Sunday, 9 December 2007

A novel idea

Dominic is riding the lenght of the Americas, but he's doing it on Tandem. By himself. Usually, a bike designed for two, Dom hopes to find people he meets to join him on parts of his trip! An excellent idea!

Monday, 26 November 2007

About time


Of course, I'm skeptical. But with these three promises made AFTER his election win, things are looking up for Oz.

1. Pledged to sign the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible.

2. Withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq.

3. Immediate change of I.R laws. (No more ridiculous 'Workchoices" scheme)

Monday, 5 November 2007

My New Bike

Since I am working at Thorn Cycles at the moment, I naturally got myself a new tourer. This thing is an Expedition-quality Rohloff and S+S equipped superbike! Will be good for my eventual return journey! Here's some pics of my bike in Thorn's white room. Sorry about the blurriness in some of the pics, I didn't know how to use their fancy camera properly...

Enjoy!






Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Cycling in Europe - Wrap up.



I suppose the first stage of my hopefully global cycle tour has reached a conclusion. In retrospect, It has been a fantastic journey through some simply amazing places, and most of my most vivid memories are ones that no guidebook guides you to. The tiny villages, amazing people, the freedom of having no permanent home and a truly open road only available when travelling by bicycle will be with me in my mind forever.

I can only imagine how hard it will get in the future stages as I sacrifice even more luxuries: running water! electricty! English language! but the the hardest part of the trip up until now have not been western luxuries or physical difficulty, but the mental aspect. The highs and lows of life on the road, even for a few months in such an easily accessible continent such as Europe a very strongly felt. Lots of lonliness, but also plenty of times where nothing could dampen my spirits. By far the good outweighed the bad. The summits of the hills and mountains were usually the summits of my mood and crawling into a wet sleeping bag in a leaking tent by myself for two weeks I have generally assumed as the low point.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to connect with locals when travelling, they are 3/4 of the experience itself! With some very minor exclusions, everyone I have met so far have been amazingly generous people, inviting a stranger, not to mention a hairy, grimy foriegner stranger riding a bicycle into their homes, feeding me, and giving me somewhere to stay and sending me on my way with a smile on their faces.

Now, with anticipation, I will wait until I have saved up enough money to continue, and do it all over again.

Friday, 19 October 2007

This Pikey Life

I've completed my first fortnight at Thorn, and it has been a harsh reality check sliding back into the world of the working. It's a good job, and I am being trained at what I want to do, 'Bike salesman', but work is still work!

I have been living a very gypsy life, out of a caravan, eating pot-noodles and cheese and ketchup sandwiches (See attached pic). I like my tent more. It's warmer and the rent is on par. I have spruced up the bike (Trek 520) with numerous bits and pieces, including fancy new handlebars. Time's up,

Back to work for me.



What's wrong with this Caravan? Nothing. It's tip-top.



Bristol Panorama



On the way to Bridgwater from Bristol



Park in Bristol



New Look Malik

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Crazy News

Two really cool things have happened to me recently, one is I managed to land a job at the greatest touring bike store in the world, Thorn Cycles Ltd, in Bridgwater. Really cool.




Secondly, Alastair Humphreys has kindly donated the bicycle HE used to cycle around the world to me. I was looking for the exact same model as the one he used, and half-jokingly sent him a message asking if he'd sell it. He went one better and offered it to me! Maybe this bike will see two round-the-world trips?

Saturday, 6 October 2007

London to Bath

I am going to be updating this site less frequently, but I won't abandon it completely. It takes up a lot of free time off the bike to be constantly updating this internet bizzo.

I left London after failing to find a job, so I kept riding west, this time with Gonz, a cyclist from Mexico. The English countryside has surpassed my expectations, from what I was hearing frok fellow travellers and locals it was a place of doom and gloom. Not so at all.



A beer before leaving



Cycling out of London (it went on forever)




View from our first camp (next to a highway!)



Second night's camp on a farm (with permission)



English Manor



(A) White Horse carved into the hillside



Cycling onto Bath

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The London Freewheel Event

Whilst loitering in London, I noticed a sign for the London Freewheel, whatever that was. Upon further investigation, it turned out that it was a 30 000+ strong mass cycle ride through central London. I quickly signed up to be a mashal for the event, even though I knew/know nothing about London's street system.

It was a marvellous day, lots of bikes, (Malik was still the most impressive). Gonzalos, the dude I'm cycling with also signed up for 'Marshal' status. Hey, it got us a free lunch and an feeling of superiority, like a mall cop with a power trip, except we had no power.

Here's some pics

"Leaders"


Experienced cyclists (yellow vest) leading rookies (red vest) to main venue


Experienced Cyclist

Wind in my hair



Enbankment



Dr. Gonzo (can I call you that?) in photo mode



Continuing the loop

The BBC next to 'an experienced cyclist'

Monday, 17 September 2007

No-more-tramp

I had a haircut, and Steve (cycle partner in Germany), whom I am staying with, gave me a new shirt. London is cool, very expensive place though. Except for accomodation, because it's free for me, ha ha backpackers.

I'm getting a new bike, but Malik isn't going into retirement yet. I still need to find a job, and
even then I'll won't sell it. It will be shipped back home. It has sentimental value you see.


Saturday, 15 September 2007

Last step in Europe

Here I am on my final day cycling in mainland Europe. It was a fantastic 70 or 80km or so ride from Ijmuiden through sand dunes and beachfronts, finishing in Hoek Von Holland where I caught the ferry to Norwich, England.



Scenery 1



Self Explanatory




Lighthouse





Typical Dunescape



The North Sea





Cockpit View



Scenery 2

Amsterdam

Im a bit slow at updating this, but here is some shots of Amsterdam. I visited the sights for two days, whilst stying about 20km out of town at the home of two cyclists I met in Italy. Tess and Nicole were the perfect hosts, they put up with my general grubbiness and slack cleanliness discipline and hosted me for three nights. Thanks guys!

The city itself is wonderful for bikes, as you have all heard, but it is also quite picturesque, especially one you get onto the outer canal rings where there are very few tourists.



Lion Statue in one of the many plazas



Fluter




Yours Truly

Canal

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Easy rider



At a campsite in Houffalize (17km north of Bastogne), I met a two bikers - Bas and Will, riding a pair of awesome trikes. Upon heeding my fascination with these machines, and after hearing me whinge about the hard, boring scenery, they offered me and the bike a lift to Arnhem. How could I resist? It saves me money, sanity, and gives me the chance to spend a few more days in Amsrterdam. Their generosity was amazing, they even shouted me lunch!


video



Another change of plans

Well, after cycling a bit of the Rhine and declaring it a tad boring, I decided to detour through Luxembourg and Belgium. Luxembourg city is an underrated place, sterling views and a nice layout. The ride north proved harder than I anticipated. I expected rolling flatlands but instead I got soul-destroying neverending 7% grade hills. By the time I got to Bastogne in Belgium I was wiped.

Luxembourg City













Typical cyclepath scenery