Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Returning pleasure

For over ten years I have pursued hobbies that take me away for weekends. It used to chasing discs at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament but is now more likely to be hammering the pedals at a bike race/enduro/adventure. Whatever the reason, I spend a lot of Friday and Sunday evenings on our motorway network.

The return journeys mostly see me with an endorphin glow, fatigued legs, and in a trance-like state as I trundle home in the traffic, reflecting another rewarding two days. One thing that gives me great pleasure as I return is a sense of unrequited camaraderie with many of my fellow motorway travellers.

My car will be full of the stench of sweated-in clothes and have a muddied bike languishing in the back, and all around on the motorway is evidence of a nation of other hobbyists returning from similar exploits. It could be battered stock-cars on trailers, dinghies, moto-cross bikes on roof racks, steam engines on flat-bed trucks, or jet-skis.

Or maybe it's a horse-box, an elongated trailer containing a glider, or a tiny battered old escort with four blokes and four surf-boards on top.

Whatever the past-time that is on show, I feel that I am somehow sharing the motorways with my brethren - people who have an obsession that pushes them out every weekend, to some remote location where they can share their passions over a two-day break from workaday reality.

As my weary body heads home, these sightings console me, as we all return home, smiles on our faces and in our minds.

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