……. when it’s just too tough.
Some may think I’ve been idle of late, a bit quiet; some may be grateful. But idle I have not been. The Grasshopper has been out and about and as a result I’ve discovered the merits of the morning nap. Because after a rumble round the fietsroutes – oh yes we’re back in The Netherlands, Limburg this time, just along the road from North Brabant which we enjoyed so much last year – after the early run yesterday, a family outing was decreed, picnic packed, panniers filled. So a morning nap was essential.
The morning run had been an outing of orientation, having a look at routes and areas that might just be suitable for such an event as was to take place imminently. It was a pre-breakfast appetiser; an outing before it got too warm to cycle.
Mind you on the day before my first foray into a new area, intended as an hour’s loosener, and a return planned in time to get the coffee brewing, turned into a three hour slog. For I got lost.
Now getting lost on a superbly marked and brilliantly mapped safe cycle network takes a bit of doing. Every junction is numbered and has a map and clear and simple direction on to your next chosen number. But it was early, and certain stresses may still have been withering in the background. I missed a sign and ended up pootling around among traffic, through streets of towns whose names were unfamiliar, their orientation even more so.
I followed the sun, but had been out so long – ach you know what the sun does over a period of time. However it was one way to get your bearings in the area, and to recognise which parts were best for picnics, panniers and Urchins on the pedals. I found the routes again and plotted the way home, aghast at how far I had drifted, and how far needed to return. I had set out with little company other than the early dog walkers. But they had been pampered, owners survived the little rush hour and by now were probably on the second trip to the water cooler on the office gossip circuit.
I though was enjoying some fresh fields of asparagus and corn, potatoes too, ripening under the sun and being watered from sprinklers that just occasionally brought some light relief to the cycle paths. By the time I caught sight of one man-made object rising above the trees I knew I was almost there. But I think I’d rather glimpse a wind turbine than those bloody golden arches. And so it was that I rolled up to one of the cycle crossings at a major road network. Push the button, wait for the green bike, and just a few minutes more.
The button pushing was the easy bit. But so exhausted was the old jockey that he forgot that smooth and well oiled, natural even, movement in stopping a recumbent – the one where you raise the upper torso and at the same time lower the feet, before coming to a halt. So I lay there, finger on button; and bike and rider gracefully leaned over the full 90 degrees; to rest panting in the dirt. All around there were hoots and shrieks from van drivers and lorries, the sounds of doors slamming as involuntarily pee stops were called upon.
So it’s not that I’ve been idle; or perhaps it’s just that I’ve to wander away from the tent to pick up the wifi. And at times I’m just too tired.