Friday, 25 March 2011
I’ve decided to start a blog about my forthcoming cycle ride across Australia. I cycled around Scotland in ’06, then England in ’07, then across the US in ’08. You can read about the American one at http://scrabbletravel.blogspot.com/. I don’t even know where I’m going yet or much about anything really. All I know is that I will start on one side of Australia and arrive the opposite side some time later, through pedal power alone. I originally thought about going from Perth to Sydney, but a lot of that is uninhabited desert. Then I was pretty sure that I would be going from Darwin to Sydney through the interior, but my Mum doesn’t like the sound of that as that’s pretty desolate too. I may still travel from Darwin to Sydney, but via the east coast; which is a shame, as I liked the idea of going through the middle and especially visiting Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Alice Springs. I also liked the idea of being in the middle of nowhere and meeting the few people who lived there. When I rode across The States, the middle part (Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas) were mind-bending in their middleness and out-of-the-wayness. However, it looks as though the Australian interior is very, very arid and inhospitable. In the US there are settlements everywhere and not much desert, so I didn’t need to take a tent. If I journeyed through the centre of Australia I knew I would have to carry a tent, sleeping bag, more water and there would be worries about where to get provisions or what to do in emergencies… So it looks like I’ll be sticking to the civilized portion of the country.
The date isn’t fixed yet either, but it will probably be August to October. I may also go to Tasmania and New Zealand. It seems silly not to go to the latter at least, seeing as I’m in the furthest corner of the globe and have never ventured that way before. It will be spring down there and I’ll be heading south. However, if the prevailing wind is northerly, I may reconsider. Unlike the previous journeys I won’t be focusing on Scrabble. It was too much to combine cycling 70 miles a day, writing a blog, socializing and exercising the grey matter as well. I may play the odd game for old time’s sake. I will be cutting costs again and staying with people via http://www.couchsurfing.org/ and http://www.warmshowers.org/, as well as scraping together any other hosts I can come by.
Since returning from the US I have been working hard (selling greetings cards) and saving up my pennies for this expedition - that explains the three year gap. I’m still riding the same bike, usually clocking 100 miles a week and often completing long rides of 50 miles+. The weather has been amazing here in Scotland this week (15°C/60°F) and has been especially welcome following a long cold winter. I sustained an injury, whilst cycling in Birmingham last summer, which required six or seven stitches and I now sport a three inch scar on the back of my head. I have been told I will be paid a large sum in compensation (the driver who hit me accepted responsibility) and that will help towards financing my jaunt. No, I wasn’t wearing a helmet, but now I do.
Hopefully I will start making preparations soon and will be updating this blog when I do.