A small Japanese car, two bikes on back, two frames on roof, L plates, 1000 km, all green lights. People’s heads snapping around as we pass. (“Was that really a steel Peugeot frame with 531 professional tubing?”)
Arriving in Sydney the “preparation” continues. I can see it going either way: Gilligan’s Island or The Hobbit. We go with the later.
This consists of watching all three Lord of the Rings Movies (4 hr Director’s cut versions) and then the premier of The Hobbit over 4 consecutive days. Mental preparation? Tick.
We set our course from The Shire (Sutherland) to the Lonely Mountain (Parliament House) in which resides a dragon.
Our company of 12 riders reflects the Company of Twelve Dwarves on the quest.
There is Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori and Thorin Oakenshield (son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King Under the Mountain). Far be it for me to assign Dwarf names, but luckily there is a “Hobbit name generator” here, and I have taken the liberty:
|B||Malcolm||Milo Bracegirdle of Nobottle|
|D||Jasper||Porto Bracegirdle of Hardbottle|
|U||Andy||Podo Brockhouse of Loamsdown|
|J||James||Fosco Bracegirdle of Nobottle|
|P||Mark||Milo Bracegirdle of Nobottle|
|A||Miranda||Primula Bracegirdle of Hardbottle|
|R||Anna||Daisy Bracegirdle of Nobottle|
|O||Steve||Podo Danderfluff of Willowbottom|
|V||Wendy||Iris Bracegirdle of Nobottle|
|!||Vinnie||Mongo Bracegirdle of Hardbottle|
|!||Natalie||Dimple Brambleburr of Bindbale Wood|
1) Rileys are somewhat related to Frees, but far more sober;
2) Barnetts and Balcombs are related in Hobbit-world; and
3) that Malcolm and Mark share a name and hence-forth Malcolm will be known by his Elvish name: Amrod Sindanárië.
Tomorrow we ride…