Le Sacre d'hiver

I flew back from the Middle of the Atlantic with more questions than answers, clinging dearly to the hope that my stream of overflowing emotions somehow managed to reach out, to inspire and embrace. I was afraid, exposed, and exhausted - yet simultaneously radiantly happy and whole. And as I woke up from almost twelve hours of sleep the day after, I could hear that electrifying music playing again - silently and yet so loud.

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Walking back from our company's Christmas dinner, I contemplated the small, and perhaps not so small, goals and milestones we've achieved, and the plethora of ideas and plans for the way ahead we had just discussed over a Nero d'Avila or three. For the first time in many a year, I felt like there could be, however blurred and tortuous, a greater goal, a sense of purpose. Reaching the subway platform, Münchener Freiheit greeted me with its trademark classical concert on the background. I had to smile.

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The wind didn't come stiff from the North, but rather gently from the South. The Föhn, a dry, warm air rushing down the Alps, is perhaps the most charming meteorological event to grace the Bavarian capital and its surroundings. The clear air allows for an untarnished view of the entire mountain range, and, for this cyclist, is seen as a standing invitation to hit the slopes of what is now - replacing Burg Feuerstein, the ascent to the Castle of the Fire Stone, from seasons gone by - my favourite local climb, the Peißenberg.

Going under 20 minutes to the top, in December no less, is perhaps less than reasonable in view of progressively ramping up volume and intensity. Yet - despite the training wheels, the crust of mud still stuck to the frame from a previous Autumn ride - with the legs effortlessly turning whatever gear I chose, come wind or hill, there was absolutely no holding back. And how could I? After all, the music was almost deafening...

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Comme dans le Sacre du printemps. Mais, c'est l'hiver? Peu importe: Yay! toujours.

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