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Everyone likes chocolate right? Well er, no not quite everyone. My pal Brian Palmer across at Thewashingmachinepost doesn’t, which perhaps makes him a better man than you or I. His blog attracts web browsing bike nuts in their thousands and so the pure maths of it are that he is far better. He is a legend, go and have a look. I have once done a blog on his site about one of our short tours and let me tell you how that felt. Antonio Salieri was pleased when Mozart’s people got in touch ” Antonio, yes the maestro is not feeling well and has taken to his bed but he needs a hand completing a piece he’s writing” It’s nice but it is pressure and expectation and don’t muck up as 1,000’s click here every month.

Towards the Cuillins, Skye

Back to chocolate now as I am trying to show you our problem at the moment. This year we have done a couple of long tours. One was to the Outer Hebrides where despite it at times being wet, windy or cold and never less than one of these, the whole thing was fantastic. So just the right amount of chocolate and time to savour it.

Sheltering from wind and rain

Previous years have seen us setting off on trips of a minimum of a 1,000 miles from one point on a map to another distant point and with very limited time to do it in. Now I am not the best at factoring in things like the ups of the Pyrenees, the headwinds of the Benelux, the ins and then outs of the coastline of Norway or times spent on ferry crossings. I usually just multiply the number of days available by the number 65 ( daily milage )and that is where the start and finnish points are going to be and that’s the tickets bought. This airport here and that Ferry terminal there so let’s go. No rest days, no mechanicals and no not feeling quite right. It is very crude that I know, but it has worked or perhaps more correctly we have got lucky and stayed that way for just long enough. So that is a limited amount of chocolate that all has to be eaten and there will be no not feeling hungry allowed and all of the time someone standing over you with a stopwatch. Got that?

Blueridge Parkway

Recently we have done the usual weekend day rides from home out into East Lothian. The thing is they have been so peachy perfect that I have not wanted them to end and what is even more amazing, I even knew that at the time. So we stayed out and extended things and came home late glad that we had made food already. Maybe it was knowing that summer was ending who can tell, but these rides were so special. So this was the best ever chocolate but not quite enough and I have to share it with Esther.

Towards Trapain Law, East Lothian

Now to the present, where in the metaphor of  chocolate, there is a Volvo Estate packed full of grade ‘A’ exhibition quality chocolate and the driver has a delivery note with an address in Musselburgh. We have bought our round the world tickets this week that will see us through year 1 of our 4 year cycle trip plan. Our heads are spinning. We are going to do this thing and it is all very real.Can you have too much chocolate? or is it just the  thought of it that is the problem? It’s a lot to take in.

Lammermuirs, East Lothian