling as it descended towards the sandy bottom.

I was recapping all of this as I began my morning ritual of making coffee.  Dreams are free.  And that is a good thing.  Coffee in hand I sat down in my usual spot on the sofa.  The first glug of coffee is the best.  The aroma hits you as you tip the mug. The heat bathes your face in a humid kiss. I always feel a sense of utter relaxation as the caffeine wends its way into my system.  Delicious.

Typical Strong Spanish Coffee

Typical Strong Spanish Coffee

You are either a coffee drinker or you aren’t.  There is no real in between. Tea-drinkers simply cannot understand coffee drinkers and vice versa.  This is a fact.

Coffee shops here in Barcelona are a bit like churches.  Steeped in tradition, often ritualistic and usually occupied by a diverse congregation of people that worship at the altar of caffeine.

I watched an old chap stir his coffee.  He did it with great intent and care.  It struck me that he believed that the way his coffee was stirred held great significance as to the final taste.  The way he opened his sachet of sugar, tapped it with his fingers before pouring it from a measured height into his cup.  He did it with a degree of reverence.  He was the very definition of a coffee shop goer. He ordered a shot of Anise and moved up the pecking order from ‘regular worshiper’ towards ‘high priest’.  I have noticed that the locals often have either brandy, a whisky or anise with their coffee.  I suppose it gives them an added jolt in the morning.

I needed no such jolt as I finished descending from the highest point in the Parc de la Serralada de Marina.  A furious, dusty trail littered with large rocks, off-camber bends and roller coaster dips and turns.  There are plenty of opportunities to jump the bike off natural ‘kickers’ and to pump the bike through the drops and bomb holes.  It is, for me, a shot of anise with my coffee.

This past week has been a tough one in terms of training, I have spent every day climbing up in the mountains and exploring the trails, often having to turn-around after a few minutes of descending when the trail has ceased exist or has turned into something impassable by bike, only to then climb all the way back up.  I ache.  My shoulder and back muscles are tired.  My triceps and fore-arms are exhausted from all the off-road riding. My shins are battle-scarred from catching errant cactus thorns and long needle like thorns from the many huge succulents that border the trails.  None of this matters for I am addicted to trail riding at the moment and don my mountain bike gear each morning looking forward to the new trails I shall be exploring.

I leave you with an excellent piece of footage from Seasons by the Collective.  If you haven’t seen this MTB DVD, go and get it.  It will inspire you to get outside and ride.


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