Cycling through my Saturday afternoon.

Trip Start Jul 04, 2007
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Trip End Sep 04, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wow, what a day!


Saturday, no work to be done at the magazine - and above all no power in the building because of a monster thunderstorm that hit Minneapolis last night; hundreds of households are today facing shortages to their electrical supply.

I take the day off from Internet and the daily updates of my various blogs, travel journals and all, and spend the whole afternoon riding my bike around town, I see some lakes, I have a swim, I watch an incredible rock/tip-tap band playing a block party uptown, find a bagpipe player in front of a church, I stop downtown for a beer, feed myself a sandwich, and then back to the office to write this entry.

I'm pretty tired now, I must have cycled over ten miles, but it's the kind of tiredness that is totally satisfying and makes every cell of your body tingle with pride and joy for the recent workout.

As usual after a brief introduction, let's take a step back and start from the beginning, so I can go through some considerations.

Today was meant to be a cycling day since yesterday, and actually I had planned to go all the way to St Paul, the Twin City. So I was sort of mentally prepared for it, but the fact that the power at the office was down made for an earlier start. I had a couple of things to check on Internet, but there was no way I could fix the problem - my boss later informed me about the city-wide shortages - so I jump on my bike and I'm off. First destination, Lake Calhoun, close to uptown Minneapolis.

This morning was very windy, probably still settling from last night, but just after noon the weather turned to hot and sunny, spot on for my biking excursion.

I took the bike path around the lake, dodging pedestrian and incoming fellow bikers who would look at me with some mild antipathy as I was cycling in the wrong direction. Not that I wasn't aware of this, but, come on, a one-way bike path...where on heart have you seen a one-way bloody bike path!!

Anyway, follow a swim, some basking in the sun, photo ops along the beach, and the joy of skimming through a few chapters of the book by Herman Hesse I have recently started reading. It's called "Wandering", a collection of short writings, poems and sketches Hesse put together while vacationing in Ticino, Switzerland, in 1920.

Dani's quick review: beautiful. Here's an extract:

"...I love deeply everything at home, because I have to leave it. Tomorrow I will
love other roofs, other cottages. ... I am a nomad and not a farmer, a man who searches and not a man who keeps. ... I will be happy sometimes, and sometimes I will be homesick... I am not complete, and I do not even strive to be complete. I want to taste my homesickness, as I taste my joy."

This is the first chapter squeezed in a few lines, but I realise rereading it how meaningful Hesse's words are. There is no doubt that this is exactly how I feel when I travel by myself.

Life 'on the road' is exciting and fun, but it's also lonely, which suck very now and then. True, being on your own lets you be in complete control over your journey, and somebody whose name I can't remember now said that we are never actually alone, because we are always with ourselves.

That's how I felt today, totally free to wander around on my bike while enjoying the warm August sun on my back and the wind in my face. I didn't have any specific goal, and so i managed to encounter so many different/bizarre/entertaining things on my path, just like that, effortlessly.

This is the case of the block party where I watched this amazing band playing and tip-tap dancing, or the guy in full Highlander outfit that I found following the sound of his bagpipe from the opposite shore of Lake of the Isles. Later on I fancied a beer, and stopping at a bar that I had spotted on Friday, I was surprised to find Paulaner on the tap on their menu... - if this last detail doesn't strike a note, you probably never had Paulaner, a Weiss beer from Munich, Germany...cloudy and incredibly tasty, but also rare; I myself haven't had one in years!

And another thing that always strikes of days like this is the ongoing feeling that every decision I make is the right one. I don't think twice about things, and if I do I don't give it too much thought afterwards. Everything flows, you don't feel stuck but you don't rush either, because the time you have seems just right.

But Hesse also reminds us that we can't leave in a constant state of bliss and that we shouldn't fear, or try to avoid, discomfort and homesickness. We are explorers, let us be ready to explore everything, anything, wherever we are and whenever it happens.


Stay tuned for more folks.
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