Mittwoch, 4. März 2015

Dirt and steel, a cold butt and a cuppa tea;-)

Okay. I looked outside. The sun was shining. On the lane that passes beneath my window road riders and mountainbikers passed with minimum attire. Then I looked at my  belly and my hips. And felt for my legs. It was then I came to a conclusion.

 I discussed the pros and cons and what ifs thoroughly, and finally gave my sluggishness a thorough kicking up the spine. And saddled my bike. And made for the woods.

We will learn that my decision had some consequences. But I am not talking about that yet.

So, off with me, and I was right glad to be outside, the sun was warming me and all was grand in wonderland. I took the long way along the lane to get in the miles and do some basic endurance training. I recently had some problems with my heart and lungs, but only until I took up riding again, and even my thrombophilic legs did what they were supposed to do... it felt good to spin the cranks and casually rolling alongside the lake. Careful not to pass the anaerobic threshold, I took the turn into the woods, and all was silent. I was wondering because there were no one else in the woods that day. By that time the sun was not shining so much any more, but I thought "hey, it´s still good and warm, weather´s not going to be that bad" and went on my merry way.

Near the top of the hill I passed by the ruin of this ancient mill, and there I paused to smell the roses...

 ...or shall I say the steel???! Blimey, where´s my hacksaw when I need it? Beside the ruin there lay the remnants of an ancient carriage or sled. Nearly still in working order...;-)
 More spring steel in spring... this is a treasure trove that certainly will see me again!
 All was still above the crumbling walls. Inside the walls there was an old oven and a hearth and the remnants of a bed all strewn about the place. It was a weird sight to behold the passing of that place, all taken back by the forest´s ancient might.
 I was somewhat torn apart between the joy of finding those resources and the melancholy of the crumbling place.
 The trees around the place looked crooked and torn, but the atmosphere was still light and warm.
 Looking around, I saw a herd of roe deer in the far distance, but, as usual, I fumbled my camera and thusly, no pics of roe deer but an empty forest: Just buy yourself a roe-deer play figure and move it across the screen to get the full picture...;D.
 Then I was back on my bike, and took the singletrail to the hilltop. And while I did that, clouds gathered. And more of them. And yet more of them. And they turned pitch black in colour. And it started to rain. Then to drizzle. While I put on my rain jacket, I met a horseback rider, and after some polite greetings she uttered "shitty weather, ain´t it?", and I replied somewhat naively "that´s okay, it´s still winter after all". If only I had had a clue then.
 Then it started to hail. And to snow. Actually, I was glad that the hail was turning to snow, because those acorn sized pellets of ice actually DID hurt, even if you´ve got a helmet on.;-)
 Towards the hilltop I rode, catching snowflakes with my mouth and singing the marching song of Fiach MacHugh. Fortunately no one was there to be insulted;-D. It´s funny, when conditions get that foul, I always have to laugh. I felt alive then, and pensive at the same moment. How come we feel most alive when the going gets that rough?
 On the hilltop, beside the fire road, I sat down on a stump and watched the driving snow.
And had a sip of tea. It is funny, how the taste of tea in the cold weather and the woods gives you the feel of coziness even in a snowstorm. I cuddled into my plain windbreaker (not much to cuddle in, I admit), and let my thoughts wander with the driving storm.

But, being aware that the conditions were actually going worse and I had no spare clothes with me (yap, it happens to all of us from time to time, and I am not proud of it). I rode on to the city of Hohenlimburg to shortcut the ride and all the while revelled in my toughness and badassedness...

...but only until I hit the road where the icy storm hit me with all its might, and in combination with the oft-quoted ice water down the butt it made me want to cry and grunt with hypothermia. For once there was no overcoming it. My hands were freezing until I felt them no more, and I stopped frequently to avoid frostbite while putting them under my armpits to warm up. I certainly looked an outright fool, but I like to keep my hands as they are.

It was a shivering and a freezing frenzy getting along the lane,  frequently stopping and drinking the hot tea that was left in tiny pinchs to aid keeping warm.

But suddenly I was home, in my warm attic-turned-home, with a warm full bath and hot cocoa and tea and a load of spiced pasta, and all was well again. Okay, my hand joints do ache a bit still, but that will fade eventually.

Blimey, I look forward to summer.;-)

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