As I alternately procrastinate and smack my head against the brick wall of impatient frustration, I’ve had more than enough time to scour the internet for cycling blogs. This is not even in the name of research, more in the cause of escape. I really like Mexico City but I’m well and truly over it now. I’ve sunk into a world of hapless lethargy, waiting instead of living. Others blogs have been a lifeline, reminding me of the world outside the city and the trials and tribulations of life on a bike.
It seems that there are more people than ever cycling south from Alaska this summer. They all have different expectations, approaches, experience levels and outlooks. Cycle touring seems to be relatively indiscriminate in whom it plucks to surf the thrill of self-propelled freedom and this is what makes the tourists so fascinating. I wish good luck to all those setting out on their adventures and once again ponder how these things evolve. It is with and wry smile that I read some of the proposed routes and goals of the class of 2011; some will follow their plans while I’m sure a good number will also find their course hijacked by the same romance and curiosity that quickly infiltrated my already pragmatic approach. Through them I am currently appreciating the interest and enjoyment that cycling blogs can generate and have no doubt that some of these riders will eventually catch and overtake me.
Further south, in the Lower 48 there are a couple of other bike tours that are just getting under way. These are a bit closer to my heart as they involve my friends from back home in England. First there is Sadie and Russell (below left) who have started pedaling a course that will take them from Seattle down the pacific coast of the USA before flying down to Chile from which they shall continue on bike through Argentina. Russell is from my home town of Reading while Sadie once lived with me for a short while in London, I know them both from my university days. Like myself, they are trying to satisfy their inner adventurers, I hope they do, but reckon they’ll only serve to spur that spirit on. You can chart their progress through their blog, thepacifictour.wordpress.com.
The other group is composed of one of my closest friends, Alex and his lady friend (I hate that word ‘partner’) and my friend, Katie (above right). They have just started spinning north out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, taking on the legendary Grand Tetons. Their proposed route then takes them up to Montana, through Yellowstone Park, north into Washington, through Glacier National Park before looping around to the Pacific coast and forging south all the way down through Central America. I have lived with both of them for short periods and value their friendship more than any other. If I have the need to camp or hike then Alex will be my first port of call. We have also been on short cycle tours together. Alex has probably been hankering after a long tour even longer than me so actually setting out is a big deal. If you want to follow the journey of a man who registers his appreciation for New York cathedrals with phrases like ‘we’ve got older dog turds in England‘ and counts juggling balls as a vital piece of kit then check out his blog, http://alex.mj2p.co.uk/blog.html.