Hood River, Oregon

One of the reasons I wanted to move to the Gorge was the outdoorsiness of the people here. Being a lazy oaf, I need either to set myself wild challenges (and then tell everyone I’m going to do them before I have a chance to change my mind) or to surround myself with people who will goad me into action.

It’s working.

Since I moved here just over 3 weeks ago, I have attempted four new sports activities – mountain-biking, kayaking, windsurfing and now go-karting.

I have to say – go-karting was the most fun for the least effort. That’s my lazy side speaking again. We went to the Sykart Indoor Racing Center in Portland and did two 10-minute circuit sessions. I seem to lack the kamikaze gene that had some of the guys tearing around the corners, but it was curiously addictive to see my split times for each lap gradually coming down.

I’m not sure it really counts as cross-training for my Pacific bid. My heart was certainly racing but it was adrenaline rather than a cardiovascular workout. But hey, it was fun, and I think expeditioners need to have their fair share of fun in the off-season. On the Atlantic I needed my happy memories so I could mind-travel out of the immediate, not-too-enjoyable, present.

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