Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When you wake up next to a bicycle.

Dawn breaks as I roll over (off my sleeping pad) and see her (Lyudmila) leaning up against a tree, staring at me through the thin netting of the tent. Like a dog that wants to be walked my bike wants to go for a ride. Secretly I'm just as excited to start the day.

The first hour of each day on this cycling adventure is like they say in photography terms the "golden hour". I break down camp. Every item has its specific place in the panniers. Every movement starts the flow towards that first crank of the pedals.

Finally setting the wheels in motion, leaving behind the known for the unknown, we begin the search for the most important destination of the morning. AN OPEN CAFE. Like the black lab that can pick up the scent of Orca scat, Lyudmila somehow steers me towards the lonely tired cafe owner firing up the coffee grinder.

Once inside the ritual is always the same. Go straight for the warm croissants that are always found in this magical little plastic set of shelves, pull a napkin from the dispenser and pick out the one with the surprise inside (apricot jam) while ordering "un cappuccino". Then stand at the bar and bask in the five minutes of banter between the bartender and whoever else is up at the ass crack of dawn.

And then it beings. The real sense of adventure hits me when I start to ride away from the cafe and find the open road under my wheels. Everyone is waking up. Starting their day. The road is quiet, the only time the road is quiet. The sun still fighting with the moon for earth's attention. The cool air is giving way to the heat of the day.

I pass an elderly man and greet him with the best Italian tone I can muster.
"Buongiorno!" it just rolls off my tongue.
Looking surprised he sends me a soft reply with a smile.

The road unfolds in front of us and we follow it, wherever it goes.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Seriously. What an incredible way to start the day. Someone once said to me, "get busy livin' or get busy dyin." Way to get after it while enjoying the little things that compose the days. Thanks for sharing Brad. Continue to travel safely with Lyudmila.


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