Okay, here’s a bit about me and how I ended up becoming a cycle tramp…
I admit that every now and again, I reminisce about the salary, the bonuses, the car allowance, the free shares, the big house… etc etc, but I’m so much happier now without any of those trappings. I don’t believe in regrets; every single thing I’ve done has led me to this point, and it’s looking pretty awesome from where I’m standing.
Working for myself gives me the freedom I need to travel, and I’ve wanted to travel for as long as I can remember! I guess the urge to quit my job and run away into the sunset on a spiritual quest for adventure isn’t exactly a difficult one to understand and doesn’t require much explanation. I’m sure billions of people have this same thought every day, particularly after hitting their tenth snooze button of a Monday morning. What I’m trying to say is that my desire to escape is not unique. What is less common though, is the desire to do it on two wheels and it is this element of my plan that continues to surprise and scare me in equal measure.
I always knew I’d set off one day on an adventure like this, I just wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that I’d be doing it on a push bike, carrying all the possessions I might need for the foreseeable future (including accommodation) on either side of me like an overloaded donkey. Until about a year ago, I didn’t even own a bike, let alone know how to build one capable of carrying me and my donkey load across thousands of miles. Circumstances just led me to it in that quirky way that life does sometimes…
Whilst my lovely boyfriend Nev was building his MKI Polo, he started riding his bike to and from work every day and, with no other means of transport, he made a bike for me too. Since then, I’ve been riding my bike regularly – currently 5 days a week – but only very short journeys (about 8 miles a day).
We had been talking about going travelling and one day it suddenly dawned on us that we could cycle our way around Europe and save money on petrol and other car related costs. It was an epiphany! We both instantly loved the idea, the challenge and the fact that, after the cost of our bikes, it would be a pretty much free way of circumnavigating Europe! At one point we actually considered doing it on a tandem and even went to see one for sale until we realised we’d got a bit carried away and went back to the more realistic (but still fairly bonkers) prospect of our own individual mountain bikes.
Now, it’s pretty hilly in Yorkshire, but even so, I’m not sure my 8 mile a day journeys have really equipped me with the skills required to cycle the long distances we’re planning on doing in Europe, but I forgot to mention that I am also a bit of a gym bunny. I love working out and usually do at least 10 gym classes a week (a mixture of interval training, body combat, body attack, body pump, pilates and yoga), so I’m hoping this general fitness will stand me in good stead. Plus, I love a challenge and what’s the point of an adventure without a bit of risk and trepidation anyway? Plus, I’m relying on the cycling keeping me fit while I munch my way through Europe consuming all the amazing foods and wines I can get my hands on. Oh yeah, that’s another important thing about me that I forgot to mention – I really LOVE food and cooking and all things food related so I’m hoping for lots of tasty European foodie experiences on my travels.
So, that’s pretty much me. I should say that although I have a certain amount of apprehension about venturing off into the sunset on my home built, two wheeled friend, more than anything else I’m just incredibly excited that I have this amazing opportunity. I love serendipity and I fully intend to let her lead the way.