Saturday 15 May 2010

The best laid plans

Three weeks until I set out to cycle round the world (as you do). I'm engrossed in the hundreds of things I have to plan and think about, not just for a long cycle tour but also for leaving behind my normal life for a year or two. I think I should have started planning this several years and not several months ago! But at the end of the day, I just have to do what I do at the start of every day - get on my bike and ride.

It's a strange thing, I guess, to want to leave everything behind to do this but I think it has been growing in me all my life. I always had a bicycle as a child, drifted away from it in my teens, then got a bicycle for my 21st birthday and it's been my passion ever since - my mum says I take it from my grandfather who would disappear for hours and days on his bike. My dad is also a bit of cyclist. And in my heart was always the dream of one day packing up the bike and cycling the world. Of course I'll be riding an expensive, high spec bike, similar to the one pictured, but sadly I grew out of that outfit a couple of years ago.

A few years back I picked up a book called 'Travels with Rosinante: 5 Years Cycling Round the World' by Bernard Magnouloux - it really captured my imagination. It's an average read but the front cover says so much. Sitting on his bike, he gazes to a distant horizon; he's dirty and dishevelled; his clothes are worn; the bike is battered. But he portrays a really strong sense of freedom, of being at ease with life and not caring for the useless material baggage that we think makes us happy. Everything he needs is on his bike. And that's what I'm looking for. That's why I'm doing this.

So please dip into the blog regularly and keep track of where I am, what I'm up to and how many punctures I've had. I'm also aiming to post photos to my Flickr site as I go along (there's a wee link below).

My Flickr Site

So soon I'll be off, following in Bernard's tire tracks - though I've had to promise my parents that I'll wash more often than him!