As we headed into London the British weather continued to demonstrate its endless generosity, …….. it refreshed us, it cleansed the road ahead, …. it reminded us that we were indeed home. Despite the rain, or perhaps because of it, it felt good to once again be riding as a pair and savouring the last few miles of Poor Circulation together. It had been three months since I’d ridden alongside Alan but it actually felt more like three days. London felt strange, a million years of knowledge have evaporated, the cities junctions that were once imprinted on my mind had gone, perhaps lost forever and replaced with knowledge of countries and cities that I might never visit again, ….. ‘one fact in, one fact out’, I was beginning to wish that I’d brought my AtoZ.
I’d expected the rain to keep all but the most hardy of soul’s away but as we pulled into the Ace Café I realised just how wrong that assumption had been. The Ace Café was awash with people and bikes. An area had been cordoned off for the Tigers and we parked the bikes in the precise place that we’d started from 28,000 miles before, .. we’d completed a full circle of the world travelling East.
Familiar faces and strangers alike thrust out their hands to congratulate us, ….. it was a fine welcome home and not one that either of us had expected. A group from Boxertrix.Com who we’d ridden with way back in Wales had arrived from all parts of the country; Harry, Paul, Jason, Joe C, Steve W., BoxerDog and more, … other people congregated around the bikes, asking questions and searching for their names on the top box and panniers. People began to hand over more money for the charity, … I wrote their names as best I could on the actual banknotes, …… it was quite chaotic and one or two names may have been missed, …… but every penny of the money collected on Sunday has now been donated through Just Giving under the title ‘Ace Café‘. We began to put faces to the ‘Names’ that had travelled with us for so many miles; ‘Simon The Locksmith‘, ‘FIM‘, ‘Geoff Keys‘, ‘Danny Ferry‘,’ The Grinch‘, ‘Alan K‘, ‘John & Christine’, John C-R FIM, David Mack etc., …. it was an honour to meet them at long last. I know that I’ve missed so many of their names here, … names that I hope will come back to me over the coming days, ….. but please be assured that your help and support is not forgotten.
From Alan and myself, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Mark and the staff of the Ace Café for welcoming Poor Circulation back to London and to all of those who turned up to shake our hands in the pouring rain on Sunday. Your support has kept us going when the world was falling apart around us, … and for me at least, ….. it’s a great encouragement to continue until my charity target has been met, ….. and then some.
Plans are afoot for a continuation of ’Poor Circulation’ and in the coming week I’ll be exploring the possibilities. I’ve ’Blagged’ payment for a flight to an amazing part of the world where I’ll hopefully meet people interested in supporting another adventure, ….. an adventure that will make Poor Circulation Round The World look like a sanitized package holiday. It scares the living daylights out of me, … but that’s intoxicating, … it’s not that I’m an adrenaline junkie, far from it, but a little excitement certainly beats the crap out of 9 to 5. I’ve got to get my body fixed as quickly as possible, …… it didn’t survive quite as well as the Triumph, and then I need to quickly start earning some money again.
On the slow journey back to Essex, … under clearing skies, … my mind began to wander. Has a Tiger ever been spotted at the North Pole? (That’s a joke, … possibly, .... but please keep watching ;-)
‘Blue-88, ….. Empty NW10’