Too many weekends went by without me doing much. I'd plan hikes and/or slackline sessions but bad weather or just low turnout messed them up. I lose my fitness level quite quickly (and take ages to get it back) and it had been at respectable levels due all that touch rugby, slacklining and cycling happening in the last few months of my "job hunting" phase. I didn't want to lose it all.
But weather ended up being routinely bad, especially on the weekends when someone planned a hike; and on weekends where I just planned lazy activities like a small picnic with slackline and petanque, it ended being exceptionally good. Eventually another long weekend rolled by and a friend randomly suggested going bicycling. So that's what we did today.
The terrain was mostly flat, along the river and canals. But now that I don't live in the sunny south, this "good weather day" turned out to be foggy and cold, with maximum temperatures of about 7 C. Thankfully, warm clothing was employed in anticipation. In fact, some speculate that too much warm clothing may have been used, resulting in sweating, possibly leading to more cold being sensed. (yes I know this sentence is written weirdly.)
|Typical small town on an autumn day - cold, grey and empty.|
Yes, I know that one is supposed to dress for warmer weather but when one hasn't dressed for activities done in sub 10 C weather (except skiing), one routinely over/under-estimates the warming capabilities of one's clothing. Case in point - the bonnet vis-a-vis the scarf. Bonnet pretended to not be there, while Mr Scarf was busy playing the over-achiever.
Long periods of pseudo-solo cycling (I was the unfit one in the group) lead to lots of contemplation. A recurring thought being how difficult it is to motivate the few people I know to do something (other than the approximately 4-5 people who do show up). As I passed by a guy dressed in military-ish clothing (think camouflage fatigues) standing by the banks waiting to hook a fish, I remembered a surplus store I'd seen in the town center. I remember thinking that that would be a good place to look for light, warm winter clothes, or just plain good hiking stuff. I never went there again... I realized that most of the places (cool or otherwise) I found out about, and many of the people I got to know, in the first month here have been forgotten. It's as if everything I discover in beginning is scratch work, and I got rid of it before starting on the actual work. And this isn't the first place this has happened to me. Food for thought sometime...
The bike ride "mid-point" was a town (pic above) about 30 km along our route... but only 12 km away from home by the difficult route. Our way to here had been flat, but the 12 km back included getting over a small hill. around 150 m to climb and descend after 30 km of bicycling for an unfit guy is quite a lot to ask. I didn't do it all ... I walked some portions. But thankfully, I didn't hold up the other guys for too long. Overall, it was fun.
Let's hope that next time, even if it's cold, it is at least a bit more sunny.