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.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Work. And a New Route There.

I’ve given up waiting for my job offer to come through from Brooks England or Mercian cycles. I’ve dropped a few hints here and there. I’ve casually mentioned that I have a British passport and am flexible on working hours as long as there’s a proper balance of free time for cycling versus hours behind the counter. The letter box is still empty. It must be the tough economic climate in the UK. God knows I’d be making sacrifices. There would be no way I could take Bob or Woo with me. Bob’s already cost $4000 at the vet so extra quarantine fees would be out of the question. Woo couldn’t handle the English winter and Adi wouldn’t go without Bob. So it would have to be just the Mercian and I.

It’s just as well then that Mike from Avanti Plus in Nelson got in touch just as I was wondering where I was going to get the money from for my next set of tyres. Or more correctly Adi’s next set of tyres. As she gets the new ones and I get to carry on using her old ones until I can see the canvas. There’s something satisfying in riding them right down to the fabric even if you do have to fix a puncture a day. (Adi doesn’t however see it this way. She’s so extravagant.) It was good of Mike to offer me my old job back as its winter and the bike shop can happily run without me. Things got a little complicated for a week or so as I had worked the odd day or so at Village cycles in Richmond the town closest to home. I’d gone in there to see the guys and Jim had said that I could stand behind the counter and sell stuff to his customers now and again if I liked. So I did this. I got to know the guys, found a hook that my bike looked good hanging from , and then Mike rang . I felt like a bike shop whore. I’m lucky enough to get on with most of the bike shop guys in the region so it came down to the fact that I had recently bought a swag of Avanti clothing on special which would have been outlawed at Village Cycles. And there was the small issue of 7 weeks cycling in Southeast Asia that I will be doing in August that Mike knows about and I hadn’t quite got around to discussing with Jim yet.
Can We Help You Sir?

So here I am again, an extremely part-time bike shop guy. All money earned will go towards cycling adventures, starting as I’ve said with Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

I’m extremely excited at the moment about my bike ride home along the new cycleway. For once it seems that the ridiculous amount of rates that I pay is actually going to benefit me! The contractors are building the cycleway bridges across the river that separates my place from town. I will have two different ways home each along it’s own cycleway complete with swing bridges. Adi tells me to keep calm about this but I can’t. Unlike the cycle ferry idea further alone the cycleway west which I poo pooed a year ago, these bridges look the part. I’m going to cycle the 25kms into town along the coastal track and then come home via the old railway route.

As you can see from the photo the main supports are in and painted a lovely Mercian blue. They may as well be building these bridges for me as I think I’ll get the most use out of them. I can’t wait to ride over them in a spring flood! I am a little concerned at the right angle approach to the bridge. I imagine they are putting corners into the approach to test and improve my technical skills, but I want to hit the approach at full speed and I’m sure my roadie friends would agree.
What, For Me!

I’m conscious of the fact that I haven’t written much on my blog of late but this will change as I re adjust to home life and urban cycling again. I will have 12 weeks of winter city cycling and then if all goes to plan Adi and I will be away cycling Southeast Asia for 7 weeks.  We plan to do this in August and September. I don’t want to leave it any longer because the bike shop will need me in spring and also my Vietnam visa will expire.
Got to go know, I'm posting this at the public library and the librarian is hunting me down for the $2 I owe them. Last week when I took a book out they advised me that this fine was now overdue for a considerable period and it was luck that they weren't charging interest. I told them to do their worst. And think that they have spotted me lurking behind the travel section. I find I can rarely make a fast getaway as the computer before logging off has to download  20 or so useless updates from Microsoft.


  1. Ha, don't hold your breath about the bridge Niel, I have a feeling that the approaches will stay like that. They spend a hundred grand or so on these cycle facilities and you can't actually ride a bike over it!! Dumb. I think I'll trade the bike(s) in on a car.

  2. Ian. Don't use that three letter word around me!!

    Car! Car! No I'll just have to hone my cycling skills and become an urban trials rider. Actually I went down to the new suspension bridge yesterday and she's looking pretty good.They haven't got the decking down yet, just a few planks so I wasn't keen to try it. But I am excited about the new trip home.

    Pay road tax and any other odd fee they want to include with petrol. No way! I'd have no option but to shift to that Channel Island where there are no cars and injure an English summer.

  3. Hey Niel,

    Read that you are doing South East Asia. If you have your dates about Singapore specifically, I would be interested in buying you a beer or coffee. Lets chat.

    Is there anyway I can pass you my email address over a more private channel? Let me know.

    Best Wishes

    1. Hi Joel,

      I'll be cycling to Singapore via Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. Adi and I arrive in Hanoi on the 18 August and we should be in Sinapore on the 22 October all going well.
      You can always contact me at;