Time to Go

It is snowing outside, the sky a dense and fluffy infinity of white. I am supposed to be packing up my cycling and kayaking gear and preparing to leave the lovely hotel apartment that the team and I have been sponsored with for our stay in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. My toes are cosy inside their woolly socks and I am warm and dry. The bed looks very inviting indeed.

I know that outside my toes will freeze. Two imps are doing battle in my head. One is shouting at me to hurry up and get a move on, that my cycling buddy for the day will soon be here, eager to hit the road. The other imp is tugging at my toes, encouraging me back to the duvet for one last bit of snoozing. I am still tired from the marathon cycle to get to Yuzhno, when I clocked 266km in a 21 hour period, pedaling through the night in the driving rain to reach the city on Friday morning. The last 48 hours have been a delicious mix of dozing and eating, a massage, sorting and cleaning my kit and trying to recharge, while Tim and Justine make final preparations for the journey south. It has been great having them here to help out with all the things I normally do myself on a Rest Day and wonderful to have the support of so many local people and companies who have sponsored various aspects of our stay. Thanks to everyone involved with this and our warm welcome at MooseHead bar on Friday night.

Hmm. I have procrastinated long enough.  I must pull on my winter gear, pack the rest of it and reintroduce Hercules to the snow. Nelson has never paddled in the snow so I wonder what he will make of it tomorrow if it has stayed.  The funny thing is that I know that as soon as I get back on the bike I will be happy to be there, the adrenaline and excitement for the next leg building. The last couple of weeks has been a bit stressful with all the changes in my routines, exhaustion and various pressures, but I am ready now and feel much more in control of it all.

Thanks for all the lovely messages of support and your appreciation of the videos, blogs and photos. It is wonderful to receive them, especially when you’re a tired cyclist alone in a tent having a cloudy day. And I am very excited to be able to share this leg of the journey in more detail through having Justine and Tim out here filming and supporting too.   Herewith, the latest little video, showing some of the mind games I dealt with last week and the flux between the highs and lows.  Please share it far and wide and bring more folks to the journey.   From Russia with love,   S, Hercules and the snow x

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32 Responses to Time to Go

  1. Robert Bert . says:

    Looks like your White Christmas is coming early , keep on keeping on and stay safe .

  2. Geoff Chambers says:

    HI Sarah, looks like fun. Reminds me of the ball we had skiing there in January but isn’t it supposed to be summer now? I just wanted to let you know, in case its slipped below your radar given your current battles, that Roz is due to follow in your footsteps landing at Mauritius in the morning 4th. Oct. 150+ days, (but who’s counting) so your record is safe. And we’ve got the bikes out practicing for when you come past our door….

  3. Deborah Powell says:

    Obviously very tough at the moment but think of the fun yet to come!!! Just struggled to get out of bed to go to work and now feeling very guilty having watched your video but it has inspired me to be full of energy today and I am not really thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat tired

    Deborah x

  4. Helen Outen says:

    Big hugs Sarah !!!!!!!!!!
    All my love, Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Sam Iusein says:

    Dear Sarah, I always very much look forward to your reading your weekly update on a Monday morning, and it sounds like the past week has been particularly challenging! I have just spent the weekend relaxing in the garden enjoying the unusually beautiful weather in the UK whilst you have been battling with the snow! Your positivity never ceases to amaze me. Keep warm and safe, Sam x

  6. Peter Booth says:

    I was suprised to hear it was snowing there. Hope it soon goes away. We have been enjoying a lovely week here in Nottingham. The temperature reached 29 degrees C. I know what it is like trying to drag yourself out of bed when you are still tired,but in your video,you look well. Look forward to your next blog. Keep smiling. God Bless.Peter in Nottingham.

  7. Glo Pringle says:

    Dear Sarah! I’ve been reading all your updates with admiration! What you’re doing is absolutely awesome, and it’s great to know that, while I’m dealing with the day-to-day humdrum, there’s someone out there being truly adventurous!
    Wishing you much strength and stamina.
    Glo, Worcester (also having a heatwave! It’s October, and it’s too hot!)

