The Art of Escapism: Bikingman Portugal

The Art of Escapism, an essay on an ultra-distance race called Bikingman Portugal.

So the only question that really matters is why?

Why do you ride more than you like?

Why do you let something you love hurt you so much that you start hating it?

Why do you finish it?

Why do you want to do it again then?

What’s the point?

Ok, you defeated your limits but then why again?

Are you so limited in your own life?

What is the outcome, what is the takeaway but most importantly why do you need this?

I don’t have the answers, I don’t know mine and I can’t find them in others, most of the time.

“Because I like to ride, because I like to push, because… I don’t know…actually…”

Maybe that’s the real beauty, unconscious or private.

Lance Armstrong said once “All endurance athletes are running away from something”

Is that the answer? you can run or ride or paddle or whatever as far and as fast as you want.

You’ll always find the same thing at the end of the way, staring right back at you, in a mirror or in your mind.

There is a vacuum though, a tunnel at some point, between the light and dark, a blank, a meditation state

where and when you forget who you are and what you are doing.

After insomnia, or before. for sure before the race

 Insomnia 2.5 painkillers and sleeping pills cravings

On the last night, in the last stretch, I saw something in the sky, I still don’t know what it was, a comet, a missile, a rocket or a satellite crashing down.

it was too big to be a shooting star. Still, I made my wish.

I saw a bat flying just over me and it felt like it was following me, asking questions and not hoping for an answer.

It wasn’t following me, I was disturbing her with my light so I switched it off.

I felt the land in the darkness surrounding me with scary arms, the souls at sleep all around me in the distance.

I felt my wife’s warm skin and my son’s dreamy eyes, I heard my daughter’s laugh and I thought this is it, I could die right now, right here

Cause I know what happiness and emptiness have in common and I know am not here.

I felt the warm breath of a baby in my arms and the heart beating of my Lily, I heard the echo of my dreams and my mind dived in full gas.

I was there and everywhere and nowhere and never and always at the same point.

It’s also called dehydration and lack of sleep.

Am not here…

Insomnia is a blessing on a bike packing race. Loneliness doesn’t exist anymore, you are surrounded by yourself.

It’s also called delirium and endorphins.

Am a wanderer, at heart, am a vagabond, a troubadour, movement, constant movement, is my lullaby, the song of a funambule somnambulating.

In another life I was born in a circus and saw the world through the crack of a wall, backstage, looking at an audience and thinking to myself, what a beautiful spectacle normal life is.

Loneliness is a prison made of no walls and limitless.

Freedom is but a state of mind.

I don’t know why I ride this bicycle and it makes no sense anyways that it is a bicycle, it makes no sense that it is a race.

somewhere along the way, I have lost myself and sometimes on the way I collect little bits of myself back, one by one, shattered pieces and blank pages of a book I can’t read.

Where is the limit?

When does it start and stop making sense again?

Why are we here?

Why question marks look like they are about to fall but only fall back on their feet.

What is the secret?

That there that’s me a million times.

I can’t write about riding and try and make sense cause it’s a  roundabout inside my mind. I can’t write about riding and try and make sense cause it’s a roundabout inside my mind. I can’t write about riding and try and make sense cause it’s a roundabout inside my mind.

But my riding and my writing, they know each other, and they know me in a way that I don’t, they start with my impulse and then sometimes in a magic and blissful way they take over, they put me on a seat and leave me there, they do the rest, they do the work, I watch inactively, it’s better to not touch the controls while on but pilot, I don’t care if it’s good or not, I don’t take responsibilities anymore and maybe that is the beauty. Someone once wrote, that being in prison was a blessing for him, that he could read and write and work with no interruption, he didn’t have to make choices, take responsibilities or worry about those things.

Nothing makes sense anymore, the fifth puncture of the day

Maybe when the only choice is to keep at it and find food or shelter, maybe we’re in a sort of jail, with no walls, simplicity is but a luxury. Comfortable simplicity or uncomfortable simplicity by choice is a white privileged people luxury. We are wasting our time fighting against time cause we are too busy with our little selves to start a war against the power and go for a revolution, oh wait, I got carried away, that s for another time.

I’ve been here before.

This is maybe why I ride, this is maybe a light state of floating in the wild,

maybe that’s what hooked me on sailing, on trekking, and in a way on writing, I don’t do these things for a reason, I don’t expect anything out of them.

it is a blessing in life when you stop trying to achieve something but let it try to achieve you.

It is a golden rule of mine. In life you oughta do the things that give you kicks of joy, or a sense of purpose, the rest is killing time and time is a blessing you can’t afford to waste, I say that I try to live like that.