It's later than you think

As Isla's first birthday approaches, I find myself musing over the rapid passing of time, or more precisely, how we spend it.
The weekend just gone for instance. On a beautiful spring day l was lucky enough to enjoy a long day in the fells on the bike. The riding was tough, the carries long, and the reactions of those we passed, mixed.
Some were genuinely interested in what we were doing. More than a few were disapproving. Others were simply rude. On the long climb from Langdale to Esk Hause, three groups totalling some 70 individuals were being led by a number of guides on a walk up Scafell Pike. The guide I spoke with described them as 'disadvantaged' and being from the inner city areas of London, Liverpool and Manchester. They were, without exception, courteous and engaging as we toiled up the track. Their enthusiasm, undaunted by visibly tired legs and bruised feet, was inspiring.
How different to the officious walker's disapproval. "What if you knock someone over because it isn't a bridleway..." Of course it was bridleway, which a glance at the map would have indicated. A reply indicating this accompanied by the polite suggestion that perhaps it was not just the mountain biker who ought to consider other users of the fells, met with a predictable response.  
The antagonism between walkers and bikers will never cease to amaze me. Along with the time wasted by climbers with little of any worth to impart, who vocalise their disapproval of others techniques so vociferously. And the kayaker who discredits another because the boat used to win a race is different in form to their own. What we do and what we achieve will always come down to ourselves and our approach, little else.
And excepting the idiots in all camps, most do what they do for many of the same reasons. Is it so hard to broaden one's perspective just a little and except each other as individuals finding our own ways to enjoy life? Perhaps because I am someone who has climbed, who walks, paddles and bikes amongst other things, such questions relating to outdoor life become more prominent.
I have many faults. One is that I tend to think for too long on these things. Isla will be one year old next weekend and I hope that if I can teach her anything, it will be to approach life with an open mind, recognising what is important rather than wasting time in the critical and superior analysis of how others spend theirs.
I like this photo - it reminds me to take life less seriously. I hope Isla agrees.

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