It's true - One week to go! I've been slightly dubious about putting an exact departure date on this thing since last time. For those of you new to the blog, my previous attempt to leave ended with hospitalisation and a four month lay-off! But, the procrastination can continue no longer. When next Saturday rolls around, I will no longer have anywhere to live in New York City. I will have my bike and my belongings, and I must ride.
I expect many of you will find this piece of news very exciting, especially those close to me. I am too of course, but currently the buzz lives deep down, stifled by a seemingly insurmountable mound of stressful last minute preparations and gear-gathering. At the minute it feels like it will be more of a relief than anything else to get on the road. It's not an ideal frame of mind to be entering into the trip with, but I guess given the scale of what lies ahead, it's somewhat inevitable. And even as I write this I can sense that bubbling feeling of unspeakable exhileration rising up. Yes, I will enjoy it. And I'm ready.
Since having my operation it's been pretty tough, to say the least, both mentally and physically to prepare for this trip. My mind is now in the right place (with the exception of the afore mention last minute packing panics) and my body, well, it's getting there. I would estimate my fitness is around 60% of what it was, but it's rising all the time, and I'm easily putting in 100-150 miles a week on the bike. Plus I haven't seriously re-injured myself in some time, and I'm learning my current limitations. I'm confident that this is the time to go.
I am also ready to leave the city. New York is a special place which has blown my mind and charmed me innumerable times already in my short stay here. The landscape here is a triumph of man, and I still wake up every morning with a spring in my step knowing that I have the commute across the Brooklyn Bridge to look forward too. Brooklyn has treated me like one of it's own, and Manhattan still holds many of the wonders of the modern world. But the inner city lifestyle is losing it's grip on me - and I have already let go of it. I'm tired of the hustle and bustle, and keen for space, greenery and even solitude. I miss places where the skyscrapers are made of wood and grow leaves; I want to ride for a day and be able to count the people I meet on one hand.
One week to go. I still have so much to do logistically, but....I'm ready.