Autumn Leaves


I’m just back from a nice long cycle it seems like an age since my last one. 

The great thing about time on the bike is that when the legs are engaged, the mind is freed to go on flights of daydream and fancy. Sometimes its odd where these can take you. There’s something about physical repetition that opens a door to the unconcious, a magic door on the other side of which lies forgotten memories and unrealisable dreams. All of which can be lived in vivid technicolor from a bicycle seat.

The cadence of pedaling seems to act much like a mantra does for meditation, something constant and repetitive to focus the mind and then free it from the day to day worries and stresses that make us unreceptive to subtle stimulus and deaf to the sublime signals.  

Its hard to say what triggers the memories or thoughts that come flooding through, theres a part of me that likes to think its a smell or action that the landscape presents that mimics one from associated with a past experience and unlocks that to be relived. Part me likes to think its a lot less scientific and therefore a bit more magical. 

Today’s trip reminded me, suprisingly of cycling along the Baltic coast in 2005 on my way to St Petersburg. The trigger this time was quite simple. Golding, fallen leaves crunching under tyre reminded me of the Autumn Leaves(click below for Eva Cassidy’s version), which I was listening to a lot on that particular stretch of road. So, with the connection made I spent an indulgent 20mins or so reliving the windswept coast of Estonia, remembering the hearty food, the even heartier beer, reliving my old Giant bike, and above all savoring the feeling that I’ve largely been forgetting with all of the planning and cold calling that organising an expedition requires.

The feeling of being out in the big bad world on a bicycle. And now that the Autumn leaves are falling the world beckons.


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