Village Farang “hits the road”...

Cocked and fully loaded.  Ready to hit the road.  Stopped by Mother Nature as she dumped her Mother-load.  Wind and rain came calling, blocking out the sky.  I still wanted to ride but should have asked myself why. 

I was topping up the tires when I felt a sudden gust.  I turned to see a curtain being drawn across the mountains as we rushed indoors to batten down the hatches.  Safely in the house we watched the drama unfolding.  As suddenly as it appeared, it was gone.  With calm restored there was an unseasonal chill in the air and low white clouds hung like snowdrifts on the mountains. 

A wise man would have called it a day and enjoyed the amazing views from the pond.  Feeling a bit full of myself, it struck me that by cleverly skirting the edges of the storm, with a slight course change, I might be able to avoid Mother Nature’s full wrath.  The cool air and sunless sky promised a speedy ride with less than normal effort.  I chose the right direction and my confidence grew with every kilometer that passed. 

Nearing the halfway point, or perhaps a little beyond, the earth suddenly rose up before me.  Topping the mound my head and heart dropped slightly, as a chasm opened up before me.  Feelings of déjà vu, and memories of my ride with Jubby.  Given a running start, no doubt I could have found purchase upon the other side.  What then of my bike?  I could not, or would not, throw it from one side to the other.  As the inevitability of the situation settled upon me, Mother Nature decided to mock me further.  The rain that I had been outrunning, caught me as I proceeded to retrace and retreat in defeat.  Easy dry trails on the way out, quickly turned slick and muddy on the way back.

Smarting slightly from the need to retrace my path, I was steadfast and defiant, determined that I would not be defeated on the day.  Getting dirtier with every turn of the wheel I still navigated all obstacles with ease.  I turned it into a race and sped toward the finish line.  With perhaps less than three kilometers to go and safely onto village lanes I felt the glow of victory.  Nearing the corner where the rubber wood nursery lay in disrepair, I glanced to my left to see a small herd of cows, heading home from a day of feeding in the fields. 

Suddenly there were strange sounds, and pain in my elbow, hip and knee.  I found myself on the ground viewing the world from an unfamiliar perspective.  Having navigated the hills, rocks, sand and slick wet clay, it was deflating to be defeated by a rain slicked, concrete village lane.  A quick check, and the bike seemed fine.  As happens, I was yet to feel the full effects of the fall.  Except for torn shirt and some blood, I seemed little worse for ware.  So bloodied but unbowed, I finish off my ride while preparing myself to weather my wife’s reaction.  She worries about me enough as it is and hardly needs more ammunition to worn me off my mostly solitary adventures. 

While the wounds heal I’ll gladly remain on a shorter leash but with time my memory and hers will fade.  The call of the wild will slowly increase in volume and the only way to silence it will be to “hit the road.”  Hopefully, next time it will not be with my body, however.