Waiting For Spring
by Robert Thorpe
Spring seems to have deserted us here in the North Yorkshire national parks. It came, honestly it did. The sun was warm and daffodils bloomed, with bright yellow flowers lining the country lanes. Yes, we’d had a few wet days, but everyone was quietly confident that with temperatures of around 18 to 20 degrees, it was safe to get out the shorts and ss jerseys.
I’d been busy getting in as many rides as I could – on road and mountain bike, attacking anything that went upwards. After all, I’m racing on the Trasfagarasan road in Transylvania in July, and so hills are very much needed. A slight rain shower is nothing; after all, skin is waterproof. And, if you keep riding you’ll stay warm and soon dry off after the shower passes.
I’d managed 10 rides in a 2 week period, which was pretty damn good for me. Fitting in rides between editing, writing and family commitments isn’t as easy as people think. I seem to spend most of my time chasing things up for other people and not actually doing much for myself. Welcome to reality everyone. Maybe every now and then I just need to tell others to ‘sod off’ and simply start to think more about me. However, I’m not good at selfishness; in terms of those Myers Briggs personality tests, I always come out as INFJ, which basically means that I’m a loyal and caring idiot that’s often thinking too much about others to give time for themselves. And so you see, the advent of a real spring, with sunny days and opportunities to escape outside is a welcome thing for me. Even when I’m stuck indoors, I do at least get the sun shining outside, drawing me towards it and with the beginnings of selfish thoughts evolving in my mind. Yes, spring is a chance to say ‘today is for me’.
I can simply get the bike out and escape into the hills. It’s not that I’m anti-people, not all – but I am pro-solitude. I’d rather spend time on my own, as this way I don’t have to always agree with others, ride at their pace, ride where they want to go, cycle past great spots where I’d rather stop and enjoy the view. No, spring is amazing for me, allowing me to be uncharacteristically selfish and to simply do something for me. which makes it all the worse when nature decides to f*ck it all up and bring snow showers, sleet, rain and bloody cold temperatures again,just when you think that winter is over.
Riding into the Yorkshire Dales, or along the roads and tracks of the North Yorks Moors, I’m transfixed by the sublime beauty and ruggedness of the landscape. What most people fail to understand though, is that it’s an industrial landscape – yes. Think about it; The farmers have formed these fields, laid the walls, planted the crops, cleared the meadows of trees, whilst lead miners and quarrymen have worked the rock, creating the footpaths and bridleways that allowed them to hike to the mines or to drive sheep between areas. And yet it all fits together perfectly, as if God decided to paint the ideal image of nature, and for cyclists it’s simply amazing.
I can’t wait for spring to decide that it’s not only here, but that winter can actually go f*ck itself and the weather will finally remain warm, with blue skies and I’ll be able to create rides where I can sit outside a cafe and eat cake and take it all in. For now though, it’s time to dig out the thermals again and to try and put aside the seemingly endless work required for others; the editing, brand liaison, images to locate or to create, trips to organise for photo shoots etc etc, and instead to find some me time – even if I still seem to be waiting for spring.