Two days after getting home, I decided to bike into Hakana Bay.
I disregarded the fact that I had done no exercise for the previous month, apart from climbing into bed. It’s a 10km round-trip to Hakana Bay with 800ft straight up or straight down, depending on whether you’re pedalling furiously or frantically braking respectively; I also considered this largely irrelevant.
Apart from a brutal uphill sprint at the start, the rest of the leg to Hakana Bay is more a trade-off between setting your brake pads on fire, or doing a starfish off the top of a cliff. Despite these tense negotiations, arriving at Hakana Bay I felt PUMPED.
Shame I couldn’t say the same about the back tyre.
After a brief stop to inflate and let Jed roll around in mud, we struck out for home. About 200ft up the road, I thought my lungs were going to explode. 400ft on, I understood what dying must feel like.
I dismounted the bike, pumped up the back tyre again, and started pushing. I was averaging a rate of about 2km per day when, at the hairpin bend overlooking the valley, we came across three loggers.
I stopped whimpering and paused for a chat because, you know, I’m friendly. Also because I wasn’t sure whether walking another step was biologically feasible. Also the back tyre was flat again.
Jed tried to intimidate the loggers by barking; the strategy had limited success because they thought he was a giant poodle. He should stick to farting. In a bid to win him over, one of the loggers threw Jed a biscuit.
Watching my dog pounce on the biscuit, I realized I was starving. Ravenous enough to claw that biscuit out of my dog’s jaws and wolf it down myself, except that Jed swallowed too fast.
“Can I have one too?” I asked with barely contained drool.
The Irish amongst you will appreciate how hungry I must have been. In Ireland, asking for a biscuit is a cultural taboo on the same level as pointing at strangers, or necrophilia.
Obviously taken aback, the logger said, “Aw yeh.” He proffered the pack. “Take a handful.”
I momentarily considered snatching the entire packet and making a run for it except that I could barely walk, never mind RUN. Also, there were three of them, and just me and a giant poodle.
In the end, I thought taking any more than two would be rude.