Wednesday, 29 December 2010


The idea of cycling around the world had always been at the back of my mind, but I think I knew that I would never really do it, at least not in one continuous trip.  So while the idea is still there somewhere, it has been broken down into many smaller ideas, each one a trip on its own, with nothing to do with the others yet at the same time all of them are linked.  Australia and New Zealand were the longest trip yet, both in time and distance, and will probably be the longest trip I ever do.  By June 2003, everything was organised.  Flights, passport, visa, bike, etc., and the only thing left to do was quit my job and go.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Early days

I've had a bicycle for as long as I can remember.  At first it was an old tricycle, I think it had solid rubber tyres and a fixed gear, and I can vaguely remember riding it around the garden at home.  At some point, Dad bought me my first proper two-wheeled bike, but I can't remember much about it.  I think it was blue.  Later I got a 10-speed with drop handlebars, and sometimes Dad and I would go for a ride on a sunday afternoon in the summer.  Gradually, I caught the cycling bug, and when I saw the 1989 Tour de France on TV that was it.  I was 14, and the money I'd been saving for a computer was spent on a decent bicycle instead.  I started riding with the local club, getting dropped on every hill, every week, but kept coming back for more because I just liked it so much.  A couple of years later, I upgraded to a better bike, and tried a bit of racing.  It didn't take me long to realise that I wasn't much good at it, so I just concentrated on riding for the sake of riding.  I don't know when I first thought about actually travelling somewhere by bike and not coming home the same day, but I think it was quite early on.  There have been many trips since then, and maybe I'll get around to writing about them too at some point.

4790 miles?

4790 miles? What importance does that distance have?  I imagine that for many people, none at all.  Following a straight line, it's the distance between Spain and the centre of Mongolia, Alaska, or South Africa.  Or from New York to Rio de Janeiro.  It's also the distance from the north pole almost to Mexico City or somewhere in the centre of India.  All of these distances are more or less irrelevant.

So what does this distance mean to me?  Its the distance I travelled by bicycle around Australia and New Zealand in 2003.  At last I've created this blog to share my trip with others.