In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Friday, 9 December 2011

18000 kms and the Year is Not Out.

What a great week. It started with a couple days of torrential rain. This weather only emphasised the fact that I had made the correct decision about spending more time on the repair of our old house. Although the roof didn’t leak the gutters were clearly not coping and in need of a redesign. I’ll tackle this in the next few weeks as I repaint the roof. Water damage on the lower weather boards, commonly described as rot, due to these defective gutters will also need to be sorted before I head off cycling the world. But first things first. It’s so easy to get distracted at Potters-End because there’s just so much that needs doing. Too much time in the past working at the bike shop and cycling and not enough time looking after what really matters. Namely a roof over your head.

Not to be distracted I started work on the back room generally used as a study. When we bought the house 20years ago my friends advised that I pull the back room down and use the wood to warm the rest of the house for the winter so rotten it was.’ Ye of little faith’ I said. And with the help of the work car and the generous amount of time my employers gave me to do very little, I managed to bring supplies home and at least stabilise the structure. Twenty years later and I’m still working on it. But it is looking better and it gets a lot of sun. I’ve always said that I should be able to fix this house quicker than it can rot and now that I’m more focused I should make some progress.

Procuring building materials now that we don’t have an operating motor I knew would be a challenge. Three options immediately presented themselves. I could fix the combi, pay for delivery or bring home what I needed on the bike trailer. The fairies in the garage told me the combi engine recon had not progressed to a level that would enable me to get the VW started let alone out of the garage and I wouldn’t make Adi work for two hours to pay for delivery. So it was connect up the BOB trailer and see how much timber I could get on board. As you can see from the photo the staff at Bunnings were very obliging in holding my bike while I loaded up. I’m not sure that my frame guarantee from Mercian covers this sort of thing but after a 15km ride I was home. Mission accomplished.  I have worked out that 2metre lengths and 40kgs seems to be the BOB’s limitation when being used as a builder’s trailer.
Just Hold Her There. Back in a Minute.

Another very interesting, but not unexpected thing that happened last week while I was away training and confirmed by email this week was the falling over of the Global Bike Race. You might think that this would really rock me. And it would have  if I had not been half expecting it and had I not put a plan B into action a month or so back. The organiser of the Global Bike Race has been so poorly organising it that  it seems  most of the intended riders have left him and decided to try and put their own race together. Others have simply pulled out totally.

The rider organised race will be run on similar lines but I have to decide whether to participate in this event or go solo on my own around the world. Not riding around the world is simply not an option for me now as I have made a commitment to friends, family and myself that cannot be undone. Good on the English riders for trying to salvage something from the fiasco but at the moment I’m the only overseas rider and I have to seriously look at whether it’s worth spending the extra $3000 dollars to get to London for the start and the return afterwards and in addition any costs associated with the new event.  

My plan B is to cycle my route around the world as previously described (see 'Wheel Around the World' Route section) but to start and finish in Nelson NZ and to cycle it instead from West to East. This works better for climates. If I adopt this plan it will see me leave Nelson for Lima South America in mid Feb next year and then once I’m across Sth America I’ll continue on to Morocco and Europe etc.

I’ll make my decision in two weeks and then rush over to Diane my travel agent and arrange the ticket I’ll need.

I’ve almost clocked up 20000kms on the Mercian this year. It’ll probably be 19000km odd by Christmas. If I’d driven my ass around in the car over the last 52weeks I would have used 1900litres of petrol and at $2.15 a litre that’s an Around the World airline ticket. And people wonder why they can’t afford to eat. It’s because you’re feeding your car and in doing so helping the Government balance its books.

They’ll be coming for me; I’ve got to go..


  1. If the Government dont get you, why not suggest a 2 Hemisphere Race to the English riders? They start from London the same day you start from Nelson (it must be just about opposite, after all) and see who gets home first. They could post out your GPS, to make it all official, and we could all watch you mad buggers' progress from the comfort of our armchairs.

  2. Thank's for the suggestion K. I think those guys trying to organise a riders event have got their work cut out getting anything off the ground at this late stage and I am going to forge ahead with my solo mission.And this way I can drop in on you in France for a quick cuppa.