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, 20 May 2013

Dreaming of the Road.

It was a quiet Sunday at work today. The weather was changeable so there weren’t many weekend warriors or recreational types out. No punctures to fix or discussions on the merits of the new 27.5” tyre types.  The new 27.5”is of course only new to the newbies on the block and the Americans who named it. The French I think have been calling that particular size 650, for at least 50years now. At the end of the day though, we had sold a couple of bikes. It’s always nice to get bikes out there, and as the weekend man, to feel that I have earn’t my keep.

I also took the opportunity to mention to Jo (Operations Manager of Everything at the bike shop) that I had sort of double booked myself for Sunday 16 June. I was supposed to be working at the bike shop, and flying to Canada on that particular day. Luckily for me Jo’s not fazed by things like that and I was given the ok to down tools on that day and for the following ten weeks.

I came home with my two boxes of spokes. Tomorrow I will go down to the bike shed and start building up the touring wheels for our trip. I will endeavour to get the valve hole in the correct place in each wheel this time around. It’s not an important thing but satisfying none the less. I remember a few years ago prior to our across the US trip I decided that not only should I build Adi some purpose touring wheels but that I would build them out of free, odd length spokes from the bike shop where I was then working. I had to cut all the spokes to the correct length and then re-thread them using an old spoke threader they had in the workshop.

Well what a disaster. The threading machine was useless and although I half suspected this and had taken a multitude of spare spokes I spent ages in the Rockies replacing spokes that had stripped their nipples and poor Adi had to ride the whole tour on a wheels that were far from tightly strung. The wheels held together for the trip being loosely tensioned (and with frequent tweaking) but they wouldn’t win any medals for efficiency and on arrival back in go old NZ I rebuilt them with new spokes. I enjoyed riding across South America last year on them before they were nicked in Vietnam by some good for nothing bike rustler.

The across Canada route is really popular with cyclists so this is the first time on a tour that I can research others who are intending doing it this year. Low and behold, today I found a site where cyclists can register their intended trip!.........
Randonneurs in Canada

Check it out. Hopefully by the time you do I will be on it as well. It will be great to contact some of the others attempting the crossing. I’ve also found out through Googling that there is a Tour De Canada group starting only a couple of days behind us. And although I respect their love of cycling and commitment to cycle across Canada, and will of course greet them with much enthusiasm, they must realise that a ‘real’ cyclist carries all his own gear and does not need support in a car following.

Even as a school kid I didn’t need my parents following me around in the car.

I have decided after many years of cycling and after more recently Googling all the other forms of cycling that I definitely fit into the Randoneuring family of cyclists. I fit all of the necessary criteria;

1.       I like spending long hours in the saddle.

2.       I have no desire to ride around in circles in order to achieve my results.

3.       I don’t give a toss as to my time as long as I finish with my mates.

4.       I think people that ride in the rain without mudguards need educating.

5.       I don’t tend to mix with fair weather cyclists

6.       I think that a cyclist that falls behind should not be left behind unless his dithering will cost you your evening meal or shelter for the night.

7.       I think a bike that can’t carry a few essentials and is also too light to handle gravel, might be better melted down and turned into something useful like plastic cups. And by essentials I mean more than a CO2 canister and a cell phone.

8.       I need an excuse to visit faraway places.

Great Great Grandad Louis.
So to that end I will start to train seriously for the next Paris – Brest – Paris event when I return from Canada.  More importantly I will need to help Adi save for it by working tirelessly at the bike shop and refrain from buying too much bike stuff.

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