There is, of course, something great about adventurers who strike out, often to the ends of the earth for long periods of time. Heroic as such adventures are, they should not put the day to day journeys on the ‘home front’ in the shade.
In my years of living in London I have taken many close to home cycle rides in an often hostile environment, rides where you had to fight your inner-self and push against what life throws at you as you pedal. Often I would use trains to escape London’s vast suburban sprawl more quickly. Each ride offered a mini-adventure within a busy big-city week (‘Roubaixesque’ style). In life, small victories should not be ignored and cumulatively they can create a great life portfolio rather than a ‘flash in the pan’ or a moment in time spectacle to rest your life upon. Do read the ‘Society of the Spectacle’ if you want to ponder a ‘Situationist’ perspective on the human condition.
Physical and mental health issues, plus the availability of means are also factors that can temper your ability to roam, being poor in all or some can isolate you from friends and kindred spirits and much effort has to be expended to enable oneself to ‘stay in the loop’ and to remain active in the physical world.
I may not have ventured as far afield as others, but I have found my own adventures nonetheless, if closer to home. For instance, saving a line of trees in my London area was a real contest that was frustrating, long drawn out, requiring attendance at meetings and much time spent lobbying, thankfully on that occasion it was successful (some have not been). I wouldn’t have had that adventure (and the trees would be gone) if I had spent my time seemingly endlessly away ‘on tour’. When the habitual adventurer comes home, they tend to expect to find things as they were when they left. And doubly so if on your return you find that your community has lost its compassion and cynicism abounds. Conversely, the same can also be said of ignoring the outside world if you only have time for personal endeavours when at ‘home’.
Self-indulgence is an important factor in our lives and chasing personal goals is great, nonetheless we should also all think about the collective good and legacy. So, I say be proud to be a ‘weekend warrior’, celebrate it and continue to invest in your neighbourhood or community (that includes people, shops, parks and clubs), because at some point on every ride/adventure you have to turn toward home – unless you are nomadic and rootless (and sleeping on someone’s couch).
If you continually cannot commit to support a person or persons, a community or an idea because you have other plans then you are most likely supportive in only word and not in deeds.
Recently I rode what is most likely my last ever ride in London, before I start afresh elsewhere and the above thoughts came to mind as I watched the River Thames flow by with the ‘Kinks’ playing in my head – “Dirty old river, must you keep rolling, rolling into the night. People so busy, make me feel dizzy, taxi light shines so bright….” (Waterloo Sunset).
In my adopted new home, a lot will be different, but I will always remain, as the punk band ‘The Slits’ decried, a “weekend warrior, bread and butter hunter…” (Life On Earth).
I wish you and myself good luck in finding the right balance in life, and do celebrate all journeys taken.
My London Life
A few pictures from my London life and all are featured here – ALL Content/Inhalt
There are also many videos!
Note: The picture at the top of the page is from Brixton, London featured in South London Murals.
A bit moody
My local ‘beach’ – ‘Brixton Beach’
I do roam a bit
Trump in London