My first brevet

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


It is extremely difficult to stick to the plan. One day it is raining heavily, the other the girls need to go to a party, the next some other family commitment.... it means that during the week it is very difficult to find the time.

I am not making excuses for not riding during the week but having to balance the family life, the professional responsibilities and cycling is quite a handful. As cycling is not the most important priority in my life, I decided that it is the one that will make way for the others. I will enjoy the process and I am confident that in the long term I will be fine.

To be honest, I am not too bothered about that....what bugs me and annoys me is the fact that I do not lose any weight. I am trying but the scale seems to be stuck ! That is very frustrating - I am very cautious with what I eat but the weight will not come off. It is as if my body has revolted and is refusing to budge.

I did not put any weight over the Christmas period though so this is at least good news. The other good news is when people see me they always go "you have lost weight !!". The scale does not concur, neither the belt around the waist but my wife tells me that "I am changing shape" - anyway I will continue my way as it seems I am on the right track. It will take a lot of time though and patience. I am in no hurry.

The whole 'brevet-preparation process' brings to my mind a poem by C.P. Cavafy - Ithaca - I set it out below and hope that many of you will enjoy it.


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

(Source : Translatum)


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