Hey, another week on and I am still in Richmond. To make matters even worse I have hardly moved from the house. Dawn went off in a retreat on Monday and kindly allowed me to stay in her house whilst I was away saying “I really can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t stay here”. This is the sort of thing that makes me feel so good about the world, being trusted in that way even though I had only met just over 48 hours ago, though she did rather put me in my place by adding “You are on a bike, you couldn’t steal much anyway”, but I know what she meant. I am only the second Couch Surfer that Dawn has hosted and I was asked to be very quiet when her parents phoned as “They don’t really get this Couch Surfing lark and would probably go nuts is they heard I was leaving in the house alone for a few days.”
Dawn departed Monday, the snow was still deep, but the main roads were clear enough, but the cold nights had made it icy. I rode up to the local mall in the afternoon and was very glad not to be moving on. A little rain as the sun was going down and the roads were soon covered in a thin layer of ice so I had to be very careful when braking and heading in anything other than a straight line. Wednesday was a little better. To be honest I perhaps could have made a move but with a big snow storm with a special delivery for Washington D.C. it was perhaps a wise decision to stay put. Thursday was even better and by this time I was getting so bored that I was cleaning things amongst all my crap that I carry that had never been cleaned before. I read more books and tried to keep myself busy.
Dawn surprised me by arriving back early Friday morning. I had expected her back either Thursday evening or Saturday. “More snow is forecast for the next couple of days. 24 inches are expected where I was so I decided to leave before it started” she told me. Just minutes after her arrival it started snowing and snowed pretty much the whole day. It did its best to snow all day Saturday, but I made my way out on foot to the mall, I needed fresh air. Snow on the driveway was deep, but on the main road it was just a deep slush. All the shops in the mall were shut due to the weather apart from the supermarket. I sat in its coffee shop watching life go by. Here not only do the customers stand around and watch the staff bag up their groceries, they also watch them push the trolley out to their car and loaded into the trunk (boot). I am thinking about starting my own service here, for a couple of bucks I will eat it for them!
So not having much to write which ironically comes at the same time that I need to fill my time by waffling a little, I thought I would answer some questions that have been asked recently and forgot to answer in the previous post. As I remember there were 3 questions. Aoiffe asked about cleats, the funny things in the bottom of cycling shoes. Yes, mine do have cleats, but not the silly ones that you see some cyclists wearing that makes them walk like a penguin. There are all sorts of cycling shoes and mine are classed as ‘touring’. Mine are the only pair of shoes I carry (currently soaking wet from walking in the snow) so I chose them because they don’t actually look like a cycling shoes, so when worn with non cycling clothes they at least look sort of normal, in fact they probably look more normal than the rest of me. The cleats are reasonably flush with the bottom on the sole so you can only hear them when walking on rough concrete type materials when they grind the surface. They aren’t great for walking in as the metal on the sole tends to make them a bit slippery. Jacs asked to hear Anav’s (of the Twelve Tribes Community) answer when I stated to him that we both considered that we were leading our lives the way God intended us to, so we couldn’t both be right. He told me that each of us were at different levels of spiritual understanding and knowledge and that God wanted us to live the way we were to further our learning and growth. Oddly enough I have since read that same thing in a book, but talking about different religions and it would seem to make perfect sense to me. Finally Frances asked what country I would be visiting next. Well, my days on this journey are coming to an end. I have always acted and headed to where feels ‘right’ at the time, so consequently my journey has taken me further and lasted much longer than I ever expected, but now the time is right for me to return home. From New York I will fly to London and from there it is just a short cycle home. Then I will stop, but for how long I just can’t tell you, I have no idea myself.
Having been for a walk in the snow this morning and seen that there is thick ice covering the whole of the road, it does not inspire me with confidence for hitting the road tomorrow, but somehow I have to get out of this place. The weather is forecasting more of the stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it looks as though my plans for route through to New York are going to have to be changed. It looks as though it is going to be main roads the whole way, though I guess I should just be thankful if I can just get through without having another accident. As requested, a few snow photos for you, more will be uploaded to the album in due course. Sorry Harpo, still none of the bike deep in snow, I am a wimp and staying nice and warm through it all.