At midnight on Christmas eve a big merry man dropped off my bike at Jimmy's parents' house. I was a very happy guy. And it wasn't wrecked or anything!
Christmas day was fantastic - it was gloriously sunny & hot. After a delicious breakfast of French toast baked with eggs Jimmy's family opened all their presents, and Jim & Connie gave me a really great T-shirt - a surfey one from the local beach here. Then me, Jimmy & his dad Jim went to the beach to look at the surf, and Jimmy & I met up with Josh & Nathan, and we went for a walk along the beach and watched the surfers. Very surreal - it was snowing in Scotland!
We had a massive delicous meal. I'd brought some veggie haggis, which everyone liked. Also had great stuffing and these pretty wierd savoury dishes made from Jello. And for pudding I had my first ever pumpkin pie, which was fantastic - so creamy and light.
Anyway, I'd better get on with what's been happening. I'm writing this in Phoenix library and I'm limited to 15 minutes. The first day's riding was really tough - climbing to 4000 ft from sea level. I made it, but got really knackered. As I was looking for somewhere to camp I bumped into a group of 50 people from an American Hosteling Association Annual christmas bike ride. They let me pitch my tent at the school where they were staying, and let me share their supper and breakfast! It was so kind, and great to be able to be sociable. It was a pretty chilly night camping at that altitude, even with my down sleeping bag and thermarest carry mat.
I'll continue this in another post if I can get back onto the computer as I've run out of time.
PS - George sent me this article to inspire me (I think) -