words and photos by Montanus
“Second Wind” recounts the story of first bikepacking trip of Montanus following the restrictions of the winter lockdown. An escape into the wilderness as the pandemic loses its grip, it presents an opportunity to once again breathe in the rejuvenating spring air. A return to the mountains… dive deep into Nature, and wash your spirit clean.
The coronavirus pandemic has unbalanced our lives by depriving us of one of mankind’s most crucial needs – air. The virus not only robs us of the air we breathe, thus affecting our lungs, but it also takes away the air of freedom – forcing us to endure prolonged lockdowns in our attempts to stem its spread. It was winter when the pandemic hit us hardest, with that dreaded sense of suffocation becoming ever more intense – not unlike the feeling of breathlessness as you ascend a steep climb. Occasionally however, when it feels like you’re just about to hit a wall, a new burst of energy suddenly appears – it allows us to catch our breath, and gives us that thrust we so desperately need to overcome that moment of difficulty. In the sporting world, this is known as the “Second Wind”.
Our “Second Wind” arrived with the spring, the moment in which we once again begin to breathe, to catch our breath and overcome the climb with renewed strength. Spring marks the rebirth of Nature – but it also marks the rebirth of man. It is time for us to return to the wilderness, to ride unbridled in the woods, and light a fire under the cloak of night; to rest in a hammock, spirits soaring free across the very mountains that bestow upon us the oxygen so crucial to our lungs and mind. Mankind comes alive – thanks to that umbilical cord that indissolubly binds us to Mother Nature.
Winter, like the pandemic, leaves its victims behind – broken trunks and uprooted trees lie strewn across the thawing ground. Far up in the mountains however, the arrival of spring sends a rush of streams and waterfalls that begin impetuously to flow once again, spreading new life throughout the valleys. As you sit by a riverbank and dip your feet into its cool waters, take a moment to catch your breath, and allow the mountains to wash your spirit clean.
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