I´m Tasmanian and that probably explains a lot. I also love to travel, particularly by bike ...
I´ve somehow survived cycling through England, Scotland, Ireland (though someone did steal my bike in Sligo which put an end to that), New Zealand, South Africa, South America and even Vietnam. OK, Vietnam was a cycling story without a bike and a clear demonstration of why, if you should ever be tempted, you shouldn't play touch football on an icy oval 30 minutes before the sun rises on a cold Tasmanian morning two days before heading off on an overseas holiday.
So this time's it's Europe. 9 days before we leave and nerves are running high worried about everything from long haul flights to language barriers. Ah the joy of the unknowns at the beginning of a new trip. My bike is sitting on a maintenance stand behind me ... minus its wheels. Other small problems include the rear brakes aren't working, the front brakes are squealing all the time, I can't fit the new front pannier rack I've bought, there's a funny squeak in the crank ... you get the idea and that's why I'm updating this profile rather than tackling the bike - it's too scary.
We've also not got much figured out other than we're flying into Athens and we've got a flight our of London three months later, and for me, that sounds like a good start to a joke, I mean a travelblog ... who knows how the punchline will go ...
May 8th 2010
For those of you who have been asking where I'm at, here's a rather belated post I wrote and never published ... I've just spent 2 days trying to cycle from Hurricane to Cedar City, a disance of only 40 something miles, and guess where I am? back in St George, right where I started. The first time I set off from Hurricane, I gave up after about an hour and a half, just 6 miles down the road at Toquerville, a small town with a church and a Fedex, but not much else. The headwind was so strong that I was getting blown over when standing still, and I was averaging 4 miles per hour going along the flats. I sat it out behind the church for a few hours to see if the wind ... read more
May 4th 2010
I knew that the first two weeks were going to be hard and hurt like hell ... I just forgot how much hell hurt. God I'm unfit, and I'm talking day one of Biggest Loser unfit. This is going to be a little bit of a struggle methinks, but then the scenery ... god this is a beautiful place, I mean just take a look a some of my happy snaps. Anyway, back to the beginning, after a bit of a restless and nervous night in St George determining my route out of town, I wobbled nervously out onto the road, turned right, rode up to the first intersection 30 metres away and promptly chickened out, straight back up onto the sidewalk and back to the hotel to confirm my chosen route. If the beginning bodes ... read more
May 3rd 2010
What’s happened to America? One of my favourite sayings for years are that Americans are the friendliest people on the planet, in thei rown country, but from what I’ve seen to date everyone seems to have lost their manners … plus they’ve all had iPhones surgically implanted at the end of one arm. OK, I exaggerate slightly, but at least 40% of the population seem to now have only one hand, with the other being replaced by and an iphone, with the remaining 60% having some other equivalent piece of technology merging into their body structure. I’m only brave enough to bring my poor little phone out when in the privacy of my own room, and then only if I have the privacy sign up and the curtains pulled shut. Anyway, it all started well, I ... read more
August 6th 2008
One of the fears at the back of your mind when you are camping is that of theft: Your bike being stolen at night, your gear being pulled out from under the tent flaps (our tent being so small that we couldn't acutally fit anything in it but ourselves), basically waking up in the morning finding yourself with nothing left but the sleeping bag and sleeping mat you went to bed in. We decided to cycle up from Dover to London, partly to pass a few days, partly because I wanted to see Canterbury, and partly because we wanted to pass the 4,500km mark on our trip, but basically because we had more time than money and it was somewhere to see. So we bought a cycling map when we arrived in Dover, had a large ... read more
August 1st 2008
Who would have thought that French keyboards would be so ridiculously hard to use? In reality they only have about six keys in the wrong place, compared to the QWERTY keyboard, but when the 'a' and 'q' and 'm' and 'n' and a few other keys in between switch places, suddenly emails start rwedimg lioe thqs, hence no blogs for quite a while. So here's the last few weeks in summary. I think we left in Carlisle in the rain heading south searching for some sunshine. We got to London around 11pm that night, but pretty much as we left the front door of Euston railway station, I dropped over a curb and my back tyre blew. We're not talking a puncture here, we're talking about the back tyre shredding (a long standing problem with ... read more
July 9th 2008
So now we're sitting in the Kendal Library waiting for the train tonight. Had a huge breakfast this moring at the YHA (it was included in the price), shopped a bit and basically lounged around (at costa's of course). Big news for the day is that Christie is feeling a little better from her head cold. Sorry, that's not the big news, the big news is that Christie spent more on getting a hair cut than it cost for our train tickets and that her hair is now shorter than mine. Yep, Christie's gone shoulder length. I love it, it looks sort of tom-boyish and rougish. If only I could get a photo of it (I will soon). Our train leaves tongiht 6pm, and we get into Euston, London around 11:05pm. As we couldn't find ... read more
July 8th 2008
After a bit of a discussion this morning, we've decided that we'd had enough and needed a break from cycling, and we needed some sunshine. As Christie described it, riding has just become a chore for her, and although a big bit of me wanted to cycle to to London, the idea of getting into the sunshine was pretty appealing. We therefore packed our bags (Christie battling with both a bad head cold and a bruised and sore leg) and cycled the 2 miles to the train station. The oddly quiet train station. After knocking on the door and finally finding someone inside we were told that the trains wouldn't be running ... for the next two weeks! With nothing else for it, we headed off the 50kms to Kendal, the next nearest train line. ... read more
July 7th 2008
If anything Christie was looking worse to me this morning, but my attempts to convince her to stay another day in bed came to naught. We were watching the morning show, and the weather came on. The summary of the weather for today was that it would be miserable , and that's not my words ... That's what the weather broadcaster said. Even this wouldn't disuade Christie from heading out, so we packed our bags, and set off out of town. We'd decided to head towards the Northern Peninnes (Cycle Route 71) and after following a bike path along a canal out of Carlisle, we then followed a beautiful series of backroads towards Penrith, and then on to Appleby-in-Westmorland and finally Kirkby-Stephen. I was in absolute heaven and really enjoying the route, but Christie struggled ... read more
July 6th 2008
The campground we were at described itself as having a private beach. The truth was it backed out onto a mudbank. I have to say, I really understand why the English go crazy for Australian beaches. Anyway, we headed off to Gretna in the morning with little fuss, other than that Christie's sniffles had developed into a gale. After our morning coffee, we did a wee bit of shopping and then headed across the border into England for Carlisle. Other than meeting a couple of loca cyclists on the way and having a chat, the days ride was fairly uneventful and unspectacular. We pulled into Carlisle and checked out train fares to London as we had both had enough of this weather and Christie really wasn't doing well with her cold. In the end, we ... read more
July 5th 2008
I discovered today that there are two Christie's. Christie B.C. (Before Coffee) is currently a morose, unenergised, tired and crabby person. Christie A.C. (After Coffee) is a chatty, happy, speed demon ... As much as I love the coffee we've been getting at Costa's (the mugs come with two handles, one either side because they're too big and heavy to lift with one hand) I think the caffeine is having an effect on Chrisite, and until we get our morning hit, things aren't the cheeriest. The other problem this morning (other than the return of the overcast skies and ever present headwinds and rain) was that Christie, barely slept all night (for the second night in a row) and woke with a headache and runny nose. Suffice to say that the undulations which yesterday were ... read more