There’s a long straight bike path that runs for about six kilometres along the Besos river, in Barcelona. I ride my bicycle on it every morning. These winter days it is still dawn when my wheels roll down the ramp that descends into the path, and by then there are many fellow humans along the riverside. Early morning walkers, old couples, some dedicated runners, many half-asleep scooter people and plenty of cyclists. So as I go down that ramp with my tyres buzzing against the pavement, making my way through the cold air towards the end of the descent, there’s a truly special feeling building up. It doesn’t take more than ten seconds, but it’s like spotting that light at the end of the tunnel and speeding right into it. And once at the bottom of that ramp, at the end of the tunnel, I know I am free.
Okay, I’ll admit that that was a little over the top. There are limitations to my freedom (aka. “my job”). Also, the great thing about my morning ride is that I get to do it with my wife. So, we usually ride at an extremely leisurely pace and have great conversations. But the scenery turns truly cinematic from our bikes. Flocks of parakeet swarm from tree to tree, seagulls fly parallel to the river, dogs run amok and cormorants bath in the water. For most of the ride, the sun is hidden from view behind the walls that keep us below city levels. Only occasionally can we see the rays of light further down, glimmering for a second against a patch of flowing water, or colouring one end of the many bridges that hang above the river. But at a certain point, towards the end, the path aligns with the sun, and everything turns into a cliche postal. The sky overflows with golden clouds, the sun rays boom through the morning mist and oncoming scooters dangerously become backlit silhouettes that I have to be aware of because I am usually riding against oncoming traffic so that I can hold my wife’s hand as we ride. My bad.
So maybe I am free after all. Free of being crammed into a subway, free of bus delays, free of starting my day staring into a phone screen, free of cars honking, free to hold my wife’s hand while on the wrong lane and free, in sum (at least for an hour), of being subjugated by the all controlling, ever present “Man”! And that is what this blog is about: me, my wife, beauty, bikes, bike rides and sticking it to The Man.