Good Wednesday afternoon Blind Wisdom seekers!

Last year when I was speaking in Ranfurly at an event, there was a lady in the audience who came up to me afterwards and asked if I would like to be their celebrity guest as part of the Rural Women’s Triple F Challenge 2015! Of course there were only two words I could say in reply; why not!

The Triple F challenge, f for fun, f for fitness and f for fellowship, involves a cycle journey of the Otago rail trail once a year, raising money for charity along the way! This year’s recipient charity is the Blind Foundation and at the weekend, Ron and I began t for training!

It’s important to note that despite being blind now, I lived on a bike up until the age of 22. So, it’s a bit like Cooking blind, I only had to learn the blind part of cooking and not the cooking itself. Likewise, with the bike, I only had to learn the blind part of cycling!

Fortunately for me, cycling nowadays, involves a tandem bike, which means there’s another person on the front! And even though Ron’s had a hip replacement, he’s a pretty competent athlete so I was confident everything would be fine!

Until….. we began to practise on Sunday!

Let me explain with my list for the week:

1 the smell of the country air as we mounted our bike in Middlemarch.

2 the feel of the bike seat as I stepped over the bike to perch myself up on the seat.

3 the sound of Ron shouting at me for not having the pedals in the right place! Crikey! Said he couldn’t get enough “purchase” whatever the heck that meant! Ha!

4 the sound of Ron saying “3,2,1, go” as we took off!

5 the feel of the gears changing without notice and me getting a fright! “Argh” I scremed!

6 the sound of the trail underneath our wheels as we moved from the road to the track!

7 the feel of riding over a bridge, bumpity, bumpity bump!

8 the sound of other rail trailers doing the track!

9 The feel of getting good at getting on and off our bike!

10 the sound of the gorgeous Claire from Trail journeys when we arrived back safely with their tandem! “Does this bike take 91 unleaded?” I teased Claire!

So, we’ve started our training! Who knows if that will be the extent of it. We commence the trail on Friday April 17, beginning from the adorable central Otago township of Clyde!

Lot’s of stuff to happen before then but the training has begun!

I hope the training of your senses has been bringing you much joy too.

I may not see but I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism!