There are now just three days until I catch my flight out of here. I wasn't intending to make a post at this time, but the last few days have been interesting in and of themselves. In one moment on Sunday, the Scottish adventure was almost over before it began. I had set off for a final long ride with a long-time riding partner, we had just escaped suburbia and were now making our way through the rainforest of Urliup on that lovely little dirt road.
There are a couple of nasty corners on a descent to a causeway here, and it was a momentary loss of concentration that almost proved my undoing. The back wheel skidded away alarmingly, but I reacted quickly to retrieve the situation, only to be confronted with a rather nasty angle on the crossing of a surprisingly wet causeway (surprising, because there was no real rain about in the days prior). It was either luck, a magnificent piece of judgement, or simply a situation that wasn't really as bad as I thought. It was also a wake-up call. Whatever else it was, I negotiated it without incident and continued on a little wiser.
Sunday's dirt and the rain over the last couple of rides to/from work have led to a rather interesting situation in the state of my bike. I suppose the quarantine requirements will ensure the need to at least give it a clean. On the other hand, I'll be arriving in London, a city notorious for bike theft (from what I've been hearing), and a little dirt on the frame can often "devalue" a bike in the eyes of a thief. While on the subject of thefts, I'll also need to keep a particular eye on my front wheel just incase anyone has designs on that rather expensive hub dynamo.
In other news, I no longer have to worry about reading material for a 26-hour flight. A work client has rather generously loaned me a book about a chapel near Edinburgh. Of course, now I'll just have to find the time to visit it. I am already in awe of the history of this place.
Finally, there are a couple of things I want to make clear from the outset. First of all, I'm hoping for a better run than I had with the wind in New Zealand. I don't mind the occasional headwind, but copping 90km/h in my face for several days on end does test my patience a little. I'll be happy with a 50/50 ratio of head/tail winds. The sixteen flat tyres for the year so far can get lost for a while. I think I've had enough practice at changing them for a while.
This blog will now go "on hold" for a month or so. I don't intend taking it down, but I probably won't have time to update this and the journal , and the uploading of hundreds of pictures will have to wait until I get home. In any case, the journal has a guestbook for anyone who wants to keep in touch while I'm over there (yes, that includes both of you). So, until I return, Bon-Voyage, or whatever those people say.