21.Sep.2012

Sep 21, 2012

Distance today = 50.89 km; Total distance = 11,969.86 km; Location = New Stanton – 40 13.185′ N, 79 36.788′ W; Start time = 0802, Finish time = 1544

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/225289255

Yet another really hilly day. The constant uphills are hard, but the downhills are jamming my toes against the end of my shoes. My toes are now quite sore.

I see creatures of all sorts throughout every day. The majority are bugs. All the same, I make sure I never injure or kill anything. I take care to step over grasshoppers and crickets, and I even helped a caterpillar across the road the other day before an approaching car squashed it. I do draw the line, however, at mosquitoes that are biting me. They get squashed. Self defence.

Today, though, I had to make a decision. A small pencil-thin snake, about 30 cm in length, was writhing on the road, having just been run over. Half its guts were hanging out. It would have died slowly. I took the decision to bang it on the head with a rock. I didn’t like doing it, but I felt it was the best of a bad set of options.

Tomorrow is the start of the Tour de Bois. For those who are not familiar with this institution, let me tell you about it.

For the past 25 years, I have been organising an annual cycling tour in south-eastern Australia. Each year we ride a different route. We usually have about thirty or so riders, with a range of backgrounds, but we all get on fantastically. You may have heard me previously mention such classsic characters as Big Bad Bobby Quin, Klitty, Jimbo, Big Huddo, Dave, Mother (who is a 60 year old bearded man), the VC, Big Andy, Pepe, and the irrascible Mr Reefton Humblewood. There are many others who deserve a mention. Sorry to those I’ve missed.

This is the first year in twenty-five that I am not attending. The reason is obvious. I will, however, be keeping in close contact with the bois. In many ways, it’s the sense of adventure I’ve experienced while touring the countryside each year on the Tour de Bois, that has led me to pursue this more ambitious adventure of running around the world.