After recently just making it to Texas, Dermott Higgins posted this update.
Without a song to sing what are we?
My Facebook friend, Alan Martin recently complimented me on my choice of ‘good’ music for this blog. He may want to withdraw his comment when he sees the title of today’s post. Most music aficionados would not consider ABBA’s ‘Thank you for the Music’ as ‘quality stuff’. Yet Benny’s lyrics echo the more eloquent sentiments of Mr. Shakespeare:
“The man that hath no music in himself, …Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils……Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”
Music has the capacity to reach deep down into the soul. And for some reason Gogodermo has ignited a new passion in me for music. I’ve always enjoyed music but now as I blaze a trail across the United States, I just can’t get it out of my head! It may be the metronomic rhythm of the pedaling or it may be the subconscious associations with the places I am passing through. -I can’t really explain it???
My choice of songs is catholic in nature, -that is all encompassing and not ecclesiastical! -Though it has to be said that it was the singing of Christmas carols in Australia that really got me started on this musical train of thought.
Most music lovers have a favourite genre. But I love them all, -musicals, pop reggae, classical, folk….
I sing a lot while I cycle. One moment I’m lilting quietly to ‘The Green Fields of France’ and then suddenly I’m startling the cowboys as I stand on the pedals and proclaim loudly-
‘God on high,
Hear my prayer!’
I arrived at a musical cross roads this morning. The additional hour in time difference meant that I was up early on and had finished my breakfast and blog by 8:30, giving me a relatively early start.
It was a beautiful morning in Texas. The temperature was about 15° when I started and it got gradually warmer as the sun rose. There was hardly any wind and I was in high spirits.
And then after 50k or so I came to the junction between Highway 10 and Highway 20.
Taking Highway 20 would mean a shorter route through the USA. Johnny Cash was calling me to Jackson, Elvis to Memphis and Nashville was just down the road.
But Highway 10 would take me to New Orleans and Cajun country. So I said to myself, ‘What a wonderful world!’ and chose Highway 10. This route also presented a faster approach to the Gulf of Mexico and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. -I’m really missing the sea.!
I expected that there would be a service station at the junction but unfortunately, there wasn’t. In fact there was nothing between there and the town of Balmohea which was still another 40k away. But I’d had a good breakfast and and the music kept me powering on all the way there.
-I’m in the process of memorising the lyrics to Les Mis and time just flew by!
As I’d cycled nearly 100k, when I reached the town, I decided to take just one longer break today and enjoyed a foot long sub with lots of Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola- Refills are free at Subway!
My planned destination was Fort Staunton, a big cowboy town still 80 km to the east. But I was making good progress at 25k per hour and was confident of getting there well before dark.
I had a bit of a scare at about 30 K from home. For most of the day I’d been riding on the hard shoulder of the highway but when an alternative presented itself by means of the frontage road which ran parallel, I usually took that option.
Sometimes however the frontage road came to a dead end without warning, forcing me across some scrubland back onto the highway. And on this occasion I had to cycle down an embankment to get onto the highway. -I was right in the middle of a thorn bush before I could stop!
Both front and rear wheels looked like pin cushions, having been pierced many times by sharp thorns. However, they came out easily enough. One big thorn had penetrated quite deeply into the rear wheel. When I pulled it out, there was a loud hiss and a spurt of yellow green goo shot through the tyre.
“Shit! That’s the end of my zero puncture record,” I thought. But miraculously, the hissing ceased suddenly and that was it! -The record was intact. The expensive gel which I’d had pumped into the tyres a few days ago had done the trick.-I was on my way again feeling quite elated at this lucky escape.
I reached Fort Stanton in plenty of time, celebrated with a beer and pitched my tent well hidden from view.
It had been a really good day in the saddle, -nearly 180k!
It was the music that made it possible.
‘So I say,
Thank you for the music.
For bringing it to me!’