So, I decided to buy a second hand bicycle. Although, I hadn't ridden one for the best part of three decades, I felt like this was the place to reconnect with such an activity. My first trip from the bicycle shop to the beach was a mixture of exhilaration and fear. But, within an hour of wobbling nervously about, I had mastered the art of cycling. I felt like I could take on the world, as I raced through the crowds on Las Ramblas. There was also a sense of brotherhood with the other cyclists as we waited at the traffic lights. And as far as cycling goes, it was a cultural melting pot of styles. Some were obviously professional cyclists mounted on bicycles that cost a small fortune. They had all the kit, from Lycra skin suits to the latest aerodynamic helmets. Then, there were the intermediates. Seasoned cycling proficionados, who were clearly used to moving around on two wheels. And then there was me. Someone rediscovering a hidden pleasure.
For days, I spent most of my time exploring the city, with my shiny best friend. Nothing could replace the Adrenalin rush, of hurtling down a narrow side street and out into a large terraced square. I really had very little idea of where I was, most of the time and got lost on several occasions. Every now and again I would dismount and take a photo of a beautiful piece of architecture. I felt like a free spirit and I didn't want to stop.
Unfortunately, every good thing comes to an end.
On about the seventh day of my Barcelona Magical Cycling Tour, I started to feel pain in my left buttock. To begin with, I just thought it was some saddle soreness, but it turned out to be something much more serious. I started to get discharge from my back passage & a low fever. I decided at this point, I should stop cycling, as I had a feeling that the two things were related in some way.
For the next few days, I took it easy. I stayed in the flat, did a short walk and some yoga each day. It was important that I concentrated on getting fit again, as I was to start work in 5 days time. I decided to buy a plastic baby bath from Amazon. I would fill it with warm salt water and bathe my sore posterior in it, for 30 minutes a day. I guess I could have gone swimming, instead, but I was concerned about the germs floating around in the sea.
Anyway, my treatment worked and within a few days, the pain and swelling had subsided. I decided to lock my bicycle against a lamp post in the square adjacent to my flat. My cycling days had come to an abrupt end.
However, little did I realize at the time, that this was just the start of a health problem that would end up, sending me home prematurely.
Again, I had managed to face a problem head on, without panicking. I had resolved it, by using common sense and generous helping of Google. In the past, I might have let paranoia set in, but because I was on my own, I new I had to deal with the issue, quickly & calmly. So far, my mindfulness approach to life in Barcelona, was paying benefits. Another hurdle had been overcome and another important lesson had been learnt. Sometimes having to rely on yourself is a necessary step to becoming independent. Far too many times, in the past, I had reached out for help from those around me, without trying to deal with the issue by myself. By coming to Barcelona, I had, unknowingly, cut off that support network and I was learning how to cope with unexpected situations, head on. It requires a different sort of intelligence, and one that many of us, prefer to keep buried.