It all started so promisingly, ..... the rain had stopped at around 5am, the sky was now cloudless and blue, everything was surprisingly dry. I packed up and loaded the bike, all set for an early start, ... but sadly the new tyre decided otherwise.
Less than 200 miles on a brand new tyre, 200 out of 27,000 and I get my first road puncture of the journey. It wasn't the usual nail or screw, ... it was a huge throne that had penetrated deep into the centre line of the Metzeler. Fixing it wasn't a problem, 5 minutes and it was plugged with a 'sticky string', .. it was the inflation that taxed me. Somewhere along the road, ... or more likely in the sand and gravel tracks of California, the foot pump that I've carried from home has taken a beating. It's probably happened when I've dropped the bike, .... the actual foot lever has twisted through 90 degrees, .. it's now an ineffective 'hand pump'. At an inflation rate of around 1lb per minute, I gave up after half an hour and set out towards home.
Worried about what is known as the 'Great Lakes Effect', a meteorological phenomena that brings early season snow to the areas around Buffalo and Toronto, I wanted to make good progress while the weather was still in my favour. Just over 92 miles later, I turned the bike around. So used to following the compass East and with my mind on things other than navigation, I'd travelled almost a hundred miles in exactly the wrong direction. Well, ... at least it was sunny.
I stopped for lunch, ... not far from where I'd slept last night, ... hot soup and rolls. It was time to give myself a sever arse kicking. Instead of enjoying the last weeks of this journey I've spent too much time worrying about problems that don't yet exist, .. problems that I can solve when they do arise, .. problems that with a little forward planning, .... I can actually avoid in the first place. It's Sunday evening, ... I don't have to be at work on Monday morning, ... tomorrow is like the first day of a new holiday. I've got two weeks to ride up into Canada, catch a flight to Gatwick, ... ride to St Teresa's Hospice in Darlington and then back down to the Ace Cafe in London to complete the full circumnavigation. All things considered, ..... not a bad little vacation really.