If I could have anything it the world it would be without doubt more time to ride.
New roads, long days and with good people.
Rather than recap what was an amazing pedal over two days with just numbers and captions, I’ll recount my own personal history of adventure that I remembered on this day.
1. From my front door, along the unpaved footpath (sidewalk) to the end of my street. Epic. My first taste of freedom. No mechanical issues and my Dad to greet me upon my successful return. I can’t recall the age of completion but it was on my blue Hallmark BMX.
2. 1st South Morang Cub Scout ride to Whittlesea. From South Morang Pub, to Whittlesea Showgrounds, via Yarrambat. After succesfully covering the Bergs of Yarrambat and Doreen, a block head wind faced us from Yan Yean to Whittlesea. I was 12, and my brother 2 years my junior. I was shot and surrendered to the sag wagon. Sitting in the front seat I watched my little brother power along. I said ‘stop the car – Im getting back on’. I’ve never got back in the sag wagon, and I’m yet to see someone more determined than my brother.
3. Around the Bay in a Day. On a mountain bike. I’d never ticked over 200kms before, I’d never experienced the thrill of riding in a peloton and the effortless pull of following wheels. I was absolutely blown by the time I made it back to Melbourne and had a taste for the big day rides.
4. Fast forward many moons to South America. From Banos, Ecuador to the Amazon floor. A single day epic on the heaviest hire bikes known to man. Through monsoon rains, tropical sun and finishing with a dip in the Amazon itself – only to be accosted by a tribe of monkeys on the way to town – they took our food and let us be. Half way through the ride, one of our trio snapped a chain. By the roadside with a rock and a bigger rock we managed to hammer the pin back into the link and continue.
5. A week later in Ecuador, a solo bike excursion around the country. I negotiated to hire a GT Palomar from the only bike shop I could find for $5 a day. I had a day pack that once my sleeping bag was in it, left room for a pump, allen keys and my wallet. This was an incredible ride, over roads in horrendous condition. One 10km descent over corrugated roads left my hands crippled for the following day, unable to ride. What pictures I took from this trip and the one prior remain on the camera that was stolen from me at gunpoint. That story another time.
6. London, Brighton, Bath. My brother flew to London to visit me for a bike tour in preparation for our European expedition. We camped in fields, cooked on fires and slept in tents. Our 15kg back packs slowed us down, but at days end when they were off it was like a motor was strapped to our bikes.
7. Geneva, Cluses, Les Gets / Morzine. The same trip again on the other side of the road, up very big hills. I stayed on in Morzine to ride the VTT courses on my Trek hardtail dreaming of what I thought would be the ultimate job – a trail guide.
8. Cannonball Run. Sydney to Melbourne on a fixed-wheel with a 72/76″. Big days, smaller backpacks.
9. The original Woods Point ARST ride. 220km on dirt on a single-speed clunker over 14 hours.
10. Tour Down Under.
Wherever you are in your own personal history of ‘adventure’ doesn’t matter. Experiencing the pleasures and pain of the unknown is what it’s all about. Each ride had its successes and failures. Every ride I learn something new that becomes something to carry for the next trip – like carrying lube in a soy sauce fish. Thanks to @soigneurcc for that one.
Get out and explore.