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.

Sunday, 26 October 2014


You would be forgiven for being confused, but that is no different to how I have been feeling for the past year. No it’s not age related dementia, at least not yet.
On finishing our epic trip across Canada last year, we were keen to do the Paris / Brest / Paris long distance endurance event. Then over our winter months we saw the Trans Am, or unsupported adventure race across America, and got so caught up in following that, the Trans Am became our event of choice. Once the Trans Am was finished we thought what are we doing that for? When we had already cycled 8,000kms around the USA and across the continent when we went across Canada, the Trans Am wasn’t furthering our goal of cycling around the world, so it was back to doing the Paris / Brest / Paris with a tour furthering our global ambitions. I trained and trained and got my mileage up to 240kms in a day, but couldn’t get past that, without riding all night and being a basket case the next day; so I was back to thinking about the Trans Am, or the Transcontinental ( the European version). I read people’s blogs about the Transcontinental but didn’t like certain aspects of it, the Trans Am was it. But Niel wanted to do the Paris / Brest / Paris and a tour.
If I don’t do something for myself in the next year, then I won’t get another chance. I am still fit and find riding my bike easier than walking around the shops – due to my dodgy knee. It’s not that I am staring infirmity in the face, but I am not the coiled spring I used to be, and I know the long distance ability will diminish as I get older.
One thing I can say for getting older – you are more confident in your own decisions, and don’t take being pushed around mentally or physically. I know my own mind and I also know that self- esteem is very important. What Niel and I have come to realize is that we can do our own thing and we don’t have to be together.
I'm quite happy riding on my own.

So I’m going to do what I am suited to do, and that is long distance touring, So I have signed up to do the Trans Am, and Niel is going to do what he is good at, and that is extreme long distance against the clock i.e.: the Paris / Brest / Paris. We can tour together the following year.

The most common reaction I get is “What, on your own?” I am not chained to Niel, I ride on my own all the time, in-fact I enjoy riding on my own. It will be good for me to test my boundaries of what I can do as an individual.  I would like to see if I can get the best time for middle aged women.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Paris / Brest / Paris or Trans-Continental ride?

I was told by the president of the ‘Kiwi Randonneuring Club’ that riding a 300km or more bike ride in 1 day is all mental. He is mental!! It is definitely physical. Ok, ok, I know things went against me with the 200kms of my 335km ride being a strong headwind with gale force gusts, and getting 3 punctures in the dark, which led me to needing a motel in Havelock, at the 236km mark. The unrelenting wind and punctures meant I got to Havelock in 16 ½ hours instead of the 14 hours I estimated it should have taken. So there was no way I was going to get home by midnight.

St Arnaud with fresh snow on the hills.
Mountains to the sea - Picton and the ferry crossing between the Island.

I woke up to a storm, the wind was shuddering the building and it was raining. Once I saw a blue patch of sky, I was off. The wind often pushed me to a standstill and the extra effort required pushing into it wore me out. My nether regions were chaffed and bruised feeling, and my feet were swollen with the hard pushing on the pedals. Luckily I ate and drank well; (I am wheat, dairy, sugar, bananas and dates intolerant) and I stretched the front and back of my legs every time I stopped for food, so I was able to keep going and got home tired and sweaty.
My staples of cold cooked wheat free sausages, my home made oat slice, and nut bars.

A decision is made – I am not doing the Paris / Brest / Paris. There is no way I can ride 24 hours a day and night with no sleep, no shower and on a raw backside and hurting all over. I should stick to what I am good at – long distance touring. I’d love to do the Trans Am ride across America or the Transcontinental across Europe – these events would suit me perfectly. I could ride 13 hours a day and actually get a sleep at night and a shower, surely that’s not too much to ask? Perhaps Niel could do the Paris / Brest / Paris, and I could do one of the others? Cycling should be a challenge and an adventure, but it should also be enjoyable.
Pointing at my smiling face.