What i’m doing.
On 1st July 2010 I’m going to set off on an 18 month cycling trip from my flat in Dalston, East London. I’m going to see if I can make it all the way to Syndey, Australia by bike and boat alone (no flying allowed). I’m not going to break any world records, I don’t plan to climb any unclimbed mountains, cross any uncrossed deserts or sail any unsailed seas. I’m doing it just to see if I can, because I’ve got the opportunity to try, and to raise money for the charity Friends of the Earth.
Why I’m doing it.
In mid 2009 I’d been a public servant for coming up for 6 years. I’d been in my current post for around 2.5 years and, as is the way of things in public service, it was time to start applying for other jobs, or think about what I was going to do next. As it turned out I never got around to applying for anything because it came to my attention that I could apply for a “career break”.
I’d run into alpinist, cyclist and all round madman Janne Corax on a climbing trip to Lenin Peak a couple of years previously, and was totally blown away by the amazing lifestyle he leads. Janne spends his winters in the Andes working as a mountain guide, and his summers cycling around China and Central Asia and climbing mountains. Janne now has a staggeringly impressive four first ascents of 6000m plus peaks to his name.
When I got back to the UK from that climbing trip I read lots about bicycle touring. I read about Al Humphries awe inspiring 4 year round the world trip, Rob Lillwall’s equally impressive 3 year cycle home from Siberia, and Mark Beaumont’s record breaking bicycle adventures, to name but a few.
The adventure bicycle touring world seems to be in rude health at the moment, and it seems like a fun party to be at. Queue a couple of months of negotiation with my employer and subsequent agreement that I can take 18 months out to give it a whirl…