MESSLIFE, LOVE AND MUNCHING MILES

MESSLIFE, LOVE AND MUNCHING MILES

‘Mwaaahooohaaaaaaaaa…’
Yawns… Stretches out…
Is it here? Has spring arrived?

Green surrounds me, sunshine warms my face and a few drops of rain land on my tanned bare knees. I squinch my eyes looking at my screen.

Yes, spring!

I may not have been hibernating, but I just looked at my previous blog and realised it was dated about seven months ago.
I wrote that I was gonna disappear from the ‘blogging radar’ for a little while to refind ‘Hera’, and maybe after that I could re-earn the title of ‘cyclist’.

Now I’m coming up for air from my digital winter hole to share with you how the past months have been.

Like I said, I haven’t been hibernating, but I did have a nice roomy apartment to myself this winter. I really needed that, a door to shut close behind me..

I’ve enjoyed the peace and have taken advantage of the kitchen which, in comparison to my Optimus multi-fuel stove and two camping pots, was equipped with all I could possibly desire.
I’ve maintained my personal diet and prepared and cooked with mainly fresh, unprocessed and vegetarian/vegan ingredients.
That really served me well.
That, together with my therapy sessions, my daily meditation and exercises and in the end a little bit of medication too.
Bit by bit I regained energy.

 

WORK

January 1st I started working for ‘Raas Koeriers’, a bike messenger company in my city. I felt pretty fit and balanced again, but my head wasn’t all there yet. I still felt hazy, tense and anxious at times and easily overstimulated.

I was invited to join despite my own doubts.

I had no idea whether I could ride fast enough and if I would be in shape to do the job in general, but I was eager to try.
Luckily I knew the manager from some years ago and he had an idea about who he was hiring. I was invited to join despite my own doubts.

To start as a bike messenger in January in the Netherlands you have to be ‘pretty motivated’, some people said. And they were right, cause already during my fourth shift I was riding slippery snowy roads.
Towing a Bobyak (one wheel trailer) behind a road bike is challenging in those circumstances.

I started at a low pace, but throughout the months I’ve grown much more into shape.
By now I’m riding about six shifts a week. I collect mail at the post office and deliver it at companies, I deliver packages and little packs of medication from the pharmacy. All in all, I think I ride about 200 to 240 kilometers a week during my messenger shifts.

 

CAP

Through the messenger job I met a guy who designs cycling caps. I was impressed with the caps and he was impressed with my travels, so we decided to design a cap together that’s based of my cyclinglife.
This is the result: (it comes in yellow and purple)

You can order it here!

 

HOUSING

With the summer approaching I was looking for a campground where I could pitch a bungalow tent for a few months, but I found something much better; a tiny wooden cabin with a little kitchen, a table and two chairs and a bed in it.

After some thorough cleaning I moved in.
Right now I’m sitting outside my cabin in the sun listening to the sheep grazing in the meadow on my right. Behind me a train rattles by every now and then but besides that I’m surrounded by green. Grass, hedges, a cornfield and trees.

I call this my ‘little paradise’.
The cabin is just 3×4 meters but it has all I need. I grow herbs for tea, there’s solar light glowing outside at night and when the weather allows I can have a little bonfire.

New job, new house..
It’s starting to look more like a success story then a burn-out recital. And maybe it sorts of is. Boy, have I learned a lot!
About health, food, taking care of myself, my weaknesses and needs.

But, where was I?
New job, new house..

 

New BICYCLE

Despite the very little kilometers I’ve cycled in 2018 Santos hasn’t lost its faith in me. Whilst looking for a suitable bike for my messenger job they offered to lent me a Santos Race Lite.
We build it in a way so that it’s perfect for the job.

From the moment I got on it I was sold.
I call him Fuego.

A single speed road bike (not fixed), belt drive, mudguards, a dynamo hub and light, rim brakes and a light rack that can carry panniers.
From the moment I got on it I was sold.

I call him ‘Fuego’ (fire).
Not only have the many kilometers made me stronger and has the work brought a nice rhythm to my days, Fuego has brought another thing into my life; love.

 

LOVE

As I visited Santos HQ to pick up Fuego my eye fell on a young man, half concealed behind a digital drawing table and computer screens. I’d noticed his charming appearance before but never stroked up a conversation. After all, I usually visited Santos HQ to pick up or service my aluminum boyfriends; first Wilson, then Falcor, now Fuego, not looking for one of flesh and blood.

But this time we got into a conversation surrounded by bicycles in the showroom. That same night a digital message followed, a string of emails, a date, a second date, butterflies in my stomach and before I knew it I fell in love with him.

Soon we were seeing each other weekly, shared ice-creams, set up the ‘guest bed’ in my tiny cabin, we mountainbiked together, and crashed together.

 

Though the relationship is still young, we’re already looking forward to sharing some kilometers on loaded touringbikes.

Also the reality of touring is finally getting within reach for me again.

A week together with my ‘knight in shining lycra’ and I’m also looking at a two-month solo tour this fall.

That burn-out was a bastard, but it’s also taught and brought me a lot of good things.
Now it’s time to reap the benefits.

It’s been quite a ride, these past 18 months.
I’ve doubted so much, everything even at times.

And now I live in paradise, I ride a bicycle to make an income, I can plan future tours and I’ve found love!

That burn-out was a bastard, but it’s also taught and brought me a lot of good things.
Now it’s time to reap the benefits.

 

Let me munch those miles!
On a roadbike, mountainbike or touringbike.
I can’t get enough of it!

 

and then

 

WHOOPS…

Even before I could send this sunny blog into the ether a little dark cloud appeared in the sky.

This past Tuesday I was riding a long evening shift on my messenger job. But halfway the ride I hit a small pole, that I’d totally overlooked, at full speed.

BANG…. ouch!… AAAAAAAH AAAAAAH AAAAAAH!

As I was on the ground I felt that I was miraculously unharmed except for a strong pain in my lower back.
Some people hurried over and called an ambulance, while I called my boss.
A little later I arrived to the hospital where they took an X-ray photo of my lower back.
It turned out I’d broken my sacrum. Well, the first aid doctor said tailbone, but the report said sacrum.. however, it’s broken in a very beautiful way.

After checking my nervous system (all fine) a colleague dropped me off at my mums place, together with a bag of painkillers that could put a herd of elephants down.
I’ve actually been pretty fine from the first night on without any drugs and I hope to stay that way.

Right now I’m back at my little cabin where I have to rest and be patient.
I’m not allowed to lift heavy things and it’s hard to bend.

But luckily the sun is shining and I have a shelf full of great books and a head full of plans.