The escarpment rises. The trees close around and above me to form a shaded tunnel. There is only one way to go now and my purpose is clear. My body breathes in the cool, damp air as I start to climb. Roughly surfaced, intermittently steep, the road prevents rhythm. I press harder, but comfort must wait.
The tunnel broadens – the leaves now an intense translucent green – and the gradient smooths. I breathe the scent of damp wood deeply and begin to feel my power. Stroke after stroke, strong and even. There is only the pedal stroke to think of, nothing else. At the periphery of my being, I sense the green light, feel the moist cool air caressing my face. I breathe the scent of damp wood.
I breathe it deeply. Strong and even. There is no sound but the pulse of breath and the whirr of chain on sprocket. I climb swiftly through the green silence. There is no obstacle. There is nothing preventing me. There is nothing but my body and the bike and the still trees and the green light and the rough road beneath me and the one way ahead. I pulse. I am alive now.
I am the air. I am the trees. I am the bike. I am the click and whirr of gears. I am the pulse of breath and heartbeat. I am the silence. Beneath the chatter of traffic and work and keyboards and conversations, I am the silent current of life that flows with no other purpose than to reach the end.
On Leith Hill, I give my strength to the silence. I am irresistible. There is nothing else. Nothing else that matters now.
(With thanks to velo morpha for inspiration).