I’ve been here eleven days and all of my time has been spent in one of two ways – either loitering behind the counter at the coffee shop that allows me to pay rent (or rather, the coffee shop that allows me to be here) or with my ass glued to the saddle, pounding my way over the road in a manic attempt to see it all, to understand my landscape, to absorb everything as quickly as I am physically able. But late last week, I rode down through some farmland behind my house,and I took a wrong turn and ended up on an incline that my legs just couldn’t respond to. But I pushed my bike to the top, and when I got there, I caught sight of a Trossachs peak, just visible between the rolling hills that lined the long road I was standing on. Snow had fallen the night before and the sun was heading down and this mountain sprouted up in magnificent pink, one million miles away; almost close enough to touch but far too far for my legs to carry me to. Bitterly frustrated with my lack of stamina, I got back onto my bike and turned away from it all, racing back down towards the floodplain and dreaming that I’d get better, get stronger, go farther… eventually.
But in the couple of months that I’ve been cycling, I’ve neglected my feet as a means of legitimate transportation. Yet they’ve carried me much farther than my bicycle; miles upon miles, through cities, countries, continents. And on and on. So, earlier this week, given the opportunity to get away from the coffee house for a day, I set out alone for the hills behind the Bridge of Allan and I walked for four hours until the callouses on my feet – untried and untested for so long – had hardened to the point of agony. And here we are.
I’ve been disappointingly wordless for eleven days, but here’s the next best thing, from the hills: