That moment in which I close my door, and begin to cycle away from the town that has, for 22 years been my home, preparing not to return until I have reached Australia is a thought which has mesmerised me and left me fascinated. Every time I have been out on my bike, my imagination has run wild, picturing the scenes, but more importantly the emotions as I wave goodbye to my nearest and dearest, and set out to do what has, if I’m honest, always felt absurd, and still does! (While I’m being honest, sometimes I get a little carried away, and probably seem a little crazy to all the other cars, cycling from my drive in a frenzy of waving, tears, and slow pedalling.)
One day before, I thought I’d have a good idea of how I’d actually be feeling. That’s not the case… I’m feeling everything. My rollercoaster of emotions could be described like a weather forecast: “We have a big spot of excitement which is here to stay, but there have been some cloudy patches of nerves slowly creeping in over the past few days, with highs of exhilaration, and lows of apprehension. The ‘tired’ front which has been hovering around for the past week looks like it is here to stay as we continue to seem unable to get a full night’s sleep, and the past 3 days have seen a manic amount of preparation.”
Overall though, I feel as ready as I could. Sure, I still have doubts, ‘Have I remembered everything?’, ‘Am I making a huge mistake?’, ‘Have I done enough training?’, and I know the answer to that last question is a big, fat, ‘No!’, but, ah well… I’ve done all I can, let’s see what happens next! As I was reassured by fellow bike tourer, Mark Swain, who cycled from Ireland to Australia, “Now it’s time for the easy part.” I’m a bit dubious about that, however a lot of people seem to agree that the hardest part is finding the confidence to begin. Although there’s a long road ahead, it’s also been a long road to even get to this point, since deciding two years ago.