  8. Belinda Dade says:

    Hi Sarah

    Just one day at a time – “chunking” I think it’s called! Keep spooning in the jam!

    Lots of love, Belinda xxx

  9. Trevor & Christine says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Just to let you know we are following you progress and wish you the very best for your crossing to Japan. Just finished the book while on a kayaking trip to the Outer Hebrides. Perfect for a wet windy day and a reminder of our earlier adventures a few years ago now. Thanks for a brilliant read, we are looking forward to the next one.
    Well done, almost completed the first leg, have a safe crossing and well earned break in Japan.
    Best wishes to all

    Christine & Trevor

  10. Dave Baldwin says:

    Cannot believe what you are going through. We are thinking of you and praying for you here in the Baltimore, MD area. Keep up the good work Sarah!
    Dave & Louise Baldwin

  11. Geraldine says:

    Hey Sarah….
    What would Churchill say under these conditions: bad roads, terrible rain, visa nightmare??? One pedal at a time 🙂
    May God send an angle to give you a little push, when needed.
    Safe travels,
    Geraldine (Irish, living in Moscow, married to a Russian).

  12. Pamela Stocker says:

    A great story from when the boys were little called ‘The Kitten Who Couldn’t Get Down’. While all his kitten brothers and sisters did normal adventures, the little ginger kitten kept climbing up too, too high, and then Daddy Cat had to rescue him, or he tumbled down all on his own, notably down the chimney when he had got to the top of the roof. Bit high that. Bit dirty and surprised when he got to the bottom. Then Daddy Cat he taught him to climb down as well as up. It’s stayed with us, and reminds about how to get through things when there is no way out but on. Daddy Cat’s catch phrase(s) was/were ( for grammatical nerds there is a dilemma here!) ‘Front feet … Back feet … Front feet …. Back feet.’ Translated to current situation… Left Pedal/Paddle (*delete as appropriate).. Right Pedal/Paddle…. … … … … Quite a pleasing word play there too. Lots of love, cheers and a long distance hug to put in your pack for when you need one. Pam xxx

  13. Wim & Tine says:

    Dear Sarah

    We heard about your story through Andrew Leese and we’ve been following you ever since. We are on a cycling trip ourselves, but we can’t imagine what it must be like to row as well. We’re now in Laos and we blow some sunshine in your direction.
    Good luck, pedal on! And may you have good weather and wind from the right direction all the way to London!
    Tine and Wim from Belgium

  14. Louise says:

    Hello Sarah

    Sorry you have hit a black spot but once you are down then the only way is up so keep sending us your reports. Easy to say when we are sitting at home but we have tremendous admiration for you


    Ray and Louise xx

  15. It is just your mind playing tricks on you Sarah! Singing works wonders – see how many one liners you can come up with – obviously avoid Help by the Beatles 🙂

  16. Ray Girard says:

    No matter how much of a hurry you’re in, you’ve got to stop, for even a few minutes, and get back control. Without it, ..you are defenceless against those persistent “downers”. It’s all relative. You KNOW you’ve got what it will take.
    -love from Canada’s west coast.

  17. Sarah Benson says:

    You are one amazing lady – I don’t know anyone who could have come as far as you have – it is normal to have ups and downs, and the ups make up for the downs when they come along! You can do it Sarah! Best wishes from Faringdon Rotary Club xx

  18. Emma says:

    Keep going Sarah, you are doing brilliantly. You are achieving more in two years than most people dream of doing in a lifetime!

  19. shirin fenn says:

    Chin up! You’ve made great progress and you know what they say – when the going gets tough…….the tough eat chocolate 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the highs and lows. Well done and enjoy the journey. x

  20. Caroline Dwyer says:

    Hi Sarah! Have been following you from the very start. Haven’t posted any comments before but I reckon you’re in need of being told just how amazing we all think you are. That get up and go is on it’s way back, just you wait and see! Think of us all willing you on; hope the telepathy is working all the way from little old Loughborough… God bless and take care.

