Well, for the first time since March, I've found myself with a spare hour and nothing in particular to do - I might indulge myself a little bit and reconnect with this long neglected (but not forgotten) blog.
It's been a pretty hectic 2012 for me so far. For some now unknown reason I've gone back to university this year to do some postgraduate study - I thought it would be a hilarious fun-filled romp whereby I taught the young people how to party old-school style, and in return they taught me to relate better to my own children or something. Disappointingly, the reality has been very different - mainly me sitting in my office until a hundred o'clock every night, tapping away at a computer writing countless assignments. At any rate, it's not been a whole lot of cycle touring good times.
The other thing that has been keeping me off the blog, and off the bike for that matter, is my completely borked right hand. I don't think there is even a word to describe what's going on there. Basically, everything has disconnected from everything else and my hand is just kind kind of hanging dislocated on the end of my arm, unable to do much at all...
Not exactly the ultimate setup for adventure cycling, or indeed anything.
For the medically inclined - side view of my munched rheumatoid arthritis wrist. Fingers on the right, arm on the left.
But it's not all bad news - in 2 weeks I'm trundling off to the local hospital to get a few of the defective hand bones removed, some arm bones chopped up a bit, and the whole lot fused solid with some titanium plates and screws and things like that. While I admit I'm totally shitscared about the whole process, I'm also looking forward to having it done. After 4 years of living and riding with this, I'm stoked that there's finally light at the end of the tunnel.
As a consequence of seeing that tunnel light, my mind has already started to jump forward past the surgery and recovery, and I'm looking at doing some riding again. Specifically, looking at doing some cycle touring again. For some reason I've been bereft of inspiration for cycle travel for the past few months, but now it's like some kind of fog has lifted and I can remember how much fun I've had on a bike, and am thinking about all the fun I'll have again cycling to some new places.
Of course all this new found motivation and excitement begs the question "where to ride?". I've found myself in the very pleasant situation of spending my day starting at maps, reading blogs, looking at photos on Google Earth, in a state of complete and utter option paralysis. There's a world of good riding out there, and in a few months time I'm going to be fit and healthy enough to get involved again.
I've only got a few ideas on my must-ride list for 2013. One of those is to go for a ride around the dry tropics savanna of North Queensland, to really reconnect with the place where I first really discovered the joys of getting out into the middle of nowhere to do nothing in particular. Another ride that will have to be done again is our ride from Christchurch to Dunedin via the Otago Central Rail Trail - with what we know about the route we think we can do it again and take in a lot of the places we ran out of time to check out last time.
Other than those two ideas, my head is a swirling mess of vague ideas and half thought out plans. If anyone has any suggestions for some must-ride cycle touring destinations in AU, NZ and beyond, I'm all ears!