Day Eighty Four: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I wish I could paint. I thought about that today on my ride. The countryside was truly beautiful. The weak winter sunlight had softened all the colours, the deep red leaves and the lush green of the hills; it was a watercolour begging to be painted by someone with bucket loads of skill. Unfortunately my drawing and painting skills are easily eclipsed by those of my daughter, who at age eight would paint me into oblivion. When it comes to drawing or painting I am useless. No, actually I am worse than useless. Stick men and a few cartoon characters and that’s all I can do. It’s almost embarrassing.

I’m rambling on a bit here, so I’ll get back to the bike route. Canyamars. That’s the little town that I ended up in, the road ended in the town and, although I tried to find a way out, it appeared to be a dead end. It was a shame as the ride to Canyamars was one the best I have done in a while. There was hardly any traffic, it was quiet, I could hear my heart pounding in my head as I climbed up through the valley. It really was a magical route. The road surface was excellent – lovely smooth black tarmac. It would be fantastic on my motorcycle. I’ve made a mental note to take a drive up through the valley and find a nice café stop.

Canyamars is a one of three small villages that comprise the municipality of Dosrius, in the comarca of Maresme. It is situated in the base of the valley between the mountains of Corredor and Montalt and is quite a sleepy place. It is not a metropolis. It would be quite a nice place to live if you were a painter. Solitude, the countryside, what more could you want?

I used to share a flat in London with an Australian cyclist. He was quite a character. A devout vegan, he was constantly munching on nuts and dried fruit that he kept in airtight plastic bags under his bed. I nicknamed him the squirrel. He actually had an air of squirrel about him. He was always rummaging about in a plastic bag for something, he seemed to have hundreds of them. A bag that he kept his photographic film canisters in, a bag for bike related spares, another bag for food, and a bag that contained diaries, pens and maps. You name an item, and he probably had a bag for it. He had a bag for his bags.

Rather ironically, his name was Bruce. Bruce the vegetarian Aussie cycle tourist. It sort of went against the grain back then. Being Australian meant you ate raw steak for breakfast and washed it down with a Castlemain XXXX, you did not live off nuts and berries.

He did however break his self-imposed vegetarianism one day. We were invited to a house warming party and Bruce drank rather too much. He ended up eating sausages and bacon straight off the grill and proceeded to put his life endanger by riding a tea tray down the stairs, backwards. Those memories will be with me until the day I die. It was hilarious. I can remember him laughing as he tumbled head over heels down the stairs.

The next morning I awoke to the sounds of groaning. Bruce was really ill. He had been a strict vegan for over ten years. Consuming all those sausages and bacon had given his system a huge shock. He was also terribly bruised and battered from his stair surfing escapades. He really was in a bit of bad way.

We spent the morning chatting about his plans for his next cycling trip. He had decided to take an easel with him and was to be pointed in the general direction of Holland. His plan revolved around cycling alonside canels stopping to paint whenever he felt the need to. He left a few days later, with his paint box and easel strapped to the back of his bike. I never saw him again. I was thinking about him today. He was certainly the sort of person that would have appreciated the lovely countryside that I was cycling in.  He would no doubt have sat himslef down, opened up a bag of nuts and started to paint.  It would have been perfect for Bruce.

I wonder what he’s up to these days.  Bruce.  If you’re out there, drop me a line.  It would be lovely to catch up over a bag of nuts.  Unless you’d rather have some sausages and bacon that is.


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