And so I cried.
I stood at the check in counter and cried. One final time in this epic journey, I let all the frustration come rolling down my cheeks. Despite doing all I could to ensure I would not have excess luggage charges; booking an extra piece of luggage, checking the airline takes bikes, advising the airline I was travelling with a bike, ensuring the bike box dimensions were within regulation... bureaucracy decided to strike one more blow. The check-in attendant was adamant. Our bikes are deemed t...February 13, 2019
The Mud Fiasco.
Perhaps the bamboo bar across the road, manned by the gentleman who told us not to go that way, who tried to indicate that the mud would be up to our knees, perhaps that should have been enough of a warning. Or the next man, who drew Chinese symbols in the dirt and shook his head disparagingly at us should have clued us to what lay ahead. Or the driver of the minivan who stared out at us incredulously and adamantly waived his hands at us not to proceed. But we are a stubborn pair. How bad could ...December 22, 2018
The March of Progress.
The hills rise steeply on either side, towering over me, layer upon layer in the distance, the remnants of last weeks snow still clinging to the northern faces. Despite their steep sides and apparent inaccessibility the hillsides are marked by ridges, terraces cut into their impossibly steep sides. As the day unfolds and we pedal gradually southward, the valley continues to close inwards until we find ourselves in the depths of a stunning gorge. At least I imagine it used to be st...December 1, 2018
Diabolical Little Ducks.
I quite like having my ducks in a row. A few years back I had life, in my view, quite neatly organized. I had a very good job, I travelled internationally for work, I had a clear career path, I was fit, healthy, driven & focused. I was on track. I'm not quite sure what I was on track to, but life had focus and purpose and I felt I was ticking boxes that were required of me. Although by whom, I am also not quite so clear. And then I made a decis...November 12, 2018
I should know this by now.
I awaken early, while the darkness of night still hovers, spying a lone star through the cracked and dirty window of the abandoned roadhouse we have opted to call home for the night. I sigh. Clearly, it is not yet dawn. My body is starting to develop a few aches, reminding me of the kilometers we are covering. I should be stretching. I know this. While SVB was with us she made me do yoga with her each evening. But I must admit my commitment to daily body maintenance appears to have boarded the p...November 5, 2018
I haven't eaten this many two-minute noodles since I was a teenager, when I used to catch the bus home from school with Clare Manners and we would scoff them before dance class. Normally I am a fairly conscientious eater. Not in the finickity or restrictive sense, just in that I try and tip the balance towards eating predominantly healthy nutritious food. But it would appear, for some stretches through this desert at least, that my diet has ...October 27, 2018
My Own Two Feet.
What is it about our culture that values the standing-on-your-own-two-feet so much? I have worked hard over the years to master the skills I need to navigate my way through life. To ensure I can tackle whatever comes my way and well, stand on my own two feet. With the exception of spider eradication and car maintenance, I like to think I am doing fairly well on this front. But does placing such value on personal sel...October 21, 2018
All part of it.
I have just set up my bed for the evening. On this particular occasion this happens to be on the dusty floor of a room attachedto the shop of a 24-hr highway road stop. The room appears to at some point have housed a restaurant. A number of old tables and chairs are dotted about. Remnants of a kitchen line the rear wall, replete with giant wok. SVB points out what I had at first glance taken to be a deep fryer c...October 16, 2018
And so it begins...
I am hunched over in an awkward crouch. If I stand I will smack my head on a concrete ceiling that is dotted with spider nests. This culvert underneath the local highway provides us with shelter for the night ahead but is somewhat more cramped than previous editions. An added challenge are the spiny thorns from something nearby which have embedded themselves in our bike tires, shoes, ground sheets and bottoms. We conduct an eradication, vainly crossing our fingers that no punctures will occur in...October 11, 2018
Gremlins and Bridges
Take an optimistic dreamer with a warped sense of adventure and a deep streak of stubborn determination, stir in a little social conscientiousness, combine it with opportunity, and suddenly it becomes borderline normal to think that riding a bicycle across one of the largest countries in the world for charity is a great idea. That is how this happened. Deciding to do the 2018 China Traverse was the easy part. The actual realities of undertaking this journey are, of course, a more challengi...August 22, 2018
Why I ride up hills... and across countries.
In 2016 I rode 25,000m vertical meters in an attempt to raise the cost of 100 bicycles for World Bicycle Relief. For every bike donated I rode one ascent of my local col, a Cat 3 climb known to the locals simply as Maungakawa. At 250m of climbing per ascent and with a goal of 100 bikes, I set out to climb the hill 100 times, a total ascent of 25,000m on my bicycle. And on Christmas Eve of that year the cost of the 100th bicycle was donated. I still can't quite believe it all happened. My y...April 8, 2018
100 Ascents for 100 Bicycles
It started as a personal thing. It started because I was battling the voice that told me there had to be more than this. I wanted to do something quietly, of my own volition, something just a little bit outside of myself to try and ease my conscience. So much of my life was about me. And I was getting a bit tired of that. When I stumbled across World Bicycle Relief in 2016 it seemed to click. I really like riding bikes. So I figured that maybe I could raise a few dollars for these guys. See...March 15, 2018
The Women Who Dare to Ride
Perhaps I've seen too many things. I read a lot. But I also forget sometimes. Like anyone, my conscienceness can narrow to the point I forget anything beyond that which is directly in front of me. And the life I lead, that which is directly in front of me, it is pretty cool. I work with people who ride bikes for a living and it is my job to help these elite athletes figure out how to ride their bikes faster than other people. I travel the world d...February 24, 2016 Posts 1-13 of 13 | Page