Narrative tenses - Pakistan to China by bike

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The idea of riding a bicycle from Pakistan to China (come) to me one day in the early summer of 2001. I (hike) with friends when someone (mention) the subject of cycling. At that moment I had a brainwave (1). Why not ride the Karakoram Highway (2), the famous mountain road that runs from Islamabad in Pakistan to Kashgar in China? I (do) this trip once before by bus but had found it disappointing as you spend most of the time sitting in the bus.

I had never made a long bike trip before but I (be) reasonably fit as I (go) running every day. In fact I (plan) to take part in a charity walk in Hong Kong later in the year and (train) for three months already. However, my annual leave was coming up and I wanted to do something energetic.

That very same evening I went onto the Internet and read everything I could about the journey and about long-distance cycle touring. Then I (decide) what kind of bike and equipment to buy and the route I would take. A week later I (make) most of my preparations.

I (finish) work in the evening on 31 August and immediately (fly) to London. There I (buy) the bike and made a three-day trip into the countryside to check the equipment and get the feel of riding a bike with a heavy load. A day later I was on the plane to Pakistan.

I (arrive) in the capital, Islamabad, in the early morning, unpacked my bike and attached the panniers (3). Then under the curious eyes of other passengers, I (climb) into the saddle and cycled out of the airport. What a feeling of freedom and excitement as I turned onto the open road! Over a thousand kilometers of unknown country lay before me and who knew what adventures!


(1) brainwave - a sudden very good idea
(2) Karakoram Highway on Wikipedia
(3) panniers - two bags that are attached to each side of a bicycle
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Notes

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