The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


The pre - overseas trip craziness has started. It happens every time, but it seems to have started early.

We've been installing a gas fired heater, a job I budgeted for as we were trying to save for our trip. The installation of our heater went from a couple of hundred to over a thousand dollars. The cost of the heater was double what I'd budgeted for, and it took a whole month to install. Needless to say I wasn't overly impressed. But it's finally done and I have a large bill to find money to pay.

The America / Canadian travel insurance is 3 times the price of SE Asia and that also blew the budget. And to add insult to injury, I needed to get new glasses. I've developed eye damage from the UV light and now need photo sensitive glasses at a cool

I've had to employ the services of a lawyer to fight a negative ACC judgement on my knee. Those of you reading this who aren't from New Zealand, the ACC stands for Accident Compensation Corporation. When you have an accident, the ACC can pay for your medical treatment if you pass their criteria. Following my bike crash in Vietnam last year, the ACC turned down my claim for no reason. They do that in the hopes that you go away and forget about it. My case is so clear cut, it was patently wrong, and my specialist told me to fight the judgement. Just what I need before a big trip!!

'Harry' the new kitten. 

Just to add to the stress of this week, another abandoned kitten has turned up under our house.
That is 3 kittens in 3 months! Where do they keep coming from? Do they evolve out of the primordial soup of the compost bin? ( That is Niel's suggestion by the way). We don't know what to do with it. Do we rush it through vaccinations etc and add it to the cattery booking at lots of extra cost ( it is very attached to our other kitten who is almost full grown now).Or do we get it used to being handled and then take it to the SPCA. ( Society for the Protection and Care of Animals). Of course the longer we look after it, the more attached we get to it. I've even temporarily called it 'Harry' after Prince Harry, as he is the youngest son and he is ginger haired.

'Harry' is very attached to 'Henry'

Phew, and that's just been in one week.

It's less than a month to go now (25 days to be exact). The weather is getting colder, so I can only assume that it's getting warmer in Canada.

I still have a few things to replace from my stolen bike and gear on last years trip to Vietnam. Some running shoes and a cycling top that I'll get in Canada. And a silk sleeping bag liner, and a pair of bike shorts and ordinary shorts which I'll get here in the next week or so. Niel also needs a poly prop top too. All my first aid stuff was also stolen, so I'll need to top that up before we go, although some stuff can be bought over there.

Niel has built up our touring wheels, with a new cluster and chain and new tyres. So the bikes are prepared. I'm hoping Canada is good to me and I don't get anything stolen or have any bad crashes. Someone told me to break a match to break the spell of bad luck.

As I said, things get crazy before a trip. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Just tidied up my blog.

To all my followers. You may have noticed that I have changed a few things. I thought it was about time that I did a tidy up, and put a more relevant cover photo on.

I appreciate your support of me over the years. I have now added my name to an biking across Canada site, Welcome to anyone new to view my blog, I hope you enjoy it.

It is getting pretty cold now on our training rides, so I can only assume that things are warming up in Canada. 5 weeks till we leave.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

                                          DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY its COVER.


Rugby players, baseball players, and boxers to name a few sportsmen we think of as fit. None of them are small, in fact they’d probably be called overweight, rugby forwards would be obese, but no, they are all sportsmen. Why oh why do people judge me based on my size. I may be overweight, but I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m even fitter than when I was cycle racing and lean and mean.


Ritchie Mc Caw – The all black rugby captain, who is idolized as almost god – like, is not trim, to look at him -  he doesn’t even look athletic, let alone a famous sportsman. Mohammed Ali – arguably the most famous boxer of our time, was definitely padded. Many people around the world achieve amazing feats, and they are not lean and mean fighting machines.


Last week Niel and I cycled on a 125 km circuit over many hills of various sizes. Back in my racing days it was considered my hardest training ride. I used it as a ride to determine my fitness for an upcoming event. I often ‘hit the wall’, and couldn’t move until I’d rested and got some food and drink down me. If I made it without ‘hitting the wall’, then I deemed myself fit enough for whatever I was training for. Last week, I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t get tired, and I had plenty of energy left when I got home. It wasn’t until this week that I looked back and realized how easy I had found it.

Half way around the 125km circuit.

So what if I’m padded – it’s called ‘middle age’ people!! It doesn’t mean I’m any less fit. Do you think that Niel would want to go cycle touring with me if I wasn’t up to standard?


So If I hear one more comment like: ‘does Niel take all the gear?’, or ‘do you separate and go different ways?’, or ‘do you ride together?’, then I think I’ll scream. Give credit where it’s due. I am not fat, padded but not fat, and I am not holding Niel back at all. I have done more than most cycle tourists could dream of, and I’m not stopping yet.