Mud

By: Chanoch Redlich

 

I’d been planning the single-track ride for two days already including a single, imaginary tour of all the planned single-tracks to create one long, faultless continuation of non-stop, fun filled riding. The perfect balance of up and down, so that the climbing goes by fast and going down seems to go on forever. In short a dream.

I could already feel the cold morning air freezing my windpipes and penetrating my lungs; the dew dops resting on the fresh greenery on the roadside getting my calves wet.

I could see with my own eyes the shape of the boulders as I speed towards them, swallowed whole by my bike wheels. I could make out the sharp twists and turns in the path challenging the grip of my rubber tires to their limits.

I could even hear the suspension system absorbing the sharp shocks of the road with a sort of “vvvvvvsssssssstttt” beat, the sound of the chain going through the gears and that of the bike tires rolling along the well-worn earth.

For a short moment I could even smell my sweat-reeking-bike-helmet, and the unusual smell of the hundreds, or thousands of Cyclamen poking from between the forest boulders.

I’d already picked out the perfect bike for the event (single-speed, what else?), pumped my tires full of air and double-checked my shock absorbers. My bike pack was filled with water, tubes and air pump, bike cleats and helmet were already waiting in the car.

Back to reality…

I swallow down a quick, nutritious breakfast and am on my way.

Get to the parking lot, unload my bike, lock on my riding-cleats, put on the (reeking) helmet, strap on my goggles, set the cleats on the pedals and ride off towards the first single.

The earth looks darker than usual. Mmmmm…. very interesting. The tires aren’t making that beautiful sound I’d fantasized about in my dream. And suddenly the areas between the rubber squares on my tires are filling with this repulsive, moist stuff. The riding is getting slow and clumsy. 40 meters into the single – and I’m standing still, stuck and I feel like crying.

A broken dream – also known as mud. Man oh man.

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