Thursday after work I finally got on a bike again. It had been a while because of illness, and then being back in Germany moving into my new (and tiny) apartment. Then there was the damage done to my car by a bit of road debris on Wednesday, reporting that to the (disinterested) police. Thursday I rode to work. Together with a colleague, we had decided that we would ride in, then home, then put in some time after work. It was a good call, especially as a different guy at work had managed to collect all of the parts for a bike to build his first ‘proper’ one. eBay had provided him with pretty much everything that he needed, and an XTR equipped hardtail, with a very grinny owner road back with us, having finished the assembly that day.
Our route home was 50% offroad. Just farm tracks really, and a couple of paths. Just about as hard as you want to go on a brand new bike. He headed home and the other friend and myself headed to the other side of the Rhine to where we live in Koblenz, and headed into the hills for a spot of further mountain biking.. The loop was 25 miles, with 500m of climbing. It was boiling hot and a great ride in alpine-esque scenery. Added to the 15 miles of commuting, and it was a good days cycling.
Friday it pissed it down in the morning, and so I drove in. The evening was going to involve driving to Dusseldorf to visit a one of my best friends and loveliest people in the whole wide world, who lives there. We were at university together, and she enter became a member of my ‘superleague’ of trusted friends very quickly. Over the years we have kept in touch, despite the international nature of our lives (she lived in Spain for a year, is half Irish, half German, studied in England, then worked in Munich and is off to Madrid to return to studies soon). Seeing her home where her parents brought her up is a real privalage, and meeting her whole family, was also great. It was so nice to be made to feel so welcome. It is certainly a good move on my part to have consciously decided to make more of my time here in Germany,, visiting more people and taking fewer things for granted.
Speaking of which, I have just watched Rich, Famous and Homeless on the BBC iPlayer. If you can find it on YouTube or something, it is a real eye opener. Part of the conversation this weekend was actually about how good our lives are, and how although I think we have all suffered with feeling lost and desperate at some point or another in life (I know that I have), that comparatively all of us are very spoilt and have a wealth of opportunity. It is something that I don’t want to forget quickly.