Day 107: Eduardo’s Road to Fitness

When I was in Thailand I struck up a conversation with a German girl that was soaking up the sunshine on a wooden lounger next to me.  When I mentioned that I had been cycling around the island of Koh Samui, she looked at me in shock.  I might as well have said I had been sewer diving, naked, without a mask.  ‘Why did you do that?” she asked, her mouth agape.  “It’s too hard no?,’ she added as if to justify her reaction.

I wondered what to say.  ‘Well yes it is hot, and some of the climbs, whilst not long, were quite steep, but it was nice’ – It was all I could come up with.  How do you explain your passion to someone that has no comprehension of it? It would be like trying to describe the colour of a sun-set to someone that was blind but I decided to try to explain it.

I racked my brain for an analogy.  I asked her if she liked to cook.  She nodded her head and casually flicked away a strand of sun-bleached hair that had fallen across her face.  I asked her if she cooked to eat, or if she cooked because she enjoyed it.

I love to cook she said, for me it is like an escape from the boring routine of life’. I smiled and she smiled straight back, a beautiful smile that said ‘I get it’.  She looked out to sea and nodded her head, still smiling.  We sat still for a while and watched two young men drag a small boat across the sand bars in the bay.  It was peaceful and we both savored the moment.

Cycling transports you, it lifts your mood and allows you to meet new people, to connect with them even if they are not fellow cyclists. Here I was on a beach making a connection through a passion for cooking, for tasting new spices and creating new dishes.

I had a plane to catch and was sorry to have to leave.  I shook her hand, glanced out to sea and began to trudge back up the beach towards my hotel.  I took one more look back over my shoulder, she was watching me make my way up the beach, she was still smiling and gave a little wave just as the beach bar began to play music.  I was so happy yet sad to leave.  If I could have delayed my flight I would have but Barcelona beckoned and I had left myself just ten minutes to pack up my bicycle before the taxi was due to arrive.

Roll forward a couple of months.

The memories of Thailand have faded slightly and sit behind the fresher memories that occupy my mind.  I have spent the summer travelling, exploring both on motorcycle and by bike.  I have widened my ‘map’ of places to cycle, extending further inland towards Vic and South towards Tarragona  Whilst on my travels I have made new connections, new friends and have picked up a bug for riding a fixed gear bike.  I wondered what grabbed my attention to these sweet, minimalist machines and it hit me one day whilst sipping a coffee.  They are pure.  No gears, no cables hanging all over the place, indeed there is something truly simple about them and, in a way, they reflect my mantra.  Keep it simple.  It is something I am striving for in my approach to life and thus, it is no wonder that a ‘fixie’ appeals.

Barcelona, late afternoon.

Reflections...Barcelona

I will keep you abreast of my latest routes.  In the meantime I leave you with a collection of photos taken on my travels.

Making new friends and going to new places = perfect !

Ride. Share your passion. Connect and make new friends – a simple plan.

'Fixies' in Barcelona

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