It’s a bright, sunny spring morning in April. I should be chucking the Wingman in the sidecar and heading to Derbyshire for the 2020 Round Britain Rally ARSE.
But I’m not. Like every gathering of more than 2 people, the ARSE has been cancelled to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
It has to be done. But as a person who has designed her whole life around fixing shonky bikes and riding them to places to meet friends, I’m suffering.
(I do know that I am making this complaint from a place of great privilege. I’m still getting paid, I’ve got a comfortable house to hunker down in, and I’ve got no children to protect from this awful disease. It could be a lot worse.)
But to be going nowhere – that’s a terrible thing. The roads are almost empty, petrol is less than a pound a litre, and the sun is shining. It’s like one of those cautionary tales about being careful what you wish for – somewhere out there Brendan Fraser asked Liz Hurley to make the world a biker’s paradise but didn’t specify the ability to get out there and use the roads!
Is there are way to turn Going Nowhere into a positive? It’s a challenge. It’s hardly a positive phrase, is it? A career can Go Nowhere. A relationship can Go Nowhere – hmm, perhaps I have more experience of this than I thought!
Therapy? even wrote a song about it, and here’s the key line: “But it’s what’s inside you’ve got to rearrange.”
Under lockdown I’m staring down the twin barrels of Time On My Own and Time At Home, two things I have avoided for about 20 years.
I’m mulling over radical action. Maybe the way to cope with this is just to become another person. Someone who doesn’t ride bikes and so doesn’t mind a life within four walls. Someone who – horror of all horrors – stays in one place.
It’s all gone a bit medieval. We’re fighting a plague that we don’t properly understand. We’ve all become anchorites, self-isolating in our homes, or serfs, unable to leave our villages without the permission of the authorities.
Am I cut out for serfdom? It doesn’t really appeal. Maybe I should dig out those Robin of Sherwood videos and mentally prepare myself for outlawry instead.