mountain biking on a touring bicycle with trailer

This is one of the more gnarly rides i’ve done on this trip, and i’m pasting it here as much because i’m proud of it as because i can’t figure out how to save it in Google.

I’m doing these rides on a modified cyclo-cross bike, which weighed 55kg full-loaded, before i invested in a trailer. You can’t easily see the gradients in this map, but i took a “wrong” turn somewhere and climbed a road called Mountain Forest Road, which was brutal. I had to stop every 5 or 10 metres to catch my breath, then catch another 5 or 10 metres until i got to the top and the road levelled out.

I’m so proud for challenging myself and for accomplishing these feats. I’ve been really enjoying typing my journals for the last week or so, and playing with Google Maps and Strava to get some of the statistics of the rides i have done. I want to draw these maps by hand someday, as an exercise in reflecting on what i have achieved.

For now though, i need to get off this machine and go and exchange a torch i bought yesterday that flat-out doesn’t work, and eat a Boost bar, and by some Tally-Hos, and pick up my drink bottles from a friend i left them with by accident, and then come back here to type up the notes from this leg.

Woot woot!

letting go of worldly permanence

Depression arises for me when I set unrealistic and unnecessary expectations for myself and then try to meet them, to the detriment of sleep, relationships, health and self-love. This is partly due to my upbringing (my brother constantly belittled me by saying I was stupid and lazy, so that belief got stuck in me at an early age and I am still trying to disprove that belief), but also and more than that, I set these expectations because I still believe in worldly permanence and the idea I have to DO something worthwhile in this world (like publish a book about spiritual adventure), because BEING a loving and compassionate human being doesn’t seem to be enough in this achievement-hungry world.

I’m crying as I write this, because it’s a relief to express it. I don’t want or need solace from anyone reading this, because the tears are healing enough. I just want to share because I feel it’s a valuable insight.

This bike journey I’m on has always been a journey of renunciation, a journey into the Path of Homelessness (to borrow the Buddhist concept of monastic ordination) and a journey to renounce worldly concerns (another Buddhist concept), but I go with me wherever I go, and a big challenge-opportunity for me is releasing myself from my own expectations for myself.

It’s working: I feel much better now. And suddenly I’m hungry – i guess my appetite was clogged with tears.

Thank you for listening.

Cycling from Depression to alight in Love, capitalised

Updating the About page just now, i want to share this ditty about whether or not it has been working for me to leave societal living behind and strike out on Massive for a cycling spiritual adventure. The short answer is yes, and the long answer is:

Is it Working?
So far so good. It might not be clear how a person could escape depression through cycle touring, but i knew i needed to get out of Head and into Body, and all i can say right now is that on Day Three i cried with Joy, which hadn’t happened for a long time while i was languishing in Castlemaine, depressed and addicted. And as i wrote this i Felt my Love of Language, Expression and Communication being stoked. It could have been the Fire i was sitting next to that was helping me feel warm Inside, and (camp)fire is definitely a big part of it, but there’s a lot to be said for Naturally treating Depression by dragging up the Courage from Inside you and setting out to do what you Love, whatever that is. I’m still smoking cigarettes, but i haven’t smoked marijuana since i left (apart from some kiff i took with me for the first day), and apart from some drinking in Mallacoota, i haven’t drunk alcohol with the Intention to obliterate Feelings. I feel very strongly about the idea #intention is an important factor in how drugs effect us, and how our use of them can transform into abuse, or abnormal use. Using a drug to enhance or celebrate Feeling (even so-called bad ones) can have great benefits – using them to suppress Feeling can be disastrous. So yes, it’s working, because i k(no)w longer feel a strong desire to abuse myself with misguided (ab)use of drugs. I still have Moments where i feel down, but it’s no longer that pervasive, heavy, impenetrable Feeling of Depression, just the Natural ebb and flow between happiness and sadness, contentment and frustration. And i only feel anxious when i don’t Trust myself, which i reckon is a Healthy sort of Anxiety, an existential warning sign that going with Head is going to land me in trouble, whereas going with Heart is going to land me in Love.

And i’ll add a note here about Capitalisation, which i stole from a guru whose name i can’t Remember. I like to Experiment with different ways of using Language, because i Feel it’s important to take ownership of this as an Individual, rather than just accepting the tenets of grammar, punctuation, et cetera, that are handed down to us by such gatekeepers as teachers and dictionary editors. I remember being walloped by the Insight, once, that Shakespeare did it!, so why can’t i?, and ever since i’ve been taking great Liberties (mostly in my longhand journals, and rarely in published writing) to play with the tenets of Language and see how i Feel about the effect this has on what i’m Thinking and trying to Express. One thing i stole from the guru whose name i can’t Remember, is the idea it’s important to demote the implied importance of certain “proper nouns” by de-capatilising them, and to promote the importance of certain other so-called Common nouns, by capitalising them. So, for example, i would be inclined to refer to the australian government in lower case, whereas i would refer to Individual Responsibility as a “proper noun”, because i Feel political institutions are regarded with an importance that is not warranted, whereas concepts such as Personal Freedom are treated (by the tenets of prescriptive grammar) as less important. I happen to believe (these days), that governments inhibit Liberty rather than promote it, because i have Become something of a libertarian and an anarchist since i dropped the career as a left-wing intellectual. As an Individual, i now prefer the pursuit of Inner Change as a means for affecting Positive Social Change, over the pursuit of external Change through such means as publishing dissident ideas, lobbying government, appealing to a god in the clouds or chaining Body to Tree. These Experiments in Language are an extension of that, because (as an amateur Semiotician) i value the Power of Symbols, and as an Energy Being i value the powerful Phonetic Resonance of Language, which might be one of the most advanced means that Consciousness has developed for Inter-consciousness Communication, but which has not yet finished Evolving, and may never even continue to Evolve if We don’t take Personal Responsibility for the Form of such a social construct as Language. It is Our Language, not some editor’s. We are Responsible for it’s Evolution, and Contributing to this is one of the ways i Feel i can … well, Contribute … to the Evolution of Consciousness.

So there’s that, a brief note about Capitalisation. I will add this to the Glossary page, where i’ll be developing a list of other Experimental grammatical tenets i am Exploring, mostly in paper-bound journals for now.