I am riding a flower at the moment. It’s a way of choosing routes, a way of coping with the map being red.
I have never really thought about how I choose which way I’ll ride my bike, sometimes I know because I have imagined the ride the previous night, sometimes hours before I ride a feeling in my legs tells me where I’ll be going, sometimes I have no idea until I hit the end of my alley and have to turn left or right, sometimes I change my mind mid turn.
One of the motivations in the past has been heading for somewhere I’ve not ridden before, a bit of road that when I get back I can mark red on the map. But, within my regular ride radius, I have all but run out of unridden roads to redden.
I am not sure how my flower started, I just began imagining and then riding fifteen to twenty mile loops that I knew if I marked in a new colour would make petals. Shapes that removed the need for me to choose routes, routes which disrupted, cut across, reversed my habitual rides.
The thing about living in a valley is, there are only two loops you can ride without hills. Luckily I enjoy climbing, as most of the remaining petal-rides involve a climb out and downhill home. But now, there is this bugger, the hill up close behind my village, the hill I see from my office window. If my flower is not going to be a lop sided, the out leg means not just going up this hill but down the other side, so the home leg involves climbing back up and over before I can freewheel down into my street. Twice the hills, twice the climbs, twice the feet. Longer, steeper hills too. (I know those of you who ride real hills, mountains, are laughing at me now.)
Down here I have become conscious of the whole hill. It is no longer one sided, no longer the edge of things, the hill now has form, life, no longer a wall, more a sleeping beast, a sleeping dog. And tomorrow I’ll disturb it.
Update, Edit, Update
It has felt absurd every time I've said it, The Tour de France is coming through my village.
Additional Undercover Customer Parking
I am still wondering if I made a new year's resolution. I was toying with the idea of not buying any books this year.