Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Day


Woke up my normal time and made sure I had breakfast. Picked up the bike and started moving it outside. While I was doing this I realised that the panniers were unbalanced & the bike wanted to tip over. Worse, it wanted to tip to the right. A Quick re-pack cured that.

Diana phoned and asked if I could pick up some crackers on the way


Pretty uneventful, the roads were almost empty. I stopped a few times during the ride to try and get some crackers. Gas station, dairy, convenience store, even a little Asian anything-you-can-think-of store. None of them had any.

Unfortunately I timed my ride badly and just missed the ferry so I was going to be late arriving at Diana's place. I could have left home a bit earlier, but partially it was all the stops to try to get those crackers. I should have kept a better eye on the time.


Diana did us proud. The kids loved their presents. Even Cliff seemed to like his Harold toy, once he realised what it was.

Ross phoned during the lunch. It was late evening UK time where they phoned from and young Hampton seemed very sleepy & I was having difficulty understanding him. Mike phoned, but at a more reasonable hour by his clock.


Ride home was pretty uneventful. Connected with the ferry and, amazingly for me, I made it up the Parnell hill, well almost. There was a bit more traffic on the roads than earlier, but still very light.


I'm determined not to make last night's mistake, so everything I need for the trip is more evenly distributed by weight between the panniers. Found a place for the tent between the air mattress and the saddle. I'm so glad I managed to get the mattress on the bike as there was no way I want to sleep on a camping mattress.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Presents Wrapped

Usual December Christmas Eve nightmare. Last minute gift buying on the way home. This time it was little extras for Maia and Milo. I managed to get Mum & Dad something before the panic really set in. After dinner it was wrapping. Of all things I got Mum a garden spade as Diana had had a little whoopsie and broken her old one. I took great delight marking it "Fragile - keep away from daughter". Just as well I did as the wrapping paper kept tearing on me. Then everything had to go on the bike. Luckily the new pannier bags are large capacity. The only difficulty was getting the spade on-board ... It went crosswise over the panniers and clipped on with bungies. All ready for tomorrow's ride.