January 11, 2011

The Headwind of Life

The last 2 days I have had to go out and ride my bike along what can simply be described as some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. At my house, there is an absence of wind, almost at all times. It’s deceptive, as there has been a gusting wind blowing other side of Camps Bay, on both occasions. This morning as I was attempting to ride easy into a gale headwind, I remembered this set of videos I came across yesterday which had me longing for more Epic Unsupported Tour. The same ethos applied. Keep pedalling, no matter how tough it’s getting.

Here is the first video:

Rapha Rides TOC – Episode 1 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

I am going to be doing these crazy trips for a long time. This one has inspired me to capture it, like these guys have, with a road ride sometime this year. If you are a production company and you are reading this, I would love to show off South Africa in a very professional manner, as Rapha have (by the way, one of my favorite brands in the world), all by bicycle. Please contact me. If you could see the areas we went through recently, it blows the mind away.

The concept of group suffering is not new to me. It’s not new to many people. There is something extremely rewarding and peaceful about riding a bike for a mightily long distance. There is something about going minimalist on the kit, the crew, the food, that brings you back closer to how you are supposed to be. It shows you just how much your body is capable of. It’s a special place when you discover that. Nobody can ever take it away from you. No material object can ever give you that personal confidence.

Rapha Rides the TOC – Episode 2 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Rapha Rides the TOC – Episode 3 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

So back to this morning, where I was riding into this headwind, knowing that if I went any harder, I would just tire myself and hate tomorrow’s session. So I plodded quietly into this gusty headwind. I found a metaphor for life in there. Sometimes you just have to plod, without really knowing when the wind will turn. Eventually, the wind always turns and if you have a headwind all the way home, chances are, you had a tailwind going out.

Tough times, suffering, pain, they eventually all go away. Sometimes you have to go beyond the call of duty, to finish the task. Sometimes you have to stay the extra hour, work from home at night or make the point to disappoint someone in order to get to your goals. That is life. It’s a part of the headwind.

Rapha Rides the TOC – Episode 4 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Once the wind turned with about 8km to go this morning it was plain sailing. Almost like there was no chain on the bike it was so easy. It was euphoric and worth the effort of being patient and applying the “off” button to the ego when other riders passed me earlier, riders who I could ride faster than, but who’s plan I was not on today.

As my fretten always says, just keep swimming. Eventually the beach will come. Eventually the wind will turn. Suffering will stop and all that you want will turn towards you with gusto and claim you like a bear hug. You will understand the reasons, the patience will make sense and you will find your ellipsis…

Rapha Rides the TOC – Finale from RAPHA on Vimeo.

One Comment on “The Headwind of Life

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Raoul de Jongh. Raoul de Jongh said: Riding the headwind. New post. Click click. RT if you like it… dankie. […]


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