A very short bike ride.

"Freedom is riding a bicycle"

The last time I had been on a bike I was making the final pedal strokes into Tbilisi, Georgia, weary after a 5,155 mile journey across Europe. I’ve been home for six weeks since, and haven’t so much as really-happy-kid-on-bike-copyglanced at bike. Yesterday, I decided to ride home from work.

It was just after midnight, and as I climbed onto my bike in the inky blackness, I was alone, except for my long shadow falling flatly onto the pavement from a haloed amber streetlight rising behind me. I savoured the solitude and silence, with only my warm breath quietly crackling in the cold night air.

I hadn’t expected to experience any emotion at cycling again; I’ve said before, it was never about the bike. But, within a few rotations my legs began to act on auto-pilot, intuitively beginning to spin freely and naturally. They had spun 3 million times already this year, and it seemed refreshing to be at it again, as if guiding the pedals rounds was their very purpose. Momentum continued to build, faster, and faster. The air began to rush through my hair and against my face – I suddenly felt more alive than at any other time since returning home. I was quickly short of breath, a result of the exhilaration, and uncontrollable burst of exertion.


Something had seemed to awaken within me, as if, after a period of hibernation a distant recollection had been stirred within the murky alcoves of my brain. What had once been a familiar feeling was suddenly realised again; pure and absolute freedom. The world felt small and exciting, the strong tug of distant places, more seductive than ever and, for the first time, I knew I could go absolutely anywhere I wanted, for the road would lead me there... wherever ‘there’ was. . I wanted to turn and melt into the shadows, no longer afraid of what the darkness hid, but aware that there was potential for great adventure to found.


I am returning to Georgia to continue my adventures around the world in Spring 2015.

I have recently created a new Facebook Page, where you can keep up to date with all the planning and adventures. Be sure to 'like' it.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @JosiahSkeats

The road will lead you 'there'...
The road will lead you 'there'...

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6 Replies to “A very short bike ride.”

  1. What you say on the feeling of freedom is so much true – for touring as well as for commuting. In late October/early November I suffered from a bronchitis and everybody told me to be reasonable and take public transport. I did it for about 2 weeks, and after that I was in such a bad mood. Unbelievable, how much I am hooked on my daily cycling dose.

    1. You’re spot on! There is something so… -can’t put into words meditative? relaxing?- about the monotony of cycling? I can understand exactly what you mean Helga.

  2. Another great read, thank you. You have a way with words that makes one feel what you are feeling. Your blogs could be written as a book.

    1. Funny you should say that Gill… I would’t rule out a book! 🙂
      Hope you’re well.

  3. Having just been diagnosed with a bulging disk and since then been moping about how I can’t run, you may just have inspired me to dust off my bike and take that for a spin!

    1. Yes Anne! Pleased to hear that (about the inspiration, not the bulging disk) – a short ride can do wonders mentally and physically. Get well soon 🙂

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