Best Day of the Tour

A concept, and a illustration

I, as I imagine many bikers or other travelers do, tend to mentally catalog my current experience in comparison against others on the tour – best, one of the best so far: best meal, best climb, best vista, best descent, best day, whatever.  Part of me is a natural classifier, and somewhere in the background some register is keeping track against what’s just happened now, what has come before on the tour, what we anticipate is to come.  It’s an interesting concept to me now that I think of it, and maybe others do something like this.  What makes something the best?  Why now, why for you?  What are the criteria?  Why this one?

I’ve never really thought that much about it until today, because I’m not naturally a philosopher. I’m naturally more like an engineer or mathematician who dabbles into creatitve areas at odd moments.

Until now.  It’s today,  and it all came together at once somehow, at an unexpected time.  We aren’t even on tour today – I’ve been ill, we’re at the end of a five day treatment/recovery period, and it’s transition time: the tour resumes tomorrow.

I feel the best today that I have the entire tour so far; had the most surreal dream sequence this morning, one of the best I recall in years, maybe a few decades (pretty odd metric, that one); also: best personal interaction, best animal story, best train ride (small number on this tour to choose from: 3, all related to my health situation); Best photography discussion; best urban experience (but not the best bike experience, because we credit just two flat miles to the hotels at each end to the train stations – but even those 2 miles had a good story to tell); best day of this tour, certainly (no doubt in my mind even though we still have 12 great-looking days ahead back on tour before we fly home); best tour day ever, quite likely; I’ll think back through past tours and compare from home at some point.  Best day of my adult life?  Certainly a candidate.  I’m sure this is one Rachael and I will rehash together and I will alone off and on for the rest of our lives.

Somehow, it all came together today.  Why today, why now, why these circumstances?  What makes the best day for anyone?  Who knows?  It’s personal.  Note that it’s my best day of the tour, but I’m sure it’s not Rachael’s – she has her own experiences, own criteria, experiences yet to come to measure against.  It’s personal.  What are yours?  Do you know, do you care?

Here it is, the promised example:

Big surprise: the example is my day, today.

Trick #1: The example isn’t here, it’s in the journal, where it lives and belongs.

Trick #2:  This article is also a sly journal hook.  If you’re interested in the concept, read the example.  If, when you get there, you’re interested in the context, feel free to check out the rest of the journal.  For us, it’s been great tour too so far, inspite of my illness.


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