Welcome to my page !
The one thing that people tend to ask is “Why are you doing this ?”
Part of me thought about doing a Trainspotting style rant to try and explain myself – Choose Life. Choose a mortgage. Choose being stuck in a soul-destroying dead end job. Choose getting tattooed like EVERYBODY else. Choose thinking your life is Oh So Empty unless you are ‘in a relationship.’ Choose memes, GIFs and quotes to express yourself. Choose dumbed-down English (lol). Choose not being able to function without your mobile. Then, like the film, I’d smugly tell you that “I chose not to Choose Life. I chose something else.” But I’d only be trying to make me sound more cool and interesting than I really am. It would all be complete nonsense. I am just like everybody else. I have been all of those things at some point in my life. I just get a little bored and disillusioned with the monotony and tedium of everyday life. But luckily the choices I’ve made give me the chance to do something about that. These cycle adventures are my antidote. My therapy.
My plan is to travel to North Cape at the very top of Norway, which is as far North as you can go on a road in Europe. Then I’m going to start cycling South. I’ve got a couple of targets in my head as a final destination – if I can make it to Helsinki at the foot of Finland I’ll be happy. If I can make it through continental Europe and get right down to the Mediterranean I’ll be delighted. And if I do make it to the Med, then who knows how far I could go with all that practice under my belt.
However, I’m no athlete. I’m not in a cycling club and don’t really do much in the way of training. This won’t be a Sports Blog where I’m banging on about calories consumed and daily mileages. I’ll be slow, rubbish and unfit to begin with like any normal person would be. In that vein, I’m not going to sugar-coat my story into a touristy travelogue with photos of smiling backpackers and campsite sunsets. If I’m struggling and feeling like I want to give up, I’ll tell you. To be fair though, I’ll still try to take lots of pretty pictures on the way too !
When I was trying to come up with a name for the blog I toyed with a few heroic sounding titles that would convey the distance and physical hardship of the trip. But, again, there’s little point in trying to big myself up as some kind of hard-core endurance cyclist. I’m not. I’m the Driving Miss Daisy of cycle trips. Nine Miles Per Hour sums me up perfectly as it seems to be about my average speed for these trips. For some perspective, nine miles per hour is also the top speed of a chicken. In other words, I’ll be cycling down Europe at the same pace as a running chicken.
Now after all the planning and organising, I’m flying to Norway next week. I’m looking forward to getting out there, testing myself, eating weird new foods, meeting new people, spending time outdoors, getting browner and hopefully fitter. In a perverse way I know I’ve also got to welcome the soakings, aches, loneliness, traffic and all the other negatives that go to make up a cycle trip. So even though part of me is nervous, I’m actually looking forward to being snapped out of my comfortable existence. And, if an ordinary bloke like me can do something like this, then anyone can !
I’ll sign off for now by saying Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope there will be a lot more to follow.