Wow! Can you believe it’s been so long since my last blog post way back when I was still skiing? It feels a lifetime ago. When I got back from Tignes, I only had 2 weeks until I was off again (today), this time on perhaps the worst timed trip ever; when I get back from a week in Northern Ireland, I will only have 3 days until I’m off on the cycle. It was a frantic two weeks of to-do lists, packing and repacking, and buying last minute bits and bobs. Here’s an equally, and appropriately frenzied summary of what I’ve been up to;
One of the treats of returning home is always seeing all my family and friends again. The first few days I made a bit of a dash around, catching up with everyone I have ever known who lives locally.
I had to arrange my course of injections. I’d weighed up the pros (safety) and cons (a helluva lotta money), and in the end elected to only get immunisations against Rabies, and Tick-Borne Encephalitis (I hadn’t heard about it either!). In true form, I’d left this quite last minute as both require multiple doses, spread apart. It was close – I could fit all the doses in, but with no doses to spare!
I’ve done more shopping over two weeks than ever before, and it was great to see my panniers gradually taking shape. I think I’ve got everything now AND it all surprisingly fits inside my bags (amazing), AND I can actually cycle with my bike fully loaded (even uphill – more amazing!). I had to get into a very different mindset for packing; EVERY (I’ll stop capitalising now) item had to earn its place. Weight and space is limited, and I’ve had to get really frugal with the grams, although I’m not quite cutting my toothbrush in half just yet!
I had also been asked to give a talk to my old school, who had stumbled onto one of my blog posts. I was stoked to have the opportunity to share my journey with 500 children, if a little intimidated. Previously public speaking has been something I've found terrifying, but I realised halfway through that I was loving it. The kids were laughing and ahh-ing in all the right places, and seemed hooked on every word. I hope I had the opportunity to inspire some of them, to follow their dreams, and not give up!
It’s not all gone to plan however! I’m perhaps lucky the cycle is still on the agenda as I hurt my foot badly last week. When I still couldn’t walk at all a day later, and it was slowly turning black, I went to get it checked out. The words ‘it’s not broken,’ was a heavenly chorus to my ears, however a right foot of torn tendons and ligaments has put an end to any training I may have done – Good job I wasn’t planning on doing too much anyway!
I had to brush up on my bike maintenance skills. An hour searching worst-case scenarios Google; ‘how to mend a broken wheel’, ‘how to fix a snapped chain’, ‘help, my frame cracked’ – may have helped… but in all probability it hasn’t. I guess it will be something I learn on the road or, put another way, ‘the hard way’.
The observant of you may have noticed I have also changed my website around, and bought my own domain name. I’m excited about sharing the journey with as many people as possible, and I’m hoping a more flashy website, and a simple domain name may attract more people here! Please don’t hesitate to share this among any friends and family who may like it (especially if they live en route and may like to meet up and show me around, or offer me a bed to sleep on!).
Right, sorry, must dash – I’ve got a plane to catch!