Behold the foe.
This morning I pulled into the small town of Sens – I’d slept last night in a forest only 20 km from here. The whole route here was flat, and it’s been a cloudy morning so I didn’t have the severe heat to worry about. Strangely, however, this small bike trek exhausted me. I felt uncomfortable by the time I reached Sens; my shoulders ached from my bag, I was sweating severely and my legs were beginning to feel stiff.
I didn’t want to take the time to find a library, so I just cycled up to a McDonalds near the road. I bought coffee for €1.60 and set up my computer as far as I could from other people, because…
Well… I’ve been sleeping in my tent since I’ve left Paris, and until today the skies have been utterly clear; host to a blazing sun – I’ve been drinking a minimum of four litres per day, and at times I get the feeling that I’m simply sweating out more than that.
My point is, I smell seriously bad.
I opened up Google Maps to plan my route, and then Couch Surfing in hopes of finding some bed or shower – Auxerre is a reasonable distance and it seems like quite a large area. Sure enough, there were quite a few ‘hosts’ available, so I started looking around profiles on Couchsurfing.
I found one had recently hosted a cyclist. Out of curiosity, I took a look at his profile. A skinny looking guy, from China. His introduction was as follows:
I did 2400 km biking in China at the year of 2015, it was from Sichuan to Tibet which is the most challenging route in China
Oh well ‘la dee’ fucking ‘da’! Great. This little guy cycles 2400 km, over 13 fucking mountains, and I’m feeling exhausted from a single stretch of 20 km of flat land.
I took a look back at the guy’s profile picture.
Well, whatever, he’s wearing a full cyclist’s outfit. Obviously some professional or something. He looks small but looks can be deceiving; he’s probably a well-built machine beneath that tight outfit. He also happens to be striking a particularly feminine pose… Which proves he just exudes confidence. Yeah, for sure, he’s some rich, well-trained professional cyclist. I’m not an awful failure after all. Go Nate.
I should have left it there. I really should have. But I read on. In fact, most curious of all, I find that this guy has his own blog. ‘DreamCycling.com‘. It’s on WordPress too. I opened it up.
Turns out we were in Paris around the same time. But he left a good deal earlier than I had; May 11th it seems. I open his post on Paris.
First up is a picture of the Eiffel tower – of course. Aha! He’s clichéd! He went to the Eiffel tower, how boring – Ah – Aha – ahahah – AAAAAhhaaahaha – *Wait Nate*. Calm down let’s not get competitive. Anyway, who’s this girl in his photo?
And … … In this photo.
All of his photos…
God fucking dammit.
So she still must be a rich professional athlete…
I only bought the bike one month before I started the trip, I didn’t bike at all .
Nope… Same as me… R- rich?..
… Please be rich.
5 dollars a day budget makes me happily adapted to eat everything, sleep everywhere
Wild camping in different places have me make nice friends all over the country
Now, of course, she’s cycling Europe. I’m very literally in this girl’s footsteps. Our routes have been a little different, but according to her blog she was in Melun on the 13th of May; I was there on the 28th. She was in Auxerre the very next day, late in the evening. I expect to reach that place today.
Of course, yes, of course she’s cycled through Death Valley.
This is the girl who was chased by fucking hounds in America.
She has an incredible post. A fucking incredible post. Read it here, but it goes:
Am I afraid?What should I afraid of?
The tough situation?
Riding across Death Valley under 120 degrees have me overcame the heat
Riding through the 35 mph headwinds have me overcame the timidity
Climbing in Texas for thousands feet elevation rises have me overcame the cowardice
Camping in Grand Canyon Cavern under 30 degrees have me overcame the cold
Woke up by a soaked tent and sleeping bag after rainstorm at 5 am have me overcame the loneliness
Surrounded by rats at night in Langtry have me overcame the fear
Chased by a bunch of dogs more than 7 times in Mamou have me overcame the negative energy
I was not really strong, but the situations keeps pushing me forward so I get to know the real myself. You thought you can’t, but you are much stronger than you thought; you thought its gonna be hard, but the situation is much easier than you thought, your imagination is your real enemy!You don’t need to fight against the nature, the difficulties,the only thing you need to do is to convince yourself, step forward! You may feel hard at some moments, but when you look back, nothing is really hard. You may laugh at yourself afterwards, I’m so glad I didn’t give up!
It’s fully apparent. This girl is unstoppable.
She is five years older than me, and she has become some sort of a monster. A beast who devours the Earth. She cannot even be impeded. She has conquered her own mind, she has conquered every speck of land. There are no further challenges too great. Imagine she adapted now into some other field? Into anything else. She could dominate every area, spit in the eye of everyone’s ego.
You know, I once met a man who called himself ‘Alpha’. He convinced his family to call him by that name too. They believed in his might, because he knew how to fish. He took them camping, in some national parks near cities.
Good luck facing those dogs, Alpha.
I am shit. I’ve been stroking my ego by having completed some mild exercise. I’ve sworn that reaching Amalfi would be enough of an achievement to dwarf my ultimate goal, of winning Isabel‘s heart.
Perhaps I need to cycle China first, though? Then America I suppose. Face a few sandstorms.
I may be able to overcome these challenges because of this cyclist, her name is Cici. Because of her existence, because I know what she’s done. My path is clearer than ever: to conquer my own mind as she did her’s.
And, when I close my eyes, I see a flash. A glimpse. I see myself messaging Cici, and us both sharing our tales. Perhaps I the dirt road life is not necessarily alone. It is a traveller’s nature – a traveller’s law, to break all of what you acquire. I live now by the law, thereby quickly ending any friendships I make as I move, as I always turn foot and continue on the road. But this girl is on the road also. We have both acquired the law of solitude, perhaps it too should, by its own will, be broken? Perhaps, despite myself, I may have – a friend.
Theoretically… Since this new cyclist, Cici, has already achieved the goal I’ve set for myself, and she’s done far more, couldn’t she break through Isabel’s sexuality and win her from me?..
I never doubted the truth. Cici. To war.