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, 25 January 2013

2013 & My Birthday.

Adi suggested that as my birthday was coming up and since she had lost my beloved Optimus  camping stove, that I should get a new one as a present from her. I have to say that two thoughts immediately fizzed through my brain at this suggestion. The first was one of excitement at being given the permission to go hunting for cycle camping gizmos (what a dear). The second was a nagging thought that somehow this didn’t add up, the thought that there was something a little bit whiffy about the idea. Maybe I was being short changed here. After all she had lost the stove in Vietnam when her bicycle and all her worldly goods had been nicked, ( my stove I had had for 25yrs. A stove I had been given as a present. This is a stove that had singed my eyebrows on more than one occasion). Surely she should have to replace my stove with her insurance money and then buy me another present. I was being carefully done out of a legitimate birthday present!
My Latest Trademe Purchase. (Just an aside)

It’s that same feeling you used to get when your older brother or sister told you to do things you didn’t want to do, for your own good. Off they go blabbing to your mum or Dad about things, for your own good. Now you realise that they often had a secret agenda but at the time you didn’t know how to put it into words. It just smelt bad and it ended up getting you into trouble or costing you your privileges. Later on I got pretty good at spotting this sort of thing. I had to learn how to out manipulate the manipulators or I would never get a new matchbox toy again or be allowed to go on over-night bike rides with my friends.
Overnight Camping with Friends on my Birthday.

Anyway once again I digress. I got around the stove thing by deciding in my own head that the antique kerosene camping stove that my Dad gave me many years ago, along with a kerosene paint stripper, would work for all my camping needs. After all dad had been using it since 1938 and still had a good head of hair so it must be reasonably safe. In addition to that I had as a teenager witnessed the operation of the kerosene burner when Dad torched my motorbike spark plugs free of all oil residues (I was told to stand back as the thing flamed into life belching sooty smoke, hissing and spitting. Blue fierce flames slowly replacing the random and uncontrollable yellow flares)

Dads no longer around to run me through a reviser on how to start the camping stove so I will assume that the principle is much the same as the kerosene torch  taking the added precaution of asking Adi to do it while I do what Dad told me to do. Stand back.
Help Dad! "She's going to blow and take out the corn field".
"It's Ok, Stand Down. She's Happy Now"

So that brought me back to the gift problem. Adi once again proved her worth by coming up with two other great suggestions. The first option was a bicycle bell. And the second was a world globe.

I know what you are thinking. Go the globe. Heaps better than just a bike bell. But this would not be just any bell. I’ve had your ubiquitous ‘I love My Bike Bells’. In fact I’ve had dozens of them. I’ve had so many I can tell you they’re average life expectancy before;

1.       Fading to a point where you can’t read the trendy ‘I love My Bike’ sticker.

2.       The striker constantly clanging uncontrollably on the shell when riding on rough roads (most places in NZ)

3.       Plastic internal lever ratchet shredding themselves.

No my bike bell would come from the Glasgow Bicycle Bell Company. This bell would be quality. Made from the best British steel and hand brazed by artisans.

In the end I got the World Globe. The decision was inevitable. After checking the globe site and viewing so many variations that my vision was becoming blurred I discovered that Nova Rico Globes are made in Italy. Game, set and match. I am a sucker for all things Italian.

My globe was available through the NZ importer and when it arrived had nobly bits on it so I can visualise the big hills I have made Adi cycle up, and a few bigger ones that I have suffered on my own. I have to say now that I have my globe that, I’m a bit disappointed with some countries that I have cycled across. For instance the USA is pretty small when you look at it on the globe. Australia and South America on the other hand I’m happy to report are impressive. We won’t even mention Europe, it’s just tiny. And  all the time I’ve wasted cycling around there! I’ve definitely lost brownie points cycling in Europe and the US.

The Nova Rico Iluminator. (Made in Florence!)

So I’m going to put that right this year by cycling across Canada from Vancouver to the big wet on the other side.

Adi is doing her best to encourage me. She’s a dynamo when it comes to planning and budgeting for overseas cycle adventures.. Not only has she got me this globe but she insists on accompanying me across Canada to be sure that I make it to the other side well nourished. She has even suggested that following this she will get on the cosy plane seat home, but that I should cycle back!

Hmm it doesn’t look that far.

And India doesn’t look all  that big.