take off and landings

 

So I have already got into a bad habit with this blog, I left 4 days ago and this is only first update; I am promising myself that this is not the way of things to come.  California has been a whirlwind, a hazy beautiful one.

Sitting at departures at Heathrow airport with Pink Floyd ‘wish you were here’ on my headphones, it all felt properly real for the first time. Teary goodbyes with friends in the pub the night before, and even more teary goodbyes at the departure gate that morning from my mum and dad- now feels like a world away.

From the point of touch down California has been a beautiful crazy whirlwind.  I found myself on my own with my stuff riding the metro to meet Leah,  I passed through Compton and just sat back and took in the changes to my surroundings, I was in L.A!

Leah and I met on a cycle touring website called Crazy Guy on a Bike, you can plan to cycle with people who have the same plan as you, and since I had been daydreaming about this trip for years, but had not found a recruit I went to the site to meet my bike buddy.  Since then we had been speaking all the time, setting our plan in motion.  Other people were nervous about this aspect of the trip, I know it sounds a little odd, but really it was like we’d already met, all of her friends have welcomed me in as one of them.  Any anxiety I had about this trip has now dissipated.

So, in the days since touch down Leah and I have been really busy.  On the first morning Leah’s amazing friend James took us to a bike shop in Long Beach called the bicycle stand  these guys were really excited about our trip, they really tool time to set us up and helped adjust our bikes to fit. Setting our bikes up to go has taken us so many more hours than we imagined, we struggled with nuts and bolts and alan keys and covered ourselves in oil, half tempted to go to a bike shop to get them to do the set up for us, but also acutely aware of this being part of the learning curve.

Aside from all the technical preparations I have of course been having lots of fun, Leah’s going away party was pretty wild, her friends really fun and positive.  One afternoon we were lucky enough to have a yoga class dedicated to us, Leah’s friend Abby has just qualified as a yoga teacher and was doing a lesson at a local studio. The class was so tough but totally invigorating, yoga is going to be really important on the road. We then entered into a long discussion about Chakra’s and our energies, this preparation felt just as important as all the mechanical stuff, haha.

And so this brings me to where we are right now, it’s 7am Pacific Standard Time, our panniers are packed, the maps are laid out on the floor and soon we will be ready to go.  We’ll cycle a couple of days in California before breaking for the border.  Wow, this is it!

view photos that belong to this post here

 

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