I walked in a daydream this morning to the local market near where I live. As I meandered along 3 people cycled past wearing luminous tabbards, a mum, dad and boy of about 10 years old. The mum led the way with the boy behind, and the dad bringing up the rear as they cycled through the driving rain on this Oxford morning. People are pretty hardy in this City, cycling all year round - it's worth living here for this benefit alone. I haven't cycled for a few days now and am really missing it, but think that It'd be too risky as my back isn't quite right yet.
There's a simplicity to cycling that is so satisfying. Sheer leg-power turning pedals to get you to wherever you want to go. You can easily predict how long your journey will take, it keeps you fairly fit, you know you won't get stuck in a traffic jam (and it costs nothing!) Although I need to stress that I'm not part of a the lycra-clad cycling brigade (no offence to anyone who is), I'm just more of the tweed and high-heels kind of garb cyclist.
It's great thinking time too, as the breeze bustles around me, it feels as though I'm casting the shadows of the day away. The rustling of the trees and the ever-changing sky are the backdrop to my cycling movie. It's powerfully therapeutic too.
Are there any downsides, hmmm...let me think, well in an entirely vain note, as the day goes on my hair gets a bit frizzy and in the summer months I have been known to arrive at my destination with the odd tiny fly stuck to my face (not a good look), and occasionally I get soaked (but not as often as you'd think).
As I arrived at the Sunday market, I stopped to let a small car go past before I walked across the road. I'm sure it was called a Fiat Sciatica - I double blinked through the rain and sleepy haze in my head - I'm sure that's what it said, but realise it's an unlikely choice of name by any manufacturer. My mind is playing tricks on me as the residual pain in my back throbs away. I've decided not to take painkillers today, so I can feel what's really going on.
At the market I buy some purple sprouting broccoli, two leeks and a bunch of celery - I then pop to M&S to get a small bag of frozen peas for my back as I've graduated from the frozen apple pie I used the other day. Everything I've bought today is green. I wonder if that's because I watched some footage this morning of a river in Chicago being dyed bright green for St Patrick's Day (I'm serious - see here).
This reminds me of the saying: There's nowt so queer as folk
As I'm writing this the frozen peas have numbed my lower back and it feels as though it's been for a filling at the dentist. I don't know if I like the feeling or not, but if it helps, it's worth the bother.
I'm sure I'll be able to cycle again soon and as 'the luminous family' showed me this morning, you carry on regardless, unperturbed appreciating the scenery that life presents you with.