Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dare the edge.

I learnt the true meaning of that saying today. There wasn’t much happening and there was no one around or available for a walk or a bike ride so I was ambling around with no particular direction or destination. Went looking for a cold beer but the restaurant was closed and then I spotted a dirt track that looked inviting.
Straight away I encountered a problem and if I’d listened to that nagging killjoy in the back of my mind I would have turned around gone to Buchillon. But no, I’m a big brave cowboy who doesn’t act like a wuss, especially in front of his horse…
There was a fairly large kerb to get over from the road to the track and I attacked it head on. I’d been over a larger kerb and some of the bumps in the forest were way bigger. I committed myself and then found that my perception of depth definitely was not working. As I went over the kerb I found a serious drop and I gritted my teeth as my chair lurched into the void and then came down with a jolt. Then, the back wheels followed suit and I found myself on a bucking bronco and then the front wheels dug in…
We all know the following statement from science class. ‘For each and every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
Need I say more?
I found myself half out of my chair draped over the right armrest with my face up close and personal with the track. My head is lower than my feet and I’m now very stuck with little core muscle to bring me back upright. I try every which way to get back up hoping that no one will see me and then 5 mins later I’m hoping that someone will come past as I’m well and truly stuck. I couldn’t even get to my cell phone…would have been an interesting call for help.
Fortunately a cyclist came past eventually and I called out for some help and was soon back in the drivers seat.
I should have turned round there and then.
Yeah right! I shake the cobwebs away and set off along the track which starts to descend at a steep rate and about a third of the way down was another kerb. I slacken off the power and start to slide sideways.
There was no way I was going to turn around until I reached the bottom and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d either make it down or I’d part company with my chair and have a severely bruised ego amongst other things. Three kerbs later and sliding with little steering control I finished up on a level piece of ground with the track meandering through some trees. So, being of inquisitive nature I followed the track and eventually came out next to a river. I followed the river for a bit and came to a clearing where I could sit and ponder on life’s many mysteries including how the heck I was going to get back up the hill without mishap.
All too soon it was time to make tracks and I began to doodle my way along the track to the start of the incline. Now I have to start playing with my centre of gravity and put more weight on the front but not too much as to loose traction on the rear wheels. Had to play around as I found myself going backwards a couple of times with wheels spinning. Not such a nice feeling. The three kerbs were not fun, I had this feeling of toppling over backwards and I had the urge to stop the bus and get off. But I resisted the urge and kept the chair moving, bucking and throwing up stones right to the top. At the top, I negotiated the first kerb with more finesse and went on my merry way without a care in the world.
Dare the edge. Easy huh?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the road again.

Sat 22 May
After more than two weeks of inclement weather, blue skies are welcome back with open arms. I arranged to meet up with Deb in the afternoon so that we could go for a walk.
It is strange how the simplest things in life can give a great amount of pleasure. I’m normally out and about on my own or with Miriam or Natalie on their bicycles and chatting as we go isn’t really an option, riding abreast is not ideal.
Deb arrived with puppy in tow and we set off for our walk and pretty soon we were off the beaten track. Deb was walking next to me chatting as we went, her hand resting on the arm of my chair. Just that conversation whilst walking made my day and we walked like that for a couple of kilometres.
Eventually we arrived at a newly refurbished restaurant on the edge of the forest. The sound of a bottle of beer opening was calling… And then I tried to enter. Swiss efficiency seemed to have slipped up somewhat. The complete interior had been refurbished and made wheelchair friendly. The only problem was that I couldn’t get into the restaurant because of a set of steps. Someone had a blonde moment here.
It wasn’t a problem as a chair was brought outside for Deb and I always have my own chair with me. In a few moments we were enjoying an ice cold beer in the sun whilst the owner and a couple of patrons were discussing ramps and a wheelchair entrance. I’ll give it a week and then go back and see if I can get in.

Sun 23 May
Another fantastic day, bright blue skies and clear air. I met up with Natalie after lunch and we decided to go somewhere different.
So, it was off to Rolle a few kilometres away and of course, with Natalie around, a main road is something I have to put up with. Hey! I even went through my first police road block… I remember I used to be in those too in a past life.
We didn’t get to Rolle, it was too hot and the sun was burning and so we stopped at a place called Perroy and found a waterside cafĂ© with a bit of shade. A long cool glass of lemonade was perfect.
All too soon it was time to head back and being late afternoon the road was even busier. Time to dare the edge.
An hour later I was back in Buchillon seeing Natalie to her door. Another 15 mins I was back at home and then the 2 days caught up with me. Fatigue washed over me and I had to take things very slowly. Also, after 2 days in the sun I had my first tan in years.
Overdosing on Vitamin D!!

Natalie, always ready for a bike ride.

Mon 24 May.
There is nothing like a sucker for punishment. Great day again. Had a good night’s sleep and I was raring to go. After lunch I took a slow ride to nowhere, went through the shady forest and took a few pictures.
Was back home for supper and then took off again and went to McDonald’s for a Sprite. Kinda wandered back home after 9 with the sun in my eyes. Note to self…take sun glasses with in the evening….