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.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I have made the commitment - I am going around the world.

As you all may have guessed from the title of my blog – I have always wanted to go around the world. I have wanted to do it as a whimsical dream since I began cycle touring when I met Niel in 1983. My desire to achieve this goal became serious in 2007 when meeting someone in Ireland who was about to embark on this challenge. But up until now the time hasn’t been right, or I was constrained by lack of money or operations on my troublesome feet and knees. I am now 55 year old and I have almost run out of time for this dream to become a reality. I cannot wait for the perfect time anymore, and I cannot wait for Niel to agree to do it with me. So I have finally bitten the bullet and decided I am going to do it, on my own if need be.
I know I said after the Trans Am that I wasn’t interested in long tours anymore, but Niel is about to leave on his trip to Scandinavia and I am jealous – yes I still have the touring bug. I can finally answer those questions of When, Where, and How? Of course I have to work around Niel’s commitment to 2016’s Trans Am race and the seasons around the world. Bearing this in mind I have decided to break the trip around the world into 3 sections, and if anyone wants to join me for some or all of it, then I would love some company.
When: I intend to start stage 1 in early February 2016 in Hong Kong, and riding down the coast of China into Northern Vietnam and across the border into Laos and then Thailand, ride down the Thai and Malay Peninsula to Singapore, fly to Darwin Australia and ride through the centre of the country to Adelaide and then Melbourne, and then be home by May in time for Niel to leave for the States to do the Trans Am.
I have all the maps already for section one.

Stage 2 starts in August when Niel is home from the Trans Am and I will start in Seattle and ride the length of the American Pacific coast including the Baja Peninsula to Mexico City. Then I will fly to Lima Peru in the Southern Hemisphere Spring and ride to Santiago Chile, across a not too high pass in the Andes and East to Buenos Aires where I will fly home and wait 6 months for the Northern Hemisphere Summer to heat up again in 2017.
Stage 3: Fly to London in approximately early June, and take a ferry across the English Channel to Brussels and ride to Denmark, across to Sweden and ferry to Finland. From Helsinki I will ride to Moscow and take the Siberian Express train to Beijing and ride down to Hong Kong to complete the loop.
That is the plan at the moment subject to any improvements.
Where? As explained above, I have cheated a bit catching the train across Russia, but it’s not a race, and my course is the safest I can come up with for a woman on her own.
How? I intend to do it like Niel and I did our trip across Canada. Touring NOT racing, with days off to stay mentally and physically refreshed. There will be long and short days depending on distances between places and to be honest – the faster I do it the less time I will be away, which means it will keep the cost down.
I’ll repeat myself and say if any of my friends or family thinks they will like to join me for any or all of this – then I would love having some company. If you are interested, then I am budgeting about $50 (NZ) a day, plus airfares, and will stay in cheap motels / hotels only if there is no camping available.
 Well now that I have openly declared my intentions, I will admit that I am a bit nervous, I would prefer for Niel to join me, but one thing I did really like about doing the Trans Am is - making my own decisions whether they are right or wrong – they were MY decisions, and I found that empowering.
OH - how cute.

Spring is almost here now. Baby Lambs are appearing in the paddocks, the daffodils are in flower, some cherry and magnolia trees are also in flower, and the grass is growing again and needing mowing. There is a feeling that the seasons have turned a corner – perhaps it is the hours of daylight increasing, whatever it is, I am ready for longer bike rides, and regaining the fitness I have lost during winter.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

It was the shoes fault.

I fell off my bike this week – it’s alright – I’m fine, no need for you to fret about my well - being. Just matching lumps on both knees and whip lash in my neck – strange that – but it is all I can think of to explain why my neck is so sore and stiff this week. I thought it was sleeping on it in a funny position, but it hasn’t abated, so I know it was wrenched significantly enough to not be simply sleeping on it funny.

Actually I blame my shoes. What I hear you say? Yes you heard right, I was almost at a stop and went to twist my shoe out of the pedal and nothing happened except falling on the stony path of the cycle way. On getting back to my feet I noticed my shoe felt like a Flip Flop. The sole had all but parted company with the rest of the shoe, so when I went to untwist my cleat from my pedal the cleat stayed put and my shoe untwisted itself. Well that is a first; I have never had that happen before.
OK my shoes were pretty old. I had cycle toured, Vietnam and across Canada, and done about 20,000 kms of training on them every year for the past 3 years, but Niel reckons there is still plenty of life left in them – what? I was putting them in the bin when Niel gets them out and takes them down to his bike workshop and comes back with them glued and held together with clamps. Why am I telling you all this? Well this is a typical example of how we can afford to keep having trips away. We keep our worn out stuff going well beyond when most people throw them out. I have no hesitation in wearing cast offs from other people and mending and fixing things, all with the desire to save money that I would rather spend on a hotel when I need one in another country.
Food for thought, where shall I go next?

I have been giving a lot of thought to my trips in the next few years. I need to work around Niel’s trips as the dates of his are set in stone – being events that he wants to accomplish. So I think I would like to finish SE Asia early next year, and finish Europe at the end of the same year. Then I need to be at home for a year while Niel is away. So the following year – 2018 I want to finish going around the world by doing the main Asian continent. I am toying with ideas of how to make this happen without going anywhere near any war zones or scary places.
I think Niel and I are in for an exciting few years if everything goes to plan and nothing untoward happens. We have such a lot to achieve in a few short years.