But one thing has always been certain to me: The woods are out there, and the spruce tops are singing in the wind. It was the first sound in my life I heard, for after I was born in hospital, I lived in the forest for 33 years. I think to remember opening my eyes from a sleep that was deeper than life, and awakening to the wonder of green, with the vibrantly green leaves and the dark green of the spruce and fir tops moving in a breeze. There were runes there I could not decipher, and of runes i knew not in the first place, but I was calm immediately and looked at the gently moving signs amazed. It is a world that has always embraced me, and it was never natural for me to live in a city, and all the roaring noise frightened me as a kid. Now, as someone who is seen as an adult;-), I know exactly why it frightened me. I overcame my fears and now there is but a mild pity left for the ways of modern day man, and, with a sense of self - irony I realize that I am part of the whole mess already. I have to, as anyone has to, at least to a certain degree, partake in the everyday madness.
And yet, the woods are waiting. They are not self - conscious. They just exist. They are not nice, and you might die there as well as live, and the trees and beasts could not care less. But if you really want to, you can become a part of it all, and all that will not matter any more. It is not important if you are "but" a newborn child or a grown individual, in fact, you stand more of a chance understanding it as a whole if you see it with the eyes of a newborn child. And since it is not possible to refer to that phenomenon intelligently, for it is autotelic, I will shut up about that for now and tell you about the ride.
I took my trash home.
I controlled my speed.
I respected other trail users.
I avoided shortcuts and stuck to the trails.
I avoided offensive behavior such as yelling, skidding, and jumping at the encounter of other trail users.
I only modified trails with the permission of the land owner / the forest bureau or rebuilt the natural state after doing so.
Of course, there are morons amongst the other user groups as well, but, hey, if you do not communicate, you cannot better any situation. And if you behave like an asshole, you deserve to be treated as one, mountainbiker or not.
The culprit is, I had a chat with those two horseback riders, told them to address the website www.mtb-hagen.de in case they had one of those unfortunate encounters again, we wished each other to have a fine day and went on our merry way, content with the fact that we had done something good. Simple as that. And it does not mean you can´t have fun. I had. I took the next trail down the hill, and really let loose.
But, if you don´t know what brakes are for, you should not ride a bike. Period. I know, and if anyone asks, I will teach anyone, for free even if you ask politely enough.
But, as is my wont these days, shredding simply does not suffice all of the time. So I visited my oaken friend atop the hill overlooking that lake (I hope you appreciate I spared you another picture of the vista*ggg*). There, I had a cuppa tea (ten, in fact;-)), an apple and some bannock, and out came the bush knife for some testing.
I leant the ride gainst a tree and snuck inside the stems of the three-stemmed oak...
I then really enjoyed practicing my feather stick skills with my new Nessie. It makes some really delicate shavings. It feels light and nimble. Not a knife for hacking, though, even if batoning works quite well, too. There are better whittlers, too, due to the offset of the edge line, but you can grow accustomed to that. I think I´ll make more like this...
The light, however, and the energy of the trees, are mine. And noone can ever take it from me.