First things first: A title before a start date? or destination? - Taking my life for a ride - CycleBlaze

First things first: A title before a start date? or destination?

Somehow, I've come up with a title to this journal before I've even figured out when or where I'm going. Typical bass ackwards Calvo approach to planning a trip.

One of the things I really appreciate about living in Australia is Radio National, the national broadcaster. I was just idly listening one morning, as I do, mind drifting in and out of concentration when I suddenly focused on the topic under discussion: walking with purpose - walking for personal enlightenment. Discussing the Camino Del Santiago, one of the participants said, "it has been described as taking your life for a walk." I thought, oh my... yes, this is why I travelled in my past and why I want to tour by bike now. It gives meaning to my life and gives me an opportunity to expand my understanding of the world and my place in it.

So that's the title for my journal: Taking my life for a ride.

And I desperately need to take my life for a ride, for I have sorely neglected it for the last 30+ years: lost in suburbia raising a family and struggling to understand where in the hell all that time went and how I ended up living in Perth, Western Australia, 14,000 km from where I started. OK, on reflection, that reads way too harsh. For the record: I like my wife, my two kids (full grown up) and my life just fine, thank you very much. Those 30+ years were years well spent and I'd do it all over again if I had the chance. But it is way past time to retune my life. I need to re-engage myself with the world at large. It is time to practice the art of "mindful pedaling."

On my last ride, I had intended to head east from Perth and keep going for as long as I could, with a circumnavigation of the planet as the ultimate potential goal. Talk about a tragic case of over reach; I only made it 700 km, to Norseman, on the western edge of the Nullabor. If you're interested, you can read about it here - it's somewhere in the the journal database. This ride has no such grandiose goals; I'm just gonna get on the bike and pedal and see where I end up.

So the question now is where the heck am I going? and when do I start? Figuring out the approximate start date is the easy part. I've got a couple of weeks work consulting for an international oil & gas project. That will take me up to, around about, the end of February. That's the very peak of summer in Australia. I will need a couple of weeks to organise myself when that finishes, so I should be good to go by the start of March. That's an approximate start date to aim for.

Now what about a destination? March/April is still too too hot to cycle across the Nullabor - in any direction and especially going into the wind heading for the east coast. And I'm not waiting around for the temperature to cool down and the winds to shift in late autumn, so it's looking like Perth will not be the start off point. So where do I start this journey? I can start in SE Asia, a short plane ride from Perth. I can start in Southern Europe ... or Mexico ... or S America.... Or maybe NZ? It's time to start reading my CrazyGuy journals and consulting the atlas for inspiration.

Meanwhile I need to get back on that bike and reintroduce my backsides to that Brooks saddle.

Post Script:
And what is this about chickens? Well, if you've ever travelled in any part of Asia, or for that matter any part of the developing world, you'd know about the importance of the humble chicken and the vital role it plays in your existence. Everyone in the third world eats chicken. It's chicken or eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sure wouldn't like to be a raw veges vegan in this part of the world. Save that for you home town hipster existence. You're travelling now and one of the first rules of travelling is "You eat what you can find and you are thankful for what you receive." And a lot of the time, that's chicken.

This is a chicken fuelled ride.

Tonight was chicken liver, leg and feet soup. Suck the skin, meat and gristle right off the toes... absolutely delicious. A very large part of the fun of travelling is diving head first into the local cuisine. I don't think a vegan would last long here.
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