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Mittwoch, 5. März 2014

Toodling around the bush;-)

 The other day I was feeling the need again, that itchy, scratchy need to get out and put in some singletrack miles. Also there was the birch sap rising at mild temperatures and I saddled my steed and put some tools into my daypack and a fresh container bottle, made myself a flask of tea, and then I made for the hills. The sun was shining, and at first I was thinking about heading straight to the grove, but then decided otherwise and took in some much-missed singletrack riding. It is funny, I do njot often realize I miss it,l but when I am finally on my bike again and headed down a technical singletrail , everything fallos into place again. I contemplated a bit about that, while I was riding up a steep road that mends into a fireroad, and that I have ridden since I was a child. I took this route home from school when I was kid quite often. Now my time at school was not exactly an easy one. I was better at school than most, I had different questions, I was not very good at sports how it was teached (I hated football or basketball or gymnastics, and even though I rode mountainbike races already, even worldcup races, I always failed at school sports;-)), and, generally I was a strange kid, growing up in the woods as I did. Mountainbiking up that trail always had a kind of katharsis effect from all the mobbing and mocking and violence I had to suffer. I struggled up that road, and where it ends and goes on as a fireroad into the woods, I used to stop and relax, and it always was as if a great weight was taken from my shoulders. 23 years later my life is not exactly easy, and will never be, and sadness is a companion on my trail. But as I took my feet from the pedals of a way different bike, with a loooong high-mech suspension fork and no drum brakes at all;-), I felt the weight of it all subside, and I breezed in the early spring breeze freely. I often think about mountainbiking in general quite critical these days. Most mountainbikers I know behave like right morons. This is a development I witnessed since quite recently. Noone respects hikers, horseback riders, or hunters anymore, in fact it is deemed an act of coolness to ooze out quite some language into their faces. Slowing down before hikers is uncool, and tearing up the landscape with manmade stunts off the trail, is no longer  a no-go, but commonplace. Okay, so I have built stunts myself, on abandoned trails, and had fun with them. And it´s not really a great damage done, if it´s done properly and with respect to nature and fellow human beings. But this new generation of riders (with quite a lot of old-generation riders in it also) simply does not care a shit, to a degree that they even get bodily against people pointing out it´s not okay to do this or that. I always try to talk to people politely and to find a solution, but I have given up on trail access issues, for the worst enemy of legal trails are the mountainbikers themselves. And if you add politics to the issue you got a brew that will drive the sanest man mad. So the taste of mountainbiking has become a bit of a bitter one, for on many outings I meet with hunters, pedestrians and equestrians, and simply because I talk to them, even if it is difficult at times, politely and with respect, I get a right shower of the foul, of their bad experiences with bikers, and I often have to admit that they are right. I feel ashamed and cannot but try to make things right others have made worse, and continue to do so.

I will continue to follow my heart on the path of my soul, and this involves riding as well as being a part of nature. And I do not think it´s a contradiction. Tire tracks will heal with time, even stunts would be okay, but you have to know where, when and how you do it. If you love nature, you want to get to know more of it, and if you know, you will have your fun in a manner that does not ruin too much. But this is not a post for the morons. It´s a post about silent joy. It´s a post about feeling flow on a singletrail as well as sitting on a stump and having a sip of tea, savouring the sun, and a gentle breeze in early spring, listening to the birds singing and feeling the sap rising. The morons will never understand. They are too busy posting the weight and mass and colour of their morning shit on facebook or what´s app to simply sit back silently. Language? Quite truly so, but that´s the only jargon they understand.

I have always been different to them, I never had a part in their business. Mountainbiking has been my vehicle into the other world, to get there faster, there, where I was born and where I belong. I am a different being, and have more in common with an oak or birch or a hare or fox or the wandering hunter´s moon than I have with their world. As an infant, my lullaby was the song of the breeze in the soft treetops of spruce and fir, and the hooting of owls and the cry of the buzzard was more important to me than the latest top ten pop song.

I will no longer partake in a world where I don´t belong, at least not more than I must, and I will become stranger and wilder still.
 I arrived in the grove with all thoughts run out, as it well should be, for these thoughts are poison. Death it is to insult a poet, death, to love him, and to be a poet means death also. He who knows must not ask, he who asks, knows not. So, I left all these thoughts to the breeze and the light and the eraly scent of spring, wafting through the birch grove ever so gently. Down I sat with my back against a birch tree, and sipped my tea.
 I took out my two latest projects, two Kopis knives, that will fit in the concept of "Grimsarksberarmál", a poem and a story I have in the making, given by the wandering moon and a feather of the cat-owl;-). The topmost knife is made from Zwissler damascus with a wild pattern, which I know nothing of, but it took a good temper. Below is a knife out of Wootz steel I found in the woods.

"Beyond the dream road through the iron wood
Lord of the forest made love to a faerie:
Silently the moon´s reflection in the water."

The hours passed in thought and without thought, and in reflection and meditation (others call that drinking tea;-)). Then it went a bit cold, and I went over to the birch I tapped and got me a bottle of sap and fixed a fresh one to it. Oh the loot:


And I rode home with freed shoulders.

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