My Freedom, My Salvation.
It’d been a tough day and Bluey knew it: She always knows.
She’s one of my best friends: Never offering an opinion or taking sides; she just listens patiently while humming her soothing one note song.
She’s the best shrink too, she only ever prescribes extended saddle time when things get a bit… overwhelming.
Today was one of those days.
She’d suggested a bit of extra saddle time and persuaded me to take the long way home; nothing too spirited, just a gentle roll through the hills.
In all honesty, it didn’t take too much persuading; it never does.
I mean, an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost right?
I already had my jacket on, my old Stagg, all I needed to do was put on my lid and slip my hands into my gloves. Soon enough we were on our way, and together we negotiated the afternoon traffic through the western suburbs of Brisbane.
In the distance we could see the hills that skirt the city come into view, they were dark from the shadow cast by the afternoon sun, but oh so inviting.
It was 16:45: We rode further.
The skyscrapers, traffic snarls and mobile phone junkies were soon replaced with neatly arranged houses with manicured lawns and open spaces with kids playing in them.
A dog gave chase as we meandered by.
Before long we were in the shadows of the hills and surrounded by trees. We could hear birds vying for a branch to settle in for the night and the open road lay ahead of us like a red bellied black snake sunning itself in the late afternoon sun.
Bluey began to purr.
She moved effortlessly through the hills, rounding sweeping corners and tight hairpins with equal amounts of agility and sure-footed-ness; and as promised she was gentle.
Never once raising her voice in anger, or lifting her head exiting a corner.
The sun dazzled us as we climbed the range. Shining so brightly, it hid all natures beauty momentarily. The road disappeared into a bright orange ball that hung low on the horizon.
It was 17:20: We rode further.
The road swept around the left and to the right, and back to the left again.
We crested a slight rise where the valley beyond the hills lay sprawling below us, presenting us with a breath-taking vista only nature can create.
Instantly, I forgot about my day, and where I was. I was so in awe of natures beauty, entranced by its ruggedness and it’s simplicity.
Bluey sensed I had found my centre and slowed to allow me to enjoy the moment. She led me to a small clearing, a parking lot overlooking the valley. In the distance we could see the dam that quenches the thirsty hordes that are Brisbane-ites.
We sat for what seemed like and eternity drinking in the afternoon sun and watching it set over the valley together, and as the sun disappeared over the horizon I thought to myself.
“This is why I ride”
“This is my freedom; this is my salvation”