Saturday, 2 January 2010

Ups, downs and rounds and rounds

We are currently riding through Petchabun province, which known as the "Swiss Alps of Thailand". I chose to go this way as it was somewhere I have never been before, but tried to ignore the fact that there would be hills to climb.

It may sound deep, but riding a bicycle is a lot like life - well a lot like my life so far. You have to take the ups with the downs, and in fact, with every uphill you encounter - you learn that it wasn't the incline, the speed of the wind behind you or the breakfast you ate which got you over the top - it was all you.

I used to hate riding up hills. Looking back on Day 1, I can't believe that I pushed my bicycle for the most part of one sticky, hot day in Penang, cursing most of the way up and threatening to turn back if it got any worse. There was one hill in the south of Thailand where I literally waited at the bottom for a tuk tuk to come along and pull me up - but it never arrived.

Some days are definitely harder than others. Sometimes it can be a simple thing like riding past a power station which is spewing black smoke into the atmosphere which sucks my energy away again. Riding on the freeway aslo sucks but I have learnt that instead of paying attention to the cars, trucks and motorcycles on my right, to focus on the green and open on my left, because the cars have a right to be there, and so do I.

Yesterday I had a breakthrough - a day where I enjoyed going up as much as I did going down. And when the hills kept coming I just kept peddling, enjoying the downs and using them to help me get back up. I even found myself laughing in the face of each and every new hill.
My riding has definitely gone from strength to strength in the last few legs, but it is my mind which is coping better than ever before. Every day I wake, I stretch, I ride, I eat, I ride, I stretch, I sleep and then I wake up, happy to do it all over again the next day.

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