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, 19 April 2013

Time Between Trips.

Two days of rain in a row and I'm beginning to go out of my mind. Well maybe not quite but after spending the first day doing inside housework I am now getting a might bored. I have ascertained that I have enough coffee and chocolate to last another few days and luckily for me I have two cycling books that will keep me going. But I don’t want to read them too much in case I run out and the bad weather continues.

Adi has managed to get a week’s work so she is busy earning so that we can afford the two boxes of DT butted stainless spokes that I need to build our touring wheels up for Canada. Her toil will also cover the costs of such things as US visas and travel insurance. I mean that stuffs just boring. I'm looking forward to getting the spokes so that I can construct some retro wheels for her (to replace the ones that were nicked when her bike was stolen in Vietnam), and some ultra-retro ones for me. She'll be using a cassette freewheel arrangement but I'm opting for a screw on cluster type wheel system as I have some old Campag hubs and unused campag 36 hole rims I can use. The screw on cluster and chain for these wheels will be as cheap as chips to buy, and for the doubters out there I will cover myself by taking a spare freewheel body just in case.

I think after rummaging around in the bike shed I might have laid my hands on a 14-28 tooth (6speed)cluster that should get me over the Canadian Rockies (I don’t know for sure as I haven’t been there, but a 30 x 28t will have to do). Adi will get a 12-34 8sp cassette linked to a 22-32-46 chain wheel set.

 She's just spoilt.

Down Time.
The wet weather continues and in order to save my meager chocolate, coffee and reading materials I have decided to continue typing up my diary from the South American trip last year. (This should keep me occupied and reduce the number of daily coffee breaks).  I’ve been a bit slack at this. After every cycle tour we type the diary and then print it off with our photos. The whole lot goes into a photo album. The Vietnam trip has been done because Adi had input into it. She can also type with two hands at once making the process a whole lot quicker for her.

But I soldier on. The trouble is when one finger typing you tend to get RSI quicker. A break with coffee and chocolate. That’s the answer.

There's a break in the weather this morning and the sun is actually shinning. As the reluctant cyclist I have not quite managed to get out early enough to enjoy the sun. But I have managed to cycle  50kms of my proposed circuit on sealed roads dry. I find myself then as the weather once again turns wet with the option of carrying on into the hills and onto the forestry roads that will eventually lead me home or to turn around and ride back the way I have come. The road out was full of truckers, so I think my decision to ride into the hills along forestry roads in the rain quite an easy one to make. Things were going swimmingly when my gravel road was rudely interrupted by a sign saying "Road Closed, Cyclists Use Dun Mountain Cycle way". Now I have been trapped here before. What the sign fails to explain is that the Dun Mountain Cycle way is actually better described as the 'Dun Mountain, Mountain Bike Way'. Since I had between my legs a machine that definitely didn’t have 100mm of travel or 2 1/2" tyres I gave the sign the proverbial fingers and continued down the road.  I got at least 5km further on before the nice road construction man pointed me to a goat track on the right of the road. I was advised that that was my best bet now, if I wanted to see Nelson and my bed that night. I have to say I wasn’t especially impressed since in addition to not having the previously mentioned mtb attributes, my equipment also didn’t include gearing that you could climb lampposts with or shoes you could walk in.

I did have on board though a vintage primus and half a packet of biscuits. (Chocolate Chip even).

I may have finally got home after dark but I didn’t miss my afternoon tea.

Keep Left so the Sheep can Overtake?
I'm satisfied now that I  haven’t wasted the entire week around home. I can say that I’ve done a decent ride and finished the South American trips type up. This time last year I had just made it to the East Coast of Brazil, and if my memory serves me correctly I spent that evening riding to camp in the pitch dark as well.

 Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.



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