The trails, however, have nothing to do with this. They are not an illusion. The way I ride has changed altogether. While I still like to do some technical trails and get some airtime in, it is not that important anymore. It is the silence and solitude of the forest that I so dearly need, and in order to get there cheap I use my bike.
But since my body´s worn out a bit anyway, it´s not something that I should miss that much. But I realized I actually do miss it. I have ridden down the Dalco trail with an almost rigid bike (there was no suspension other than 35mm of rubber eraser in those days). I have ridden down sheer cliffs in the Alps and I was able to fly. I rode with the gods of mountainbiking and had fun with them. I miss the flying and the carefree shredding, I miss the mountainbiking scene as it was.
Casually floating through the woods is what I need now, but I realize my life has changed a lot, and while a lot of things are really cool and one could not expect that everything always stays the same, I also must admit that I would not want to be the same idiot I once was. So I actually accept that my life is changing and has changed. But as life is generally and all over the world changing for the worst of the worst, and my life´s not THAT crappy to date, I guess I can´t complain.
But thoughts occurred to me unbidden, as if in meditation. It feels somewhat weird, and sometimes I ask myself if it really did happen. It was a bit like a fairy tale, and most people look at me as if I was telling tales when I, well, tell the tales of my life. I grew up in a world that can and shall not be real, and the rulers of our world strive to annihilate even the memory of a lifestyle like this. They do not want self-reliant, they want human resources. They do not want you to make your own gear and relish in fruit from your own garden, and most certainly do they not want you to have encounters with real live animals, with fox and hare and deer and wild pig and badger and learn from them how to live wild, to kill and die and not be afraid of growth and passing. This is what teaches me even now and has taught me: All things must die, and I am no better than our cat was then which one day just went into the woods for dying in dignity. I do not want to be less than the cat I loved then as a companion, and the change that has come upon my life is a part of dying. Death is my brother who walks with me, and it is like you walk over the dark grounds of earth, and a booming step goes with you, beneath. I certainly fear death, but I am not afraid of it. I look into the face it has now, and it wears the mask of the change. But the sickle does not hit the twinkling sun that shines through the frost-enchanted branches and twigs of a forest that is, was and will be. The badger does not smile-but neither is he afraid of death or hates. He knows fury, but no hate. When he lives, he lives, when he dies, he dies. Fox hunts hare and the wolf hunts its prey, but this is a natural order. I grew up with it. Many people say I am a dreamer and this growing up of mine is a mere fancy and has never been.
I rode those figures again... but the feeling was not there. I looked towards the house... but there were no lights lit. I looked into myself... and all was there where I left it.