Across Continents

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Spokes on a wheel

I’d not meant to startle her. Just asked if her surname was Wilson. It was. How did I know, she’d asked, hastily looking to see if it was on a luggage tag. It wasn’t. Mine was an informed guess. Chance meeting with Ann in the locker room of the hostel in Santa Monica, striking up a conversation before joining her for breakfast. First of the day.

Ann was a fellow long-haul cyclist, had quite a few years on the road under her belt. But it was her tales of Bulgaria that’d aroused my curiosity. Had her bicycle stolen in Sofia. A story I’d heard before, I was sure. Recounted to me by Myles, a fellow Englishman. We’d ridden together from the city towards Turkey.

The previous evening I’d bumped into Aerind – pronounced Avon – with whom I’d camped at Kirk Creek. He’d arrived at the hostel a little ahead of me, his bob-trailer the source of much cursing as I’d struggled to stow my trusty steed in the small cycle store room.

Ann was heading off by bus for a few days, and I’d another breakfast to go to. Off to nearby Santa Monica pier to meet up once more with Esther, my host in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, eighteen months or so earlier. Now living in LA.

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