For a long forgotten, and clearly not good enough, reason I caught the train home last week.
Although this used to be a regular event, having not ventured there for about 3 years you forget what it’s like, and so last week’s foray was a serious shock to the system.
Firstly train travelers I have a question: you let someone else decided when you leave and arrive, and which route you take?
As if that wasn’t frustrating and demeaning enough, it turns out wasting my precious time waiting on the train was the least of my worries.
Far more worrisome was becoming acutely aware that I poses a nose: not something one generally thinks about, but there were so many odours to deal with that the fact that I have nose became, not a bonus, but a burden.
There was everything from the unpleasant and stale mix of other people’s body odour and old perfume, through to bad breath, musty clothes and foul take away food. It was 20 minutes of an uninterrupted olfactory assault.
On a bicycle one gets so used to nothing, but a cooling breeze to sniff, that being subjected to a cocktail of everything, but fresh air, was a startling and rather rude surprise.
But wait, there were more shocks to come! What is it with trains moving and yet not moving!
On a bicycle you’re always in motion. Life feels like it’s in full swing, the world whizzes by, time slows down and the day feels fresh and ready to be filled.
The easy cycling motion of your legs gets the blood flowing freely, the cogs of your mind whirring and the thoughts of what life will bring pop like corn.
There’s also not a moment to be bored. It’s all action. Just avoiding sleepy drivers and unthinking door openers keeps you on your toes, but there are also bicycle boys to check out, cute bicycle kids to enjoy the ride with and the morning sun, or the evening breeze to soak up.
Thus my ride in a train carriage (while I appreciate the driver got me home when I didn’t have my bicycle) was simply disturbing.
And yet the swirl of smells and the motionless motion were nothing in comparison to the look of tedium on everyone’s faces, and the overall sense of stagnation and resignation.
I got the very strong impression that for these travelers life was a train ride to nowhere, and someone else was choosing the destination. It had me, once again, bless the inventors of the bicycle for their genius.
Life by bicycle has none of that ‘going nowhere’ feeling.
As Einstien so eloquently put it, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”.
I say, life by bicycle keeps you moving and so all you need to do is enjoy the ride!