As many of you might know, I love cycling. There’s a rhythmic, meditative property to the sport that induces a sort of peaceful zen feeling within me. These days I usually cycle in the city, but I first learned to ride in the countryside. It’s a different experience entirely, country cycling. The peaceful zen feeling is much stronger there. On long, country rides, your brain switches to a distinct set of tracks as your legs pump incessantly, propelling you through long stretches of relative emptiness. You end up floating above yourself, mind running parallel to body, occasionally flying off on wondrous tangents. In the city it’s also a meditation of sorts, but a much more present one. You can’t let your thoughts drift to the same far-off place in the city. There you have to reach a zone in which you block out all the ‘chitter chatter’ thought that usually provides a running commentary on your experiences, and instead you become hyper-focused on your surroundings and how to navigate them while staying alive. When you cycle in the city it’s like playing an old school video game; the city is loaded with traps trying to kill or maim you that you have to dodge while moving ever onward. You become a creature of pure reflex, the only way of staying alive being an assumption that everyone else is constantly trying to kill you. Neither type of cycling is inherently ‘better’ than the other, and they both have their ups and downs, but as a rule you’d say that cycling outside of the city is usually safer.
That’s Nepal. Shey Phoksundo National Park to be exact. And that footage has been doing strange things to me all day. Like, I’ve never wanted to do anything and to be anywhere more, but also have never wanted to be as far away from something and somewhere, as while watching this short clip. Look at it! It’s beguiling beyond measure. The narrow, snaking path, separating you from death by only a couple of inches, winding its way some stupid distance above a lake of supernatural blue. I feel like I’m exactly halfway between quitting my job, selling all my possessions, and cycling all the way to Nepal just so I could cycle along this path; and curling up in the foetal position at the thought of getting anywhere near the experience of cycling along that path. Goddamn, what even are human emotions?
Though I guess it could be worse. It could be this dude:
Why though? from r/SweatyPalms
Even though, yes, sure, he’s got a rope.
Header Image Source: YouTube