Saturday, 28 January 2012


My Mother has been nagging me to post on here...

There is a sprinkling of snow on the Scottish soil outside. I'm wearing two jumpers, two pairs of socks and slippers - earlier I even donned my woolly hat - indoors. Soon, I will be only dressed in shorts, T shirts and flip flops (or thongs as the Ozzies call them) for a whole two months. Oh, and a cycle helmet. I leave on March 1st for warmer climes. In the winter it's hard to remember what hot sunshine feels like and I also can't imagine having feet that aren't permanently tingling.

Part of the reason I haven't posted is because there hasn't been anything to say. People ask if I'm excited. I'm not the exciteable type. Apart from buying the plane tickets (769 pounds with China Eastern stopping over in Shanghai) I haven't done a whole lot in the way of organization. Unlike my ride across the USA in 2008 there will be no Scrabble component (well maybe someone might be game for a game) so that takes the heat off somewhat. All I have to do is find accommodation plotted along a path of my own choosing, which can meander as much as I like, as long as it starts in Melbourne and finishes in Cairns. I certinly won't stick to the coast, although this will probably prove a necessity in much of Queensland.

I won't train very much. I now have a girlfriend who lives in Edinburgh. The shortest route between Glasgow and Edinburgh excluding the motorway is 45 miles. Usually I visit Laura alernate weekends and I almost always cycle. The most direct roads soon became monotonous, when I embarked on this not-so-long-distance relationship a year ago, so I vary it and there are plenty of quiet byways connecting these two largest cities in Scotland. Sometimes I take a roundabout route of 70 miles; other times, especially going back home when the wind is mainly against me, I opt for the 45 miler. If Laura ever finishes with me I will try to find someone else to go out with who lives a similar distance away - not in Edinburgh though - as I'm a bit bored with those roads now. These journeys keep me in some sort of shape and I really can't be bothered to go out for any other rides - especially at this, the coldest, dampest time of year. Apparently 2011 was the wettest Scottish year on record. Don't I know it!

I rode around England last summer and I didn't do any extra training for that. It wasn't too much of a strain and I soon got into the stride of averaging 70 miles a day. However, pitstops permitting, I will try to stagger the distances out of Melbourne, so that I gradually pick up the daily mileages.

So, I will endeavour to post more frequently Mum. When there is something to say.

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