One of the consequences of being on tour is you may not be around for things you’d prefer to be around for. Sometimes they can be good events you wish you could celebrate with your family or partner (success at work, winning an award, etc.) and sometimes it’s sudden or not-so-sudden things when you’d like to be there to provide comfort.
Today’s the latter.
My girlfriend’s cat Bonnard is rounding the corner on life number 9. Tonight on the east coast, Kimberly will have to face losing her first born without me. As I tap this post out I’m sitting in the shade of a tree with no cell signal, no data, no wifi and no way to get in touch. I knew this could be the case, and I told her I might not be there for her even though I desperately want to. Some might say, “it’s only a cat” but he’s been a part of Kimberly’s life for a long time and losing him is not going to be easy.
So… I’m going to add a few miles. Up Leggett Hill (only the highest summit on the entire Pacific Coast bike route). In the heat. At the top I know there’s a weak cell signal and I intend to be up there and try my luck at getting through. I’m pretty cooked from the ride already (I’m not a hot weather/direct sun kind of rider… I wilt quickly under these conditions) but it’s important that I try to find the balance between being on tour and being home for a loved one.
I share this mainly because it’s part of the dialogue in the bike touring lifestyle… Where’s the balance between relationships at home and being on the road? For me today… It means giving up a comfortable night at a campsite and a fully rested assault on a big climb. It means deviating from loosely held plans and schedules. But… It’s all worth it.