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 April 2015

More Borer!

I feel that I am back on track again concentrating on what I enjoy most. And that would be long distance cycling In new environs. I spent last week chatting to my travel agent Di about changing my flights this year from Paris to Helsinki. I have definitely decided to not ride the Paris-Brest- Paris In favour of my cycle tour of Scandinavia. If I fly Into Helsinki In southern Finland and head north I may just get to North Cape , Norway without getting my arse frozen too much.

I'm still waiting for her to confirm my tickets , but It looks like It will happen. Not doing the PBP also means that the pressure Is off for trying to stay fit through the next 3 to 4 months of winter here In NZ. I'll continue to try to cover 200 to 300 kms on my bike a week but wont get too distressed If Its not achieved. The weekly riding will be more about keeping the winter flab at bay than trying to remain cycle fit. Once I get to Finland and start cycle touring north I'll get fit enough quickly.

I'm finding motivation for cycling this autumn easier with Adi training for the Across America event. She leaves In 6 weeks and If I can mirror her weekly averages until she goes that will keep me fit until winter. Then I'll just grovel through as best as I can until I go.
I took a couple of fine days last week to paint the north facing verandah. It was looking a bit untidy from frequent chicken poops and bicycle grease splatters. Its now looking clean and sparkly white. Future bird poo may be less visible but the grease from cycle cleaning may become more of a problem. I may have to repaint It a shade of brown. Anyway Its done for now and I can  move on to the borer Infested front of the villa.

Clearing vine from the front verandah has helped to show what I'm In for. Lets just say that I'm glad I bought a canoe trailer last summer because I think It will be hauling new weather boards during the winter to replace the bug Infested ones on the house. I'm not quite sure at this stage how to get some of those cover boards off.

O good , a distraction. My new retro cycle gloves have arrived.....

Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter 2015

It's Easter weekend and changes are In the wind. Obvious changes Include the loss of daylight savings time and the heat of summer. My enthusiasm for early starts and 250km day rides has gone with the loss of the extra daylight and trips to the beach with the canoe have also been postponed until next summer. My fitness Is good and I'm still happy to crank out 150km rides but my thoughts on competing In the Paris-Brest-Paris race next August have turned to thoughts of doubt. I still have to complete a 600km qualifier before the end of Autumn and although I feel I'm fit enough, I'm questioning whether I really want to do the Paris event enough to go through with the 600 and the winter training required to stay fit enough for the August start.

My thoughts on my upcoming tour of Scandinavia however have not faulted and my new Mercian bike frame has In the last month or so proved to be as comfortable and versatile as Its predecessor which Isn't surprising really considering that they were replicas of each other. I'm happy now also with the new colour and have asked the local Brooks Importers to get me another Brooks saddle from England. The saddle that I have ordered Is of a colour that I think will suit the pearl white of the frame better than my current brown and black saddles.
Alright, the real reason Is that a friend of mine broke his Brooks saddle so I sold him one of mine and then as I was reordering a replacement for that the I just happened to spy this other one... It'll take  month or two to arrive. How do I pay for this saddle fetish you may well ask?

No problem, I have that covered too. Just yesterday while out cycling In the southern ruralness of the Nelson area I spied a shiny somewhat foreign object In the grass verge at the side of the road. I thought at the time that It was probably another piece of chromed plastic commonly associated  with the junk that normally falls off autos as they speed by. But It had an odd shape that caught my eye and I thought It deserved a second look.....
This lovely shiny Jaguar bonnet mascot I first thought would look good next to the other trinkets on the bookshelf .

That was before I realised that If I combined It with the other old car mascot that I found many years ago, and Is still kicking about, that I could raise enough for my piece of leather saddle bling. And how satisfying flogging of auto parts for something really useful. I bet that weekend classic car buff was pissed off when he got home from his tear -up In the country to find that piece of his motor missing.
I realise that I cant go on like this , buying things and storing them in the bike shed, so I am having a clean out. From now on the emphasis will be on pottering on the house and throwing out all useless junk. In the next year anything considered to be of no Improvement to my life will go for sale second hand or to the tip. The house needs a big de clutter so that there Is room for travel and cycling stuff.
Junk of to the Second Hand Store.

The ultimate goal will be minimisation In all things except leather saddles.