Biking in the “time of corona”

Solo riding

In these challenging times we all rediscover solitude or at least a kind of personal segregation. The Corona virus brings the best out of humanity and sometime combines it with the worst.Indubitably more time for the self, more time for the family, more time for the things that have and bring value.

I am lucky to spend this time on the hills above the south Turkish coast and in a kind of natural isolation with the first neighbour at over 500 meters. 

And I am lucky  to have around the house miles and miles of country roads, every time with scarce traffic, now totally deserted. And few day before the +65 segregation law I went for a long ride solo, on a white Aprilia CapoNord, probably one of the most underrated among the so called Adventure Tourers.

But it is not of the bike I would like to talk , but of the clear thoughts that the ride brought.

A full day, a spring day on mountain roads with great portions of unpaved tracks in very remote areas: all time with a clear sense of joy despite the bad and dramatic news that I got at the opening of the morning. Virus is expanding, Turkey is tightening confinement’s measures, friends and relatives are at serious risk. 

The solo ride shows how silence and isolation demand a strong love for the self: you have to like who you are and accept without drama but with clear realism your own limits. 

It is a lesson of self-confidence and, in equal measure of humility. 

I liked the way I was riding and I was quite confident that I was well equipped for bad roads, for solitude and for being away from any service. 

At the same time, especially when the road got tough, I was similarly aware of my limits and of the need to improve my bike-handling technique. Not for a moment I thought of being good and all the time I knew that I was striving for being the best.

The second state of mind that made my ride so pleasant and interesting was that no bad-ideas or negative-scenarios came to perturb my time; for 8 hours the vision of returning home safe, untouched and happy was all I thought.

The self-confidence generated a positive vision- hope that kept good company along the route.  Without the visualization of a positive end would have been impossible to enjoy the ride and overcome the obstacle.

Finally the few stops to ask for directions confirmed once more that kindness is the most progressive tool and the best attitude when sincerely activated.People (at a distance) were naturally trying to direct me to easier roads, mostly suggesting to turn back and follow the asphalt, but sincerely directed me on the less used tracks happy to share comments and smile with a solitary biker. 

Kindness and attention to the others for what they are, for the entire duration of the contact, has always been a dimension of motorcycling: despite the image of gang of outlaws and despite some of offensive symbols, bikers are kind people, being “exposed” to the open road, being dependant on the solidarity of humans.

Confidence, positive vision, kindness all served with a good dose of humility: the ingredient of a good ride and the ingredient of a fruitful isolation against the demon of pandemic. 

To extend these small considerations comes the writing of a good friend from Italy, drastically effected by Corona virus: “We need to look at the reality for what is is, making a sincere effort to understand the situation. 

We need as well to improve the responsibility that we have not only toward ourselves but toward our neighbours and the humanity. 

We need to understand that we “do not own” and that we just share, renouncing to do what we like or what we presume in order to follow common rules for the good of all.  We are responsible with our behaviour, today for common health,  forever for the shape and the values of the society we build”

By Paolo Volpara

"Si sta come d'autunno sugli alberi le foglie"

4 thoughts on “Biking in the “time of corona””
  1. Distance to ourselves, without leaving the self alone.
    Nice vision setting as always, dear Paolo Volpara. Thanks for illuminating the horizon.
    “Autumn Leaves have most diverse and wonderful colors.” btw.

    Peace.

    1. Dear Tumer, we must help each others to illuminate the horizon and this pandemic is a good opportunity to rediscover what unites us and how we can stay in community.
      Thanks for your comment and keep them coming to guide my thinking

  2. Nowadays, ı feel an interesting happines with unhappiness together, the big problem is covering the world and heath systems are not enought as tought before. on the other hand, loving your self, knowing your self, respecting to others, caring all other workers were needed on the world, as ı mean missing. When we discover the history and died soldiers in unaimed wars as thousands, we see easily, dieing is not a verb of today with a virus. IT was there all time. and also for biikers. Biking is a way of thinking from different windows, so we can easly see the big picture, unfortunately somebody (who knos maybe us) will die, but humanism will born better then yesterday. Science, history, and a trustble news would be enough to take care of our selves, we should take care of our selves on biking to not to go hospitals for anycase.
    and maybe riding can wait for a while with its memories on mind. Bracci ed abbracci da İstanbul.

  3. Well I’m still working in Central London as a Key Worker. It is all very strange to be in London during the lock down.
    Some places are lock downed .Others appear to be taking this as an extended sunny Sunday. Ignorance is Bliss but could be Deadly. 2 trips to the shop on the bike. With a devious but not overly extended route.
    My work on the best of days can be taxing. Being out there with Cov19 adds a whole extra stress level. My colleagues have come to the conclusion that for us to carry on doing our role we either have had it , have got it or will catch it. Simply cannot avoid it.And even those short rides helped my Mental Health and put the Black Dog back on the leash.
    Yes I know we are all big burly bikers , hard as nails and don’t suffer by being weak with Mental Health. But your with friends here so be honest with us , and yourself.And those rides confirmed that biking is the last thing I would give up if I had to reduce my life to bare basics. Splendid isolation. And when you get it in The Zone then it is bliss. While being at ONE with the Universe and part of the Biker family.
    Song for the Lockdown and it ties in with the previous post regarding lost solders.

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