Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winding down

We're in Marlborough, England. About two more hours of saddle time and we'll be right back where we started twenty-odd days ago in Bournemouth. This is always the hard part of travel for me. I don't want to ride the last little bit even though I could easily do it if it were a thousand miles away. It reminds me of hauling moose hindquarters.

You groan and twist to get the thing up and onto your back. It takes a bit to get the load situated and the thought of lugging that hunk of bear bait two miles over uneven terrain is almost unbearable. But you take the first step and it isn't so bad and pretty soon you're in a zone, whistling or maybe singing, Sugar Magnolia(shutup hippie) and you could go on forever. Then you pop over a little hill and see the plane a coupla hundred yards away.

Your shoulders and hips ache, you're out of breath, and sooo tired. Only five loads to go. Pretty soon you only carry the rifle the first hundred yards or so, if the bear munches you anywhere in the remaining mile and seven-eighths, so be it.

Holy tangent batman. Where was I? Hell if I know. After a coupla thousand miles, several pints, and a near-miss each, I can say the following: This trip was much better than I anticipated. The rolling hills and mile upon mile of tarmac make it a biker's paradise, the people are outstanding and except for Scotland the language barrier is easy to deal with.

Awards: The best riding was in Scotland. The best scenery goes to Wales. Worst food England, everyone else tied for second, we're talking shit-tee everywhere(You chat with folks and they love to put down the other country's food. We were damn proud of ourselves that we never laughed out loud.) Most obnoxious Americans-golfers in Ireland. Best street signs-England("Disabled must pay" was the overall favorite.) Best whiskey-Wales. Best beer-tie. Biggest disappointment-Ireland(some pretty scenery, sure but not the overall biking experience we were looking for. People blame the influx of money from the EU and the fact that an additional 12 million passports have been issued in recent years for the building spur.) Best city-Dublin.

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