Riding on the Rims

A couple of weeks ago – ahead of an upcoming cycling holiday in the New Forest – I took my bike in for a service. various bits needed replacing, tweaking and basically fiddling with. When I went to pick up a couple of days later they told me that the rim of the back wheel was badly worn down (due to my having not replaced brake pads soon enough a couple of times) and I really should get this replaced before going on a cycling holiday in case the wheel succumbed.

So that is what I did. I followed their advice, paid the piper, and rode off with renewed confidence.

Last week I did much the same for myself by going to my doctor so that she could see if I was road worthy. In bike mechanic terms she told me in no uncertain terms that I have been ‘riding on the rims’, my brake pads have worn too thin.  She cut my work hours by 50% for the next couple of weeks, upped my medication, strongly supported my plan to go on a cycling holiday, and told me to come and see her again in a week (that’s tomorrow).

Leaving the surgery I thought that it would be a good idea to go on a bike ride.  Over the next couple of days I thought about where I would go.  A bad sign. Normally, I just decide on the day and off I go. All my usual routes, distances and locations seemed too challenging.  Rides I have done – enjoyed – time after time; they all felt like riding in the Alps on a tricycle. So I decided to take it easy and ride a largely off -road flat route along a disused railway track.

The ride was pleasant enough, the sun was out, I had lunch at a nice pub garden, and hardly broke into  a sweat. I can hear you making encouraging noises: ‘take it easy’, ‘be kind to yourself’, ‘one step at a time’. The ride didn’t feel good at all precisely because of that kind of thinking. It just underlined for me just how below par I have become.

What It Is

It is nonsense

says reason

It is what it is says love
It is calamity

says calculation

It is nothing but pain

says fear

It is hopeless

says insight

It is what it is says love

It is ludicrous

says pride

It is foolish

says caution

It is impossible

says experience

It is what it is

says love

Eric Fried (1921 – 1988)

This entry was posted in anxiety, Bi Polar Disorder, Cycling, Mental Health, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Riding on the Rims

  1. Laraine Sutton says:

    That was beautifully written Nicholas. Love, the great wisdom of acceptance and ensuing peace. So uplifting. x


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