Suddenly I'm down to one week to go! In fact, as I type, it's actually LESS than one week. In exactly one week I will have been in the air for over 4 hours on my way HOME!
Weather has been utter crap the last 2 weeks. Rain, cold, wind...but not necessarily in that order. I ALMOST slipped out for a ride yesterday (Thurs) afternoon...but felt guilty as I have actual work going on (training up a new guy to take my place)...so I stayed. Got out of work at 3:30 and it had just finished hailing! So my guilt saved me from a miserable ride. Every time the sun peeks out I want to jump on my bike...however then I look around and see I'm surrounded by dark clouds...and the sun is just teasing me.
Starting to get QUITE excited to be heading home though...feels like I've been here forever! I still have one last ride I'd like to do...it would probably end up being around 70 miles (and would be by FAR the longest ride this year so far)...but I'm not going to do it if the weather would make me miserable. So I'll wait and see what the weekend actually brings. Ride or not, the bike goes "Back in Box" Sunday afternoon or Monday at the latest. I hope to have it at the post office on Tuesday (note: it will NOT go out thru the British Post Office...I'll be mailing it from the Base post office, which is an APO..thus skipping "Her Majesty's Royal Customs" dept which held it for ransom for a month after shipping it here).
Here are a few pics from my last ride (last Thursday)...it had snowed on Weds, and there was still a fair bit of snow lying around just a few hundred vertical feet higher than where I work. Certainly I don't get the chance very often (as in NEVER) to ride with snow on the ground. And quite honestly, that's ok by me. So without further adieu, MORE boring pictures of my bike rides.
Black Sheep Brewery is celebrating it's twentieth birthday this year. Yes, it's just a baby. The building however has been a brewery for much longer. It used to be called Lightfoot Brewery. But long ago the Theakston family bought it and then closed it down. To this day no one knows exactly why. However about 21 years ago the Theakston Brewery was bought out by the Newcastle brewing conglomerate (you've heard of Newcastle Brown Ale? They sell TONS in the US). It's still run by the Theakston family though, just has different owners. But Paul Theakston had a falling out with the family and wasn't happy about that situation. So he worked out the deal and bought the old Lightfoot building and started his own brewery. Twenty years later he's still in charge, and his 2 sons are fast up and coming in the brewing biz. Yes, Black Sheep is ALSO a Theakston family affair.
So, if ever you should see this on the shelves, give it a try. You just might love it like I do. But I must add that NO bottled beer can compare to getting it "off the pump". Cask ales flat out RULE the beer world, and even in the US there are more and more Cask Ales becoming available.
And FINALLY. I was hoping to ride today (Sunday as I do this final update) but of course, the weather pattern from the last 2 weeks is still upon us...wind, rain and COLD. By cold, I mean high around 45F, with winds 10-20mph. And it wasn't rain this afternoon, it was more sleet (really cold rain). So in lieu of a bike ride, I gave the steed a good washing (it was filthy) and then took it apart and packed it away in the shipping box.
And so, my UK Cycling adventure is truly over. I rode a total of 559.2 miles between March 6th and April 5th...that's a good months worth of riding in my book! No flats, no accidents, not a single mechanical issue with the bike...not too shabby! I got PAID to ride lots of great scenic lightly traveled roads in another country...winner winner chicken dinner! No complaints from me.
Have a GREAT weekend!