Riding the back roads of the Great Southern, I constantly spot new roads to explore, and if I don’t turn on to them straight away, I make a mental note of them for future rides. As I explore, I soon lose my orientation on the twists and turns or when I turn into even more newly-discovered secondary side roads. Often I find myself far away from where I thought I might be. Or I suddenly arrive in some familiar place from a completely unexpected direction. In such cases I have found in reverse where a road goes that I had previously noted for exploration.
I don’t like to listen to music when I am riding. I have tried it, but it makes me uncomfortable. The noise-cancelling earphones blot out most of the wind and engine noise, which one would think is a good thing, but it leaves me feeling isolated. It does not seem to be much of a safety risk. Whether or not I am using earphones, I found that cars surprised me when coming up from behind so I have learned to regularly check my mirrors. I sing and talk to myself while riding of course, but ultimately on any ride of any length, one goes silent and introspective. That is when I discover the side roads are still there that I should not go down. I know what lies at the end of them. These are the roads in my head. They lead to a place I do not want to visit.
Shoulda Street. Maybe Avenue, Regret Road, Mightovbeen Lane, Whatif Highway, Y Intersection. Perhaps Place. I sometimes find myself well along these tracks before I catch myself and remind myself I am not going there.
I need new metaphorical roads to explore as well as real ones.
I hereby resolve to find some.