Having cycled the length, various widths and diagonals and other criss-cross routes of Britain, with friends, lovers, brothers, and even my mum and dad, and also having given Europe a good go, it’s now time for a new adventure.
After years of savings and day dreaming it’s happening. In May 2013 I packed up my life in my beloved Hackney, London with the aim of cycling the length of Latin America. I don’t even know how many thousand miles that is or if my body or my savings will get me there, but this is a blog about the journey, and all those places in between.
There are many reasons why people find themselves on a bike tour, for some people the bicycle is the means to travel, for others they thrive on the sense of freedom. Originally my reason to leave on this trip was because I wanted my life to be about the thing I loved most – riding my bicycle. My perspective is now different, I fully appreciate how this trip is so much more than a bike ride – it is a way of experiencing places built and natural, understanding the capacity of human kindness, building life long friendships, learning a language, and having the opportunity to live a life filled with the richness of change and adventure and freedom.
I feel as though I am someone who has to try harder than other people not to screw up in day to day life. I often speak before I think, I am usually late (for trains, for work, for appointments, for everything) and although I am 30 years old I feel as foolish as my 17 year old self.
When I’m riding it’s different though, it’s simple, unlike most other things about being grown up. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I am foolish on my bike- I forget to bring the pump, or eat too much chocolate and end up feeling sick, or get lost and end up dragging my bike across ditches, railway lines and bramble bushes before I am ready to admit we should turn back. The difference is that I believe in my own power on my bike, it never feels like an effort despite the physical demands. I ride my bike because I can, because I feel like I am free, that I am flying, that I am me.