When I’m riding I’m untouchable

Far Island Fox Hunt
Cold enough to freeze the balls off an errant chimp ...

The Far Island Fox Hunt: On keeping the chimp on the back

It’s been unseasonably cold on the Far Island this last week. And if it’s been cold outside it’s an unfortunate reflection of what’s been happening inside.

Have you ever seen that poster, “You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office”? Well, I call bullshit, and I know a fair few others who do too. Still, it’s pretty common knowledge that winter is the season for depression, and I reckon it’s because we get out riding less.

You’ll have to excuse my attitude, and lack of banter in this round, that too, goes with the season. If I could pick a word to describe the last week I wouldn’t be able to print it, so pick a favourite of your own and insert it wherever you feel it fits (suggestions marked with a #).

There’s no doubt in my mind that riding is # great therapy. But it’s also considered by many to be a bit of a dangerous undertaking. There’s also good reason to be concerned for anyone clearly impacted by severe depression or anxiety. So you would think mixing the two a pretty # stupid idea. Yet that’s not how it works for me, and here’s why.

It might sound odd to a non-biker, but when out riding I’m untouchable. The world is there before me, I can see, taste and feel it, but it does not threaten me at all. Life can be complicated, conflicting, unpredictable and downright confusing. But somehow that big picture stuff doesn’t matter so much when you stop sitting back looking at it, and start riding through it, concerned only with what lies right before you.

The problem I have in extrapolating this paradigm to life is that on occasion a bit of that big picture I hadn’t been watching for comes along and knocks the living # out of me. Now, at my best I can handle it; you have a bit of a tank-slap, leave a little skid mark (yes, that kind) and carry on.  At my worst I spend nights and nights awake, unable to shake that # feeling undermining my confidence. That’s the # fox right there, the little #.

Have a look at this guy talking about a # of a chimp. He’s no idiot. We’ve all got one it seems. It’s supposed to ride pillion though and this week I’ve been too slow to stop him grabbing at the controls. Right now he’s winning the battle, but the hunt is far from over.

You see, I’ve been taking the little # out for rides in sub-zero weather; see if I can freeze his little balls off, and prove to myself I’m up for the challenge.

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