Wild and blustery along the seafront at five o’clock this morning with a strong westerly breeze and a roiling surf. The tide was in and spray from the pounding waves stung my face as I pedalled along the promenade, listening to the hollow boom of the breakers followed by the loud hiss as the receding waters swept back through the loose single. It felt great to be out on such a morning, riding my bicycle, and such a contrast to my ride yesterday morning in frosty stillness with Venus shining incredibly brightly, low in the eastern sky. I have missed all this. Over the past year I have not been out on my bicycle very much and certainly not posting on my blog – for a variety of reasons: work, travel for work, and no work, coupled with a sense that the magazine world is fast collapsing into a black hole and an ambition of mine to escape by making the jump into writing fiction. This has seen me using my pre-dawn cycling hours hunched over a laptop, cranking out what I hope will be marketable prose.
Alas still no joy on that front. Indeed the literary agent I thought had by back in New York has decided to ghost me after an initial splurge of enthusiasm for my manuscript. And so it is back to the drawing board where literary agents are concerned, and continued worry about the precarious state of my freelance career. Where better to go and think things through, enjoy a brief respite and sense of escape, than a bike ride? If there is one place in the world where one is in complete control of ones life, body and soul, it is on the saddle of a bicycle – speed, course, bearing, balance, its all mine, moving along under my own steam, free to steer my own course, for that hour or so in the damp night air, with the wind on my cheek and the hollow boom of the waves pounding the beach on my starboard side, I enjoy an unfettered sense of captaincy.