So here we are about to leave Tasmania. Over six months since I left the shores of England for New Zealand.
In that time I’ve cycled countless miles (yet to tally up), conquered many BIG l o n g hills, visited family, worked at a backpackers, welded an ailing bike, fought mind bending headwinds, endured countless road kill, ran away arms flaying from sand flies, grew a handlebar moustache, had a haircut, fell of the bike twice, broke and lost sunglasses, ate tons of pasta (Need a bigger saucepan!), surveyed lots of stars, cycled in snow, cycled in blistering heat, cycled in cold driving horizontal rain, got lost a few times, wild camped most of the time, stealth camped, caravan parked camped, camped in a rugby changing room, camped on a tennis court twice, 50km’s is enough for one day, found a maggot in my coffee, attacked by jumping Jack ants, lost travel adapter, slept a lot, experienced four seasons in one day, helped a hedgehog cross the road, hate vehicles even more, attacked by Magpies, chased ‘Low Battery’ endlessly, need a dynamo hub, lost a good friend, cried on my bike, spent too much time chasing the elusive wi-fi, new drive train on bike, experienced Warm Showers, experienced Help Exchange, lost kit, broke kit, gave kit away, posted kit home, wore my cycling shoes out, lost 5kgs in body weight, resting heart rate of 63, blood pressure 114 over 66, argued with a snake, woke up startled by a possum, met lots of other bicycle warriors, assisted a charity, listened to endless BBC podcasts …
… Brooks saddles are the best, Merino wool is the way forward, stood ground with logging trucks (And lost!), drank some dodgy looking water, boiled a lot of water, spent endless hours searching for water, mileage does not matter, chased by cattle, found a line of bras on a fence, found a fence with cuddly toys, photographed peculiar letter boxes, ate sheep’s poo by mistake, invited into homes, befriended a one-eyed Maori lady, cut someone’s lawn, chain sawed a tree, cardboard bike box over poly bag anytime, ate a lot of jelly beans, love duck tape, love zip ties, eat well not cheaply, goats are smart, met a rare stone chaser, packed my bike three times (Pain in the arse!), drank well in Hobart, swam in the sea, swam in rivers, run-in with the law, met new friends, laughed, learnt to chill, missed friends, averaged 15kph, fastest 72kph, slowest walking, lots of thumbs up from strangers, cracked screen on net-book (I sat on it.), three punctures, new set of tyres, changed my brake blocks, seven flights, ten airports, one coach, one train, cotton clothes are rubbish, slept as the sun went down, woke when the sun came up, drank coupes amounts of sweet tea, cycled round southern New Zealand, cycled up through Tasmania, fell in love with my bicycle (Even more!) and lived a dream.
I never knew where I’d really go or end up. One can plan so much in the comfort of ones home in front of a laptop, but until you are out there, it’s altogether different. And one can’t plot how ones mind changes on the open road.
I never envisaged my mind-set would change.
For me, ‘Its All About The Bike’, along with camping in places away from mankind and finding tranquillity (no vehicles to be heard). So, the idea of the Far East then did not then appeal to me, along with cycling far distances with nothing around for the sake of it, just seems pointless. My ideas may change with time!
I want to experience something around the bend or over the brow of the next hill. Getting off tarmac roads, onto dirt, away from traffic is so much more appealing. But with my ailing rear end (Bike not me!), this became a worry! Constantly expecting it to give up. So back to Blighty I fly with immense joy in my heart for my first BIG cycle adventure under my belt.
Now, an even greater joy burns for a new bike build (Thorn), Merino wool (Given up on that .. still too bloody itchy!), along with plans for other great journeys afar and a lifestyle on the fringes.
LESS IS MORE!