the final 90k on the road to home

Another 6am start today to update some lines here. I will miss the routine I have bulit over the last two weeks as well will I miss the cycling. You might call me mad or metal now, but I am still looking forward to pack my bags for the last leg today, put every little item in it’s designated place in the panniers, lube the chain, have breakfast, review today’s route and then set off. What started on 4.30am on Saturday 11 December has been an amazing bike ride, and lying in bed last night I did ride the whole thing in my head again. I had tears in my eyes when I turned on Amy MacDonalds ‘Road to home’, and they are rolling down my cheek again as I write this. Probably the best proof that I am not at all made of steel, but just an enthusisatic and passionate cyclist who loves the oddities. This ride has been the most amazing experience I had on two wheels so far, and I will enjoy any second of the last 90km today. Setting off in Edinburgh I had no doubt I will get here eventually, the only big question mark was how. 14 days later I will really miss the routines that got me here, but I can’t also wait to finish this afternoon hugging my family and treat myself to a good piece of Stollen, a cuppa and the safety of a warm living room. I deserved it.

I had an amazing welcome to Erfurt last afternoon, as I was not at all sure whether I will cycle the last bit today or not. Greeted by my parents, my sister’s family, my cousin and her husband, a very close friend of our family from Erfurt, as well as Endrik from Takt and a journalist from the local newspaper (sorry, forgotten the name), I was enjoying the last pedal strokes rolling towards the iconic Erfurt cathedral onto Domplatz. After hugging and pictures we enjoyed the moment with bubbles and Gluhwein, my first since I left Edinburgh two weeks ago. It was the most amazing welcome I have ever received after all that hard work on the roads to home. Cycling 1300km for moments like this is a worthwhile effort, not to mention the great memories I have from the journey, which will stick in my head forever as I want them to. My parents even managed to get a glass bike as a present, singlespeed as well, which will get a very special place in my little room in Edinburgh. I was amazed how well my parents bought themselves into the trip, my mum and dad motivating me through phonecalls at night, checking the weather forecasts, and even doing some media relations for me, most surprisingly. All the rest of my family and friends did the same, and riding with such support makes the hard situations pass quickly.

I would love to write more, I could spend ages now, but I am off to celebrate the last morning and being on the bike soon. It’s another 90k today, and it looks like some snow at least on the way. But my motivation is possibly the highest it has been so far, and I can almost smell home. I’m on the road, the road to home.