It was a beautiful morning. The sun shining through the trees and onto the landscape had wonderful effects. I was seeing paintings all around me. Like I had double vision, I would switch between reality and David Hockney's. I was cycling through a gallery of paintings.
This experience was enhanced by me being in 'Mindful' mode. We had sessions at work around Wellbeing, and the Mindfulness session stood out for me. I thought I wasn't too bad for living in the moment. I grew up in a house called Carpe Diem. I had noted to the person holding the session that, what she was describing is very much like the state I'm in when on a long bike ride, and having gone over the threshold. Everything means something, you are aware of the countryside, the birds, the cars, the sun, the rain, the food you eat, the eating, the people, the conversations ... and life can't be better at that time.
It was another great day out. I was focussed, I wanted to gain some confidence again, in being able to do 200 in 12hrs. Anything less than 12hrs is a bonus, or a few missed photo opportunities.
I did take a few shots of curiosities, like this General Post Office marker post:
|GPO marker post|
I had good company on the last leg from Winnersh, which I reached before dark, just. I eyed up the chip van across the road, but thought it safer to get a receipt at Sainsbury's. There was a wonderful moment when our groupette got to Bray where the Hinds Head restaurant by Heston Blumenthal is. Like you see students walking around in Eton, there were chefs walking around in Bray. Else we were on a set for 'The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover'.
It was good to make acquaintances with Maidenhead Phil, and I picked up on the Easter Arrow vibes at head quarters. Looking forward to that event as much as the Southern Kiwi Hunt.
This was the my last audax before the Southern Kiwi Hunt 1200. The entry form has now arrived, and I know that there will be two bag drops. Start time and controls are still to be guessed at. I'm trying to visualise what it is going to be like: headwind south, hard climbing over the alps, rain on the west coast, hard climbing over Arthur's and Porters pass, then a grand finale descent into Christchurch to arrive 10 hours out of time. Still, plenty of sleep time on the flight back home!
Thanks to team Manotea and Iddu. Nice to see so many familiar faces.
Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky