The silence of the countryside

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The silence of the countryside
July 2016

Every place has its own ambiance.
The city permeates you with its fast pace, with its endless faces that pass by, its up to date and trendy essence of being. It immerses you within its movement that it almost makes you forget about the smog, its constant traffic and plethora of noises.
There are those who are so accustomed to it that they no longer notice, and are not able to do without. Then there are those who choose to change their setting and go to the countryside to breathe in the sweet sound of silence the very minute that they get the chance.

In most cities, there is a large road, highway or freeway that outlines the distinct boundary between two worlds: on the one side are the outlines of apartment buildings, traffic lights, cars stuck in traffic and signs, while on the other is an expanse of houses, roundabouts, fields and villages with bizarre names.
Everything changes once you've crossed the border: the sky, the colors, the smells, the people, time - and, as legend has it, even taste.
You don't notice it when you're driving. The car's body serves as a shield, you have your eyes fixed in one direction; the only difference you notice is that you're finally alone on the road, and that you can use fourth gear for the first time. You cross the border in a second; the city ends and the non-city begins.

But on two wheels, it is another matter entirely.
First of all, the main road or shortest route is never chosen. Secondary roads, which you can recognize right away, are the friends and guardians of all cycling explorers. You start calling them by pet names, the little street, lane, pathway, alleyway - as if they were your own home.
By bike you are never lost, unless it is voluntary. Your navigator is your orientation, and the destination can be recalculated an infinite number of times without slowing down the system.
If you really have no idea where you are, ask. Some kind passerby or resident will tell you..
In the countryside, the bike is like a passport that gives you access to complete freedom.
The reason for the trip is always, and inevitably, to enjoy the peace and tranquillity that only seem to proliferate there.

As high as the city skyline is, it is not seen from the countryside.
In return, you discover places that you would have never encountered otherwise, people you would have never met, who are happy in a different way than their urban counterparts. Maybe it's the greenery, the calm pace, the beauty of going to get fresh bread by bike, greeting everyone.
Who knows if they occasionally feel the need to go to the city.
Perhaps like the yin and yang, the city and the country are part of our being.
One must experience them both to the fullest: by bike!

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