Our next journey takes us through Mongolia. If you want to experience real life there, you cannot avoid getting on a horse. Therefore I used the past weeks we waited at home for our Visas to take some riding lessons, so I don’t make a complete fool of myself in the Mongolian steppe.
Since a Spanish Fashion Company is currently asking its customers with whom they’ve got something in common in a social media campaign (using the creative hashtag #somethingincommon), I gladly take this opportunity to ponder on the things my bike and Cookie, the Camargue mare I’ve recently learned riding on, have in common:
It’s easy to the the similarities between them: They both are white and seem a bit small, at least at first sight. Cookie is only 1.58 m standing, though that is quite tall for a Camargue. Additionally Cookie is – sorry, Cookie – a bit fat. But that’s good, because when I sit on her it doesn’t look like I’m too tall for her. Which I’m definitely not. My bike also looks small. But contrary to Cookie it’s quite slim. But it fits me equally good!
The Camargue horse is known for stamina, agility and a calm temperament, which makes it perfect for herding. It also makes Cookie the perfect beginner’s horse for me. Well, it’s calm temperament could also be called laziness, she is definitely no racing horse. Once in a faster gait she needs constant convincing to keep going fast. In this respect Cookie is very much like my bike, which also needs constant work. It actually goes nowhere without me pedaling, so I guess my bike is even worse than Cookie. It would actually just stop if I stop. So does Cookie, if I don’t keep pushing her, but that’s at least less exhausting than pedaling. But contrary to Cookie, my bike goes really fast when pushed rightly – even though it only has one gear (it’s a so-called single speed or Fixie) it reaches amazing speeds that feel like flying.
My bike definitely has an advantage here. It needs new air in the tires to keep the pressure up every now and then, but that’s about it. Some cleaning, of course, it’s white after all. But it wouldn’t hide deep in the mud to avoid work and get itself completely filthy, like Cookie would. It might need some fixing here and there occasionally, but nothing complicated, no vet needed. It doesn’t demand a great deal of you, a tiny place in a garage is fine. Cookie on the other hand is quite time-consuming, needs cleaning, feeding, pedicure. More work, of course, but she is also a lot more responsive – give her an apple and she is all yours. Doesn’t work on my bike.
My bike is very picky when it comes to surfaces. It’s strictly for (well-maintained) streets only. Gravel and grass are difficult and mud completely stops it. Even cobbled streets are a nuisance. Cookie is comparably uncomplicated – she walks every terrain. She might get startled by strange noises and dark shadows, but due to her calm temperament she hasn’t run off with me so far. And I don’t think she will. Neither would my bike, but most paths are just completely out off reach for it. So I have to say Cookie has the advantage here.
To sum up Cookie and my bike have a lot of things in common and are quite different at the same time. But most important: I think both look absolutely stunning and I really like them both.