Dereka shamed me into it. My friend and fellow Friendship Sampler Quilter, Dereka Smith, is riding her bicycle (as in, no clutch, no throttle) from San Diego to St. Augustine, camping along the way. Dereka, sweetie, you have moxie to spare. When a guild member posted her blog url derekasblog-dereka.blogspot.com, I realized that I’ve sadly neglected my own blogging responsibilities, and should get back into the habit before we go to Africa.
David and I leave in just under two weeks on our third Ayres Adventure, Call of the Wild ayresadventures.com/Africa_CallOfTheWild, where we’ll ride BMW motorcycles through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, with a possible short jaunt into Zambia to see Victoria Falls. We’ve been assured our trip will include lots of wildlife, and at least one spa. What camping will be involved is promised to include luxury tents with ensuite bathrooms. If not, one smiling tour leader will have a very cranky grammie on his hands!
As I continue to struggle with competence and confidence on the bike, I’ve been working with Mark Brown of MotoMark1 motomark1.com. Since mid-January, Mark has made bi-monthly trips to Greensboro to work with me one-on-one, and he and I both see real progress.
Mark was a professional motorcycle driver (he scorns the word, “rider”) for many years with the North Carolina State Police, and has trained Marines, adventure riders, beginners and everyone along the motorcycle continuum. He has a rare gift: the talent to teach, as well as the talent to ride. We have one more lesson next week, then it’s off to Africa!
In the mean time, I’m riding nearly every day here in Greensboro, and spending my Maine days compiling lists and piles of stuff for the trip. This being our third Ayres Adventure, we have a much better idea what to expect. My last stabbing happened Friday, a yellow fever shot allegedly good for ten years. I’ve had hepatitis A and B, tetanus and typhoid shots, giving me more pincushion experience than I normally have in the sewing room, and malaria pills are on the dresser ready to go.
Plus I’ve been reading books on Africa, watching National Geographic pieces arriving daily in red Netflix envelopes and listening to my No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency audio books with a new attentiveness.
LL Bean has made their first quarter earnings on my purchases of insect-repellant clothing. The molded earplugs we ordered at the IMS Charlotte show last month have yet to arrive, despite the salesman’s promise of their being here within a week. If they don’t make it, we’ll take the Shoei helmets instead of the Schuberth, which are far too noisy to ride all day without better hearing protection than what we have. I also scored an awesome, orange, vented Olympia riding jacket at the show for less than half price. I’ve test driven it several times here, and it will do nicely.
Are we ready? But for the actual packing, I believe we are, physically anyway. In my stomach though, it isn’t quite real, not yet.