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The disappearing

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--- Quote ---Someone asked me recently what I love about cycling, and I answered without hesitation, “the disappearing.” I love the feeling of disappearing into the wind — body in motion, thoughts and breath and anxieties trailing off in my wake. For me, it’s not about the bike or the gear or the fashion statement. It’s about being there, pedaling.
--- End quote ---

This reminds me somehow of something That Emily Chappell said when she was either riding round the world or fatbiking across Alaska, to the effect that interesting places are interesting to visit, but what she really loves are "the places in between".

--- Quote ---The places – or, to be even more accurate, the spaces – in between the things we know and name are, for me, the real stuff of life and of imagination.
--- End quote ---

perpetual dan:
Thanks for the link to Emily’s always eloquent blog (the other kept reloading on my tablet).

A few years back my perpetual dan twitter account had become very POBI. I didn’t want to ditch twitter, but wanted a place for cycling, adventure, art and music and so on. I settled on between_beyond as a name. The going and the looking to the horizon are a big part of the attraction for me.

Lightning Phil:
In essence it’s about what the road less travelled is about.  Even if it’s a metaphor for the journeys few undertake, with the few well rewarded.

I used to cycle to keep fit for my mountaineering forays in this country and round the world.  I used to think I had to go to the mountains to find that alternate mental and physical universe.  I’ve come realise I can achieve the same on the bike and time in a few quiet lanes. I can leave from my house and enter that same space I used to journey a long time to reach.

For me, it takes me out of my head. There's an almost atavistic reconnection with the act of physically existing as a biological organism, rather than the usual sensation of being a pilot trapped in a meat chassis with concerns and motivations that are counter-productive to the body's health and well-being. Cycling does that for me in a way that running doesn't (although hillwalking does, but somewhat differently). It's the closest I think I will ever get to the experience of flight as a bird would experience it.

Riding my bike makes me happy in a way nothing else does. Having been off the bike for years because of health issues, I don't think I will ever take that for granted again.


I hike more than I cycle, but either way, late in a long day, there's the time when you zone out, the pleasant tiredness, the rhythmic motion of your legs, the slow seep of endorphins. I love that time. There's a hypnagogic quality to your thoughts, random ideas slide around, none of them prompted. The world feels loose-fit. You want to get to your destination but you also don't, there's a part of you that could stay in that state forever, always ahead of the mundane.


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