I could hear the rain on the window before I even bothered to get up. This would be the 7th day in a row now. Sigh. Layer up, waddle down to the bike, and hope that I can keep dry while I loaded everything. I knew it was going to be a long and boring ride, making the miles towards Kentucky to meet old friends.
Rugged up and with my tunes coming through my Sena Bluetooth I set off. It bucketed down. Trucks and SUV’s are the biggest nuisance in this type of weather–kicking up huge spray, blinding you as you try to get past them. Even though conditions were miserable, I was in good spirits with my new Alpine Star gear was keeping me warm and dry.
An hour into the ride things went suddenly quiet. Every now and then my music cuts out for no reason. Reaching up to re-set the Bluetooth, my heart skipped a beat. It wasn’t there. Ah come on!!!
Having only just lost the audio it surely couldn’t be that far away, except that I was on the I-40 and it was pouring with rain, making visibility and safety sketchy at best. I pulled over to the shoulder, what should I do? It felt so familiar, like the day I lost all my belongings in Vietnam. I knew I would kick myself for at least not trying to look, so with that I waited for a space in the traffic and turned around.
Riding up a major highway the wrong way in the rain on a skinny shoulder probably wasn’t one of my greatest ideas. I rode slowly scanning the road, rain pouring into my open visor. Nothing. Still in one piece it was definitely time to cut my losses and keep going.
I was annoyed to say the least. I had ridden almost the entire width of the world with that thing as my companion, and now, two weeks from the end it comes loose. With nothing but my own thoughts to keep me company, I questioned myself. What on earth had I done to deserve this constant test of my patience.
Over the past 8 months I have been continuously plagued, day after day, with horrendous weather. Storms, weeks of torrential rain, sweltering heat, and snow. It didn’t matter what the forecast, guarantee it would negatively impact my adventure plans.
Whilst it may seem like a relatively small thing, a lost Bluetooth that had more than paid for itself over the years was a hard hit. With finances tight at the end of a long trip and no way to replace it, I most certainly made it into a bigger deal than it was.
Was there any reason behind it? Is it nothing more than bad luck? Could I have been more careful? Surely not if I haven’t lost a single thing on a round the world trip. After some thought something became really clear to me. No great adventure is without its risks. Without those, the rewards wouldn’t be so sweet.
I feel like I have been very consistent in finding the silver lining across my many trials and tribulations. Sometimes it can take a few days, but I always manage to find one. Cleaning my helmet ready for the next day, I found it.
After nearly 40,000km, if I go home having completed my dream journey, less one Sena Bluetooth, what an outcome. I have met so many amazing and inspiring riders on my travels. Hearing their stories of potentially life-threatening crashes, catastrophic breakdowns, and so much more has always left me feeling very fortunate.
My disappointment at the changing landscape of my journey has always been fleeting, for one very good reason. I realise that to do something imperfectly is so much better than doing nothing at all. For everything I felt like I had to ‘miss,’ I have seen and experienced ten times more than I would have if I never left home. Not only have I had an amazing time, but I have busted through the fear of doing something seemingly monumental, and that is a gift that will continue to serve me for a lifetime.