I ride my bike most weekends. I've been doing it for a while now, and have had some marvellous adventures on my longer tours. Most weekend rides are interesting; cars, pedestrians, dogs and other bikes all contributing to the fun and games. Climbing up a steep hill and roaring down the other side provides its own particular joy. But the most enjoyable times on my mountain bike are those rare moments of solitude and tranquility that come from out of nowhere.
Don't get me wrong, I love riding with others. In fact, I rarely ride alone. These joyous, meditative experiences usually occur while I am riding with friends.
It happened yesterday. I was barreling along a stretch between Mount Lofty and Norton Summit, and I'd moved a fair way ahead of my mate. The morning sun was (finally) warming me up and I was lost in the beautiful scenery as I rode. No cars, no riders, no Sunday morning bikers, no-one. Just me, the birds, and the breeze. Out of nowhere, I suddenly felt that everything was perfect. The whole world was in balance, as was I, gliding along at around 40 kilometres an hour.
Five minutes later and I was at the Norton Summit intersection, with a four-wheel drive tank up my khyber. Bikes and riders everywhere, cars using both sides of the road, and me wondering where all the peace and quiet had gone.
I wish I could bottle that beautiful, fleeting feeling and take a swig whenever I felt the need. I suspect I'd need a big bottle...