Any Last Minute Doubts?

My flight landed at Calgary and we all waited on board for an hour before the last leg to Vancouver. Flying over the Rockies was stunning. They’ve had a recent late snow shower and were looking pretty awesome and wintry to be honest. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little frisson of fear as well as excitement about seeing these mighty mountains  next week close up from my bike.


As we arrived above the coast the sun was shining brilliantly and I realised that I was starting to finally feel sleepy, helped by the unfamiliar calm of an empty aircraft. 


Unfortunately there was little time to enjoy this drowsiness before we bumped down onto the tarmac at Vancouver airport.


There followed a long and rather tense wait for ANY of my luggage, bike included.You know that feeling: every passenger that you recognise from your flight seems to have waltzed up and claimed their case, dog cages, baby buggies, golf clubs, and there you are, pacing up and down checking and rechecking the normal carousel and the oversized items one too. Having spent so many years as a musician touring the world, I normally consider myself a pretty laid back flyer, but having so much at stake over this trip I realised that all that experience wasn’t helping at all. I just wanted my bike and panniers NOT to still be in Calgary. After several walkie-talkie messages, the problem was finally identified, and my stuff suddenly emerged. Outside I found Stewart waiting to meet me, and we hit the road back to their beautiful home in sunny Tswassen, close to the US border south of Vancouver.

The bike was dumped in Stewart’s painting studio and I was reunited with my old friend, and fellow member of Guildhall Strings for 20-odd years, Gill Kent. We had a lovely evening together of fabulous food, lovely wine, great conversation and reminiscing, and even managed to fit in a brief uke/bass jam, the double bass being one of many strings to Stewart’s bow. Although in fact he plucked it. 

Then I retired to my beautifully appointed annex accommodation  where I collapsed. Almost literally. I found myself thinking “don’t get used to this. Do not get used to this!”

9 thoughts on “Any Last Minute Doubts?

  1. Hey Ben, it was a pleasure sharing that half-empty plane with you. I’m glad your bike turned up in the end! Have a fabulous ride! I’ll look out for a blue bike on the roads 😉

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  2. Really glad to hear you’ve arrived safely and complete! Give our love to Gill and Stewart and get those limbs working again. Dad xxx

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  3. Whew what a relief to be back with your bike.Looking forward to seeing Susie and Jacob in Chipperfield today where we will be thinking and talking of you and spreading the word about your adventure.Lots of love Xx

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  4. Hey Ben, it’s so good to see that you and the bike made it there ok and that you’re already making friends along the way! Have a great adventure. Love H x x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All the best to you, Ben! Will be following your adventures with great pride and curiosity, and can’t wait to see you in Toronto in July! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

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