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