Day Seventy Five: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

A strange thing must be happening.  There may well be a tear in the fabric of time, perhaps without telling us, the boys at CERN have fired up the Large Hadron Collider again and have created a mini black hole.  I keep coming across people that appear to have been transported out of one environment and into another.

I was riding way up in the mountains on a trail that was far from any roads, houses or camp sites, indeed from any sort of civilization whatsoever.  It was tranquil. The trail was perfect for mountain biking.  I rounded a bend in the path and came across a young chap wearing casual clothing.  He lacked any form of hiking gear. He was not wearing hiking boots, not even trainers, just a pair of leather shoes.  The sort you would wear to visit grandma.  He was wearing a bright red jersey, held a plastic shopping back in one hand and a magazine of some sort in the other.  He appeared to have been transported as if by magic from a downtown shopping mall to this trail in the middle of nowhere.  It was quite weird. He looked incredibly out of place and yet at the same time looked quite relaxed as he stumbled over the rocks in his brogues.

Yesterday the same thing happened.  A different guy wearing different clothes but once again, totally out of place.  He was an older man this time, he looked like an accountant when it was not casual day at the office.  I am sure that moments earlier he had been waiting in a bus queue not hiking up a trail in the mountains. He looked surprised to see me.  This of course was ironic. For I was dressed as if for a photo shoot with Outside Magazine whilst he was dressed for Starbucks.

I have yet to figure it out what is causing this anomaly.  It is however quite dangerous.  These people are not equipped for traipsing about in the mountains. Within a short space of time the temperature can drop significantly, storms can move in rapidly bringing with them a severe restriction in visibility.  Imagine walking along a narrow path, with a precipitous drop on one side.  Now imaging doing it with your eyes closed in a howling gale.  These people could easily become statistics.

Perhaps the Spanish country parks authority should have a chat with the Ozzies.  Apparently the authorities in Australia are considering restricting access to parts of the outback. This is to curb the number of deaths from those that do not seem to see anything wrong with driving off into the middle of one of the hottest deserts in the world armed with little more than a Violet Crumble and a copy of National Geographic Magazine.

Whilst I patiently wait for my interviews to progress I have managed to whip myself up into a frenzy of riding and have been bitten by the off-road bug.  My poor road bike is sitting on the balcony feeling rather neglected, however all this cross training will serve me well.

Cycling off-road provides for a good form of training, quite apart from improving bike handling skills, it taxes the upper body and helps develop core strength. It is also superb fun.

I am in the process of figuring out a three-hour loop, one that I shall use as part of a structured training plan.  I have hatched a nutty idea to try some marathon mountain bike racing next year.  I have a feeling I will enjoy it, though it is dependant upon my road race calendar.

I leave you with a piece of footage of the King’s Pathway in Spain.  I quite fancy a trip down there to check it out.  I wonder if they guy that shot this footage came across any people that were dressed for Starbucks as opposed to the mountains?


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