Getting down to business
I have never been so equally happy and sad to depart Australia before.
Previous times my overseas trip has either been short, or I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Last year I definitely had little idea what I was getting myself into. Mum and Dad were away, so I had my mate Edward Green drop me off at the airport to say goodbye. I didn’t have my accommodation for where I was going to be staying for the next 6 months, nor did I have a visa that would allow me to stay for my intended duration.
Nearly a year later, I have a valid Spanish visa, keys to an apartment, and I had my family and girlfriend come to say goodbye at the airport for my second season as a professional cyclist overseas.
This time, I am ready…
This year’s trip to Girona was my first long haul flight in business class, and man did I enjoy it! If you saw me in the few weeks preceding my flight, you’d have probably heard me mention I had a business class flight. This wasn’t me trying to brag, but merely a sign of my excitement. I am yet to gain gold status in my rat race to unlock lounge access when flying, so having these privileges due to a business class ticket was pretty cool. It also gave me access to extra luggage (40kg!) and I needed every last gram of it.
Instead of catching the train from the Barcelona airport to Girona, the team booked a taxi for me. This made a big difference when you have a few bags including a bike. It eliminates the need to negotiate limited storage on the train, alongside the foolhardy trip with multiple bags down narrow escalators. Have you tried to take a bike bag and full size luggage bag down escalators at the same time? It’s a difficult task, and often you’ll build up a sweat by the time you reach the platform.
Needless to say any more, after a business flight across the globe, and a taxi driving me over an hour to the door of my apartment, I am feeling rather good about the whole situation. There are a few items for the place that I still need to get sorted, including my new coffee machine which is on its way! I hope my roommates enjoy it. But which cyclists don’t drink coffee besides Mark O’Brien? Speaking of roommates, I am staying with two other cyclists from team Novo Nordisk, a Professional Continental outfit. We are sharing a four-bedroom place with three bathrooms. This means we have a bathroom each, and the fourth spare bedroom can be filled with bikes and turned into a pain cave.
I promised mum I would communicate better this year, and part of that communication promise will extend over to my social media platforms including this blog. I don’t think I did a good job of sharing the European lifestyle last year, so I am committing to doing a better job of that this year.