Not Frightened Enough

Location: Auckland, NZ  Ride: 47miles, 5381vft

Shit, time is moving quickly. And also somehow slowly at the same time. I find it shocking to realize my last update was four days ago and yet my 9 hour travel saga that happened yesterday seems like weeks ago. I found New Zealand, by the way, and I rode my bike as well, so those two things I can check off, and you can stop worrying about me. 

Yesterday was interesting as it was strung together poetically by two very interesting, and chance conversations. The first one was with the Katrina, the Jersey girl who worked at the liquor store in Coogee Beach, Australia. I was at the liquor store, if you are wondering, asking for directions to the nearest church.

Get Me High

Location: Wollongong, Australia  Ride: here
I had a huge amount to say in this one, but after about three pages, I deleted all of it. Because I can tend towards overkill and there was just one vein to it anyway; how much I love to ride my bike. How it cures me; of headaches and hangovers, of boredom and loneliness and sadness, of anxiety and solitude. As I have said before, on my bike, I am the most excellent version of me, good ride or bad ride. 

Three pages was just way too much and after reading it over I just wanted to tell myself to shut-up and land my plane.

So, coming in hot....

The bad rides makes me dig deep into my courage basket. I have never quit a ride, not yet. I want to quit, fuck yeah I want to quit, in the worst way. Yesterday I wanted to quit at 10K. No, before that, I wanted to quit before I even got on the bike.

But it was worth it. Despite all the horrible shit that happened along the way and how many times I cursed every god damned thing and how my stomach hurt and my back hurt...I badly wanted it to end.

Still worth it.

The great rides are a reward for all the rides in between. These are the rides where you make no effort, and everything is beautiful and you could have done it twice. I don't know how that all comes together, but it does, just enough times in a month to make you keep searching for it.

Talk to a surfer, and they will explain it in terms of the perfect wave. Or a runner, who will describe the feeling of floating just above ground. Or anyone else that does something over and over and over again for just that one hour when everything aligns, or just that minute, or that second.

That high only comes to people willing to keep going when there seems absolutely no rational reason to do so.

Love What You Have. You'll Have Everything.

Location: Canberra  Rides: here
I have not been writing because I got discouraged. I have logged about 2,700 miles in the car searching for good rides downunder. I don’t forget that; that riding is primarily why I am here. I am not here to visit war memorials or buy a didgeridoo to prop against my wall once home. I am a treasure seeker; digging after that perfect riding spot. And my emotional lawn was beginning to look like I'd misplaced my bone. 

I would not have admitted it before yesterday because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but the riding in Australia has not really been my bag. When I say this, I am subtracting the exotic factor from my judgment, and basing it solely on a few check list items. 

The World Is My Mistress

Location: Hawley Beach, Tasmania  Rides: here  Pics: here

Mistakes often have secret treasures, not unlike the origin of penicillin, or Velcro, or how I came to Hawley House on Hawley Beach. The mistake began in Hobart, which I left only because I knew I had dwindling days and a ship to be on. It continued when I decided to listen to other people when choosing the next destination. 

It took me five hours to get there from Hobart, and Cradle Mountain is indeed, a beautiful place. But not if you want to bike. There is only one road up and, coincidentally, only one down.

Tasmania Is Not The Same as Tanzania

Location: Hobart, Tasmania  Rides: here

I saw my first Americans in three weeks today. They were in Baltimore Ravens jerseys and they came to Hobart in a big floating box. They had "done all of New Zealand" and then they would "do all of Australia" and then fly to Darwin and I guess, do Darwin. I dont know, I dont want to turn my nose up, but different strokes I guess. 

The trip here was pretty rough, in relative terms. Whenever I have a long haul I always think of Louis C.K's bit about people complaining about flying. The bit is about "everything is amazing and nobody is happy."

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