  21. Mark Schroeder says:

    Sarah, You’ve shown yourself equal to the task on so many occasions and you will emerge from this tough spot…just hang in there knowing that you’ll soon be back on track.

    Many people are thinking of you and willing you on, draw from the good wishes and energy being sent your way.

  22. pascale says:

    Epic! keep on going, you know it will get better again, these are the tests you set your self out to overcome when you set out on this journey.
    I am looking forward to your next stories.

  23. Barbara Crellin says:

    Sarah, I feel as if I am there with you, your writing has such an impact. But I cannot imagine many people coping as you do. You can and will do it – you are one amazing strong lady. Much love and loads of prayers xxxx

  24. christina watts says:

    Sarah Remember those Red Carpet Days on the Indian? i do 🙂
    and when BOB was out too 🙂

    Put the Red Carpet out for you to keep pedalling over …..
    positive thoughts from here around the World to Russia with love

    Big HUGZ

  25. davidT says:

    If I’ve not posted before, it’s not because I haven’t been following your journey, rather I’m so in awe of what you’re doing and the way you’re doing it that anything I could say would seem an impertinence.
    Interesting though that you’ve found it harder recently. Do you think that’s because of changing modes so frequently? While you were on the bike, you were pulling out superhuman performances almost on a daily basis, so it can’t be strength or fitness that’s the problem – maybe just that it’s ‘easier’ (for want of a better word) to carry on doing the same thing rather than choppingand changing?

  26. Ian Stokes says:

    Hi Sarah, what a star you are!! It’s so great to follow your progrees like this and see all the messages of support from people following your progess from all over the globe. Japan next stop – fantastic!!

  27. Susie Hewson says:

    Sarah you just need to listen out for that whistle behind you…..it will be being blown by each one of your supporters…willing you on and offering hugs and warm wishes at every difficult moment. A good rest would help, but then you are pushing yourself very very hard….. at risk of sounding sooo very British….chin up outen xxxxx

  28. Alexia Fairweather says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’ve just finished reading your wonderful adventures with Dippers, Bob, The Tweedles and the gang on the Indian Ocean and have been following your extraordinary progress around the world in your latest odyssey. Things are looking tougher than tough for you at present…but you’re making superhuman progress despite the weather looking hideous and those imps having a way of playing nasty mind games, but try not to focus on any of the negatives…just try to concentrate on the unbelievable achievements you’ve battled for up to now, and remember that the Red Carpet Days will come round again. We are all with you, willing you on…so pull on your happy socks, munch a bar of chocolate, grasp your courage with both hands and and press on with the bravery, determination and resilience you know you have – you’re a total inspiration.
    Lex xx

  29. Michael Glynn says:

    If one of my friends or family ever came to me and said they intended pedalling, paddling and rowing their way around the world I would be calling the guys in white coats to come and get them. But having followed your progress on here for the last couple of weeks I’m happy to concede you are not insane after all…..just a very well adjusted, amazing individual. Keep going… the “end of the beginning” is in sight ….and hello from Geraldton WA.

  30. Sarah Brown says:

    Hey Sarah, I wish i could do a few miles for you. But the most amazingly thing about your challenge is that is you, all you. You are one amazingly lady, strong, enduring and a bit crazy and that is why we all love you so much. Keep your chin up, keep taking deep breaths, don’t let the tears win, often!

    I was out sailing yesterday, Force 8 with squally showers, as threatening and unfriendly as Scottish seas can be. I would still prefer to be out there than sat at the computer, I am sure you feel the same, relish every minute!

    Best wishes as ever,


  31. Gaia Ines Fasso says:

    You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  32. Hi Sarah
    Sorry to see you were finding the going a bit tough getting out of Russia, but I presume your spirits are now sky high having reached Japan.
    Back in Rutland 5 of us from the running club are in final training mode for the Rutland Water Marathon which happens on Nov 6th. Remember last year when you ran it as a boob ? No fancy dress for us but we’ll be thinking of you on the way round. Take care, Paul.

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