Day of testing

Last weekend I finally got the chance to take the Thorn out for a little ride – with CELTA and work it’s almost impossible to make time for anything else so I was looking forward to Sunday morning like a dog craves his bone.

So after class on Saturday I packed the panniers with everything I needed to make a breakfast and a coffee along with some extra bits to add some weight to the bike and went to bed in eager anticipation.

Sunday morning I “slept in” till 0730 (this is my life atm) and it was cold and foggy outside…so much for a hot forecast. Oh well, on with the warm stuff and away we go.

First impressions down Coppermill lane…if my thousand mile wide smile was anything to go by, you know what I’m saying. The glare was so bright it attracted flying things to meet their maker.

This bike is something else. It makes the dream real. It makes all my troubles disappear. It makes my pants wet.

It’s so comfortable to ride. It’s hard to describe but it’s a beast this bike, right, but under pedal…it’s so smooth, it’s so comfortable…it’s a dream ride, and I’m so lucky to be able to have one.

Back to the ride – so I head down Coppermill Lane, left on the canal heading south towards the Hackney Marshes. There’s hardly a soul about, it’s glorious. Do the loop around the marshes and the half marathon is on, thousands of people converging and this bike turns heads!

The road ahead is blocked and I stop to ask the blokes in bright jackets if I can ride through and they’re proper friendly and helpful, what the hell?!? What is this thing between my legs? Does it omit an aura that seeps into it’s rider and folk who surround her and fill them with joy? Sure, they tell me, the road is yours, so on I forge through the crowds where it parts to let me through…

Around the back of the marsh and I find my spot, rest the bike up against the posts and get the Dragonfly on the go…and I struggle to get the thing going! I had just got a firesteel for lighting the stove up and I’m struggling to make some sparks, and each time I strike I knock the stove…so, stop, think, look at the firesteel a bit closer, check how it works, ok, nice, try again, woof, we have a flame, happy days. Get the pot on, boil some water, chuck in the oats, cinnamon and sugar, cook and eat…yeah, not bad for a first effort. Next, coffee. Setup the Bialetti and…damn…it don’t fit on the stove, it’s too small…hmmm, wiggle the stove legs a bit, and it juuuuuuuust fits on and it brews in no time. Sa-weeeeet.

So I chill in the park for a bit, watch the people do their jogging, their dog walking, their cycling, and it’s peaceful (if I ignored the booming half marathon tannoy urging the participants on), and finally, the sun comes out and it’s warm…which prompts me to pack and ride a bit more. So up the canal, heading north and this bike urges exploration, she takes me to little places I’ve not been before, through a muddy path I’d always avoided, into a park I’d only ever ridden past…me and my Thorn are going to get on I think.

But, as CELTA duty called, I needed to get back…but, as the sun was out and I had some boerewors I had to make a fire for lunch, and while waiting, why not test out the tarp.

Nice right??? 🙂

Can’t wait to get on me bike and ride! 🙂

Some more pics from that day:

Tough times, scary times

CELTA is tough, seriously tough. Had my worst day so far yesterday. My third lesson and we got our assignment 1 back. First, the lesson was a fail…second, the assignment was a total fail. I just couldn’t get my head around that lesson from the moment I got the TP points…it totally confused me and I just could not wrap my mind around it and by the time for the lesson arrived, I was not confident in my LP at all…and it showed. Some of the lesson was good, the problem was I didn’t finish it with the practice stage as I ran out of time.

The assignment though – total fail and so, so depressing as the amount of time I spent on that was ridiculous…I expected a resubmit but not such an extensive one. It’s this that’s making think that I’m not able to do this course…tough times. My next lesson is next week and we’ve been given assignment 2 which is even more of a monster…

Scary times…next week Monday, I resign…I know it’s the right thing to do, just thinking of doing it feels ridiculously amazing, then thinking about it too much feels totally unbelievably scary…thinking of all the comforts that I’ll be sacrificing, the salary, all the stuff I’ve accumulated, gone…

And tomorrow I’m in Bridgwater at the Thorn shop to collect my bicycle that’s going to take me to these amazing places. Thoughts like, what if I can’t do it? what if I hate it? what do I do then? What do I do after? often float in my conscience…and it’s so, so, so hard to focus on what makes it feel so, so right – the real life experiences, the possibility that ANYTHING can happen, anything. The people I’m going to meet, the sights I am going to see – does that not transcend comforts, money, stuff? Fuck yes I have to remind myself…fuck yes.