Day two of the ride took in another 120 miles tracing a route from Glenhope in the Nelson Lakes national park out to the west coast via the spectacular and lush Buller Gorge. Full respect to the couple on loaded touring bikes, both with kiddy trailers attached, toiling upwards in the opposite direction. Under cloud the air was mercifully cooler than the previous day but the ambitious schedule, leveraged against former achievements and wilfully ignoring my current state of fitness, was already taking a toll. Intent on making my goal, I spared no time for pictures throughout the day. By the time route 6 joined the sea around Charleston I was met by the notorious coastal rains. Close to days end but running on fumes I was turned out into the rain twice over by local establishments unsympathetic to my foolish lack of cash. VISA plastic is cheap on the west coast.
The moment spent to make a photo here was a concession to the elation sparked by the site of the sea and knowledge that rest was within my grasp. It's always a beautiful moment emerging onto that coastal stretch of road but there's so much more mixed into the memory of that day, the wild obscurity of the horizon holding the hope of completion at arms length while beckoning ever onward.
There's a tension in cycling between stillness and movement, as fatigue builds, evermore captive in the moment, marshaling reserves, a single pedal stroke becomes a measure of time not to be glanced beyond. Stillness in that moment becomes the essential fuel of movement, movement which chases a moment of rest that will come only when the stillness in motion is broken.
The photograph freezes in its own way of course, protesting times inevitable procession. But they become something more when we pour experience into them. This one is dense with experience to me, and that experience is intrinsic to the object, I had to be there to press the shutter release. But it begs the question, what is it to anyone else? Can it be more than an image and how will it be changed when I am not around or when I fail to remember? I hope at least that that stillness on the bike is somewhere in them.