Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Road Ahead


Welcome to 2021. 

After posting the following quote at the end of my 2019 "summary" blog post in January last year -

"Lets hope 2020 is a bit more interesting than 2019 was because frankly, 2019 just felt like going through the motions. Apart from a few key events it took a lot of sifting through photos to find anything much of note......"

-it looks like I got what I wished for! 

Oh, the irony because I oft advise others to "be careful what you wish for"......rookie error!!!

Vic Divide trail.

Anyway, suffice to say that 2020 started out interesting with February seeing my Vic Divide 550 bikepacking trip successfully completed and training well underway for the 2020 Colorado Trail Race. From early March things took a serious nose dive as Covid19 escaped China and spread to almost every corner of the globe. Being in the aviation industry, if the economy sneezes, we catch a cold so-to-speak 😒.

 In that vein I guess you could say we caught Covid because after just three weeks of shutdown my company went broke and was put into administration/receivership. A few tears were shed initially as my income propped up the boss's business venture, plus paid for everything else. We held on for a bumpy ride for the rest of 2020 but with the mindset that it would turn out ok in the long run. Most humans don't handle change well (I am no different) however we kept telling ourselves that life would find a way ( a lesson we learned after surviving the Ansett collapse in 2001)  and we just needed to stay calm, turn off the endlessly repetitive, negative media stream and do what we could to progress our way forward. Lots of mtbing was indulged in during April and parts of May as it was zero cost compared to motorcycling.

May was pretty shit as Mum finally lost her battle with cancer. One small mercy was that Steve and I were able to be there with her and Dad as the lockdowns had eased (after the first wave) along with our families. 

I managed to get back down to visit Dad in July with Will. His little TTR made the trip south with us and he enjoyed some superb winter weather riding that had me jealous that I didn't have a bike to ride with him.

Some good mates helped with progressing our way, as many other industries flourished and I was given some paying work to keep the schekles trickling in. Flying started to become a little more frequent in July as Australia got on top of the spread of Covid but Victoria's major fcuk up in September threw the recovery (and country) into chaos did the carbon copy fcuk ups in Adelaide, then Sydney just prior to Christmas. 

 But I digress. We got through to the end of the year with some income trickling in from flying and the warehouse job. While the warehouse is hard, hot work that I feel I am getting too old for, I enjoy the interaction with the same group of coworkers each day. This is very different to the aviation job where I work with people for a few days, then may not see them again for a few years and in some cases, ever again.

The warehouse is not quite as sexy though...

Trail care trickled along throughout the year. There were a few missed months when larger gatherings were not allowed but what work we did get done added nice features to the trails.

Trail care is pretty hard yakka though and for a few reasons (such as organising, running, dealing with difficult land managers, dealing with opinionated, self entitled trail users who don't/won't grab a shovel to help and generally feeling like I am "done") I don't think I will continue in 2021. 
10+ years is enough.

December started out more optimistically and as such, I made the decision to replace my long departed ADV bike. Flying to Tassie, then riding back was a very welcome respite to a looong year and I LOVE the new bike! 😎 I am looking forward to some decent rides on it once I get it set up.

Christmas was a nice quiet affair, made better by having two weeks of proper leave! I relaxed and did a bit of riding around the Southern Highlands and central west NSW, as well as overseeing some more dirtbiking for Will.


 As I write this I am at work on a layover, locked in a hotel room in Perth for 36 hours. It is glorious weather outside and I do NOT do "inside" very well but Western Australia's "chicken little" approach to Covid control must be respected (I'm from a state that hasn't had a case of Covid in weeks). Grrrr.

 (But at least I have a job!)

Anyway, it has given forced me to take the time to write a post after so few last year. It has also forced me to look ahead at what I might expect from 2021. To be honest, I am not expecting much. Financially I will still be very careful as our industry is so fragile. I am keen to use the new motorcycle for some long distance rides, ala IBA style as I like the planning and documentation required for these types of rides. Some ADV camping rides are also on the cards.

As for cycling, I am not sure what to do. After riding of last year I have sort of enjoyed not having to ride my bike for the sake of riding my bike. The down side is that my belt needs letting out a couple of notches..... I definitely need a challenge to train for here.....

If you have made it this far down the page, well, thanks for indulging me. Hopefully normal programming will be restored shortly.....😳