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.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Fretting About Facebook

There’s three and a half weeks to go until Adi and I fly off to Hanoi with our bikes! It’s a good thing too that I’m going because I’d not be a happy chappy if I wasn’t.
Winter training under challenging conditions.

I think if I wasn’t off on another bike adventure I’d instead be wandering around the house in a depressed state looking for that next piece of chocolate or black jelly bean that would lift my mood temporarily. I place most of the blame for these feelings on Facebook. I generally feel pretty good about myself and semi motivated until I log into Facebook and catch up with what everyone else is doing. I can’t boast hundreds of friends yet but those friends I do have on-line are invariably cyclists and to be more specific, cycle tourers or cycle adventurers. This has come about by friending anyone with any reference to cycle travel whether it be to work regularly or the other side of the world. I have never been such a sad case as to go looking for people. I simply accept or deny the suggested friendship of people that contact me. If they have a picture of a touring bike on their profile they’re a friend of mine. So when I log in I am bombarded with stories and pictures of people cycling in faraway places or having fun times on their bicycles.

Shit that can make you depressed. Especially if you have nothing currently planned on your cycling social calendar. I’ve now learnt to write and post my own blog before I hit the Facebook site. Otherwise by the time I’ve read about everyone else’s trips, whether it be across Russia, or climbs in the Dolomites followed by an espresso’s with friends, I simply don’t feel like relaying my own days adventures any more.
Facebook Browsing May be Depressing. Solo Cycle Touring was Sheer Loneliness. 

Compounding the problem is the fact that whereas once I had a modicum of normal people as friends I have over the last year unfriended a number of them for posting either too many pictures of their babies, making positive comments relating to automobiles, or making religious statements that I don’t understand. I’d like to say at this point that I realise now that I was wrong and that I need some balance among my Facebook friends. So of the religious nutters that I have left you can feel safe as I see now that you are at least passionate about something. (Misguided as it may be).

Following on from my last post when I thought my bike was too cluttered I have removed my now outdated light set and have replaced it with the latest offering from Cateye in normal self-contained H/Bar lights. At the moment most of my night riding is on road and all I need is a good LED light. It’s also portable enough to use all year around as well as cycle touring. I got wind that the latest Cateye HL530’s were 30% brighter than the one I currently had in the shed so I gave that one to Adi and bought the new one for myself. After staring at Adi’s and my new one constantly trying to decide if the stats were correct I can now tell you that they both cause temporary blindness. But I think my sight came back marginally quicker after staring at Adi’s for a minute or two. If I am ever doing an all-nighter I can mount Adi’s and my own light side by side on the H/Bars for extra lumens.

In a couple of days I’m off to the medical centre for my final rabies shoot.  I never got around to getting this in South America earlier in the year. Adi was talking to the doctor about my trip and he said that I was irresponsible not getting all my shoots and that I could be bitten by a monkey and die an agonising death. That’s patient confidentiality for you. The nurse actually told me after my second shot that I was 90% protected. But Adi says that she doesn’t want me foaming at the mouth in Malaysia after arguing with a bidon stealing baboon. I think personally that I’m more likely to be knocked off my bike, run over and killed by a multi-tasking mother while I ride to the airport, but there you go I’ll just have to fork out the money for the final vaccination.
Potential members of the new Tasman Cycle Touring Club will be carefully vetted. I'm not sure whether this one will make the grade.

On a totally different subject, I'm pondering on whether I should start up a cycle touring club in Nelson / Tasman area when I get back from Asia?
The 'Niel the Wheel Cycle Touring Club For Gentlemen'. Or maybe  'Tasman Cycle Touring Club' for short.
Initially because I would be the only member, we could go on 150km rides with at least one coffee stop along the way. Rides would always start at my place , end at my place and would never begin earlier than 10am.
Essential Kit

O' and once membership climbs to two I get to ride at the back in the slipstream.


  1. Hey count me in for the Cycle Touring Club. I'll tow you down the road anytime Niel. At least I know there will be a good strong rider behind me to take over when I get tired, usually after 20k or so depending on the pace!! That leaves you with only 130k to go.

  2. ps I'm going over THAT bridge though!!!!

  3. opps should read I'm NOT going over THAT bridge.

  4. Thanks Ian will put you down as potential new recruit and possible first 2okm man. Then you can rush on ahead and put the jug on if we are headed South through Wakefield.

    1. I'd be up for an annual ride in the 'Tasman Cycle Touring Club' :) Just breathing in this thick tropical air is making me fit