When the message came through first thing, we were gutted for Ken.
Someone had stolen his bike overnight from his warmshowers homestay in Boston.
Ken had cycled from Seattle to Mexico on it; had shared our journey having crossed Canada on it; and was now tracking south toward Cuba on it.
When you spend cupious amounts of time in solitude on it, the relationship you have with the bike is a not only a partnership, it is a friendship. Like a pet is to an animal lover, a bike is to a cyclist.
Mind you, there were moments on our ride where we hoped the tandem would get flogged! It would have been easier to use an excuse to give up versus a reason to keep going. Hindsight is wonderful and we are happy that it wasn’t.
The key is that when faced with adversity and things do go wrong, do you get better or bitter? Do I approach it with the glass-half full or keep re-living it as the glass half-empty? Either way, the choice is ours to make, no matter the opinion or advice of others.
We hit the road bound for New Jersey deciding to take the number one feeder road off the highway for most of it. We zigged and we zagged and we stopped and we started (over 500 traffic light intersections!) as we skirted the outer limits of down town New York.
Joining the dots from Old Saybrook New Jersey took over six hours with more neighbourhood suburbia living and business districts navigated.
Pulling up out front of our friends Joan and Kevin that was a long time in the making, became a reality. What was significant about this visit is the deja vu timing of it.
After we cycled the length of New Zealand back in 2007, we decided to take a rest holiday on a small Fijian Island – Matamanoa, whereby we met a group of people including Joan and Kevin. And now nine years later we were here after our Canadian cycling about to spend time with J & K again. We were fizzed to say the least.
By the time we were boated off Matamano, our wood and straw Bure became the ‘happy hour’ place to happy hour at before the resort ‘happy hour’; we attended two hen/bachelor parties and their respective weddings with being the bridesmaid and best man at one of them; coached the whole island the ‘haka’ so as the surrounding islands could hear the nightly performance; was introduced to the ‘borat suit’ by an English fella who won his ticket to the island from entering a shopping mall kareoke competition during a lunch hour and won; and amongst other things, mentored the card game ‘Five Crowns’ to the group who have become close friends regardless of their geographical residence.
We expect the next couple of days will be much like the time spent with them before out in the Pacific … happy hours, banter, laughter, five crowns and a haka or two.
Listen for them!
Before we knocked on the door, a pause was taken to remember the others from Matamanoa.
And a short “keep going Ken” under the breath.