An hour into a ride in Sherwood Forest, and now tired, still 15 minutes from the car park, I pull into a clearing and stop.
Ahead of me, the path descends gradually, with a band of heather to each side, then neat rows of conifers. To my right, the path climbs slightly, and there is a wide swathe of damp autumnal grass stalks, with a haze of fine seed heads. To my left the path is similar, but descending towards broad leaf woodland.
All is quiet, and I stand for a few minutes, my light is off, and the trees are silhouetted against the darkening sky. In the twilight, I can see a mist gently forming over the grass, hanging low, almost invisible, almost ghostly.
Then I hear the birdsong: a distant crow caws, other birds chirp and sing, each note cutting sharply through the tranquility.
As I stand there, I know I am no more than a mile or two from the car park, and similar distance from the nearest village, but it feels as if I am alone in the heart of a huge forest. I savour the moment.
The temperature falls perceptibly as the sun sinks over the horizon. The silver moon, almost full, sails across a hazy sky. I see my breath hanging in the air, and vapour gently rising from the sweat I have worked up in an hour’s hard riding
It is in moments like this that unicycling is more than an activity, and becomes something spiritual.
Then suddenly, cutting harshly across the silence I hear the crass jangled notes of “O Sole Mio” played by a distant ice cream van. “Just one Cornetto…” and the moment is broken.
And for those of you who thought this would be a post about an equipment failure - you should know me better than that. I would have used a capital M for “Moment” in the title.