Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Rog has always harboured a desire to do some serious cycle touring.  In his distant dreams, he really wanted to cycle Round the World, but for many years, the idea stayed just as a dream and the occasional, passing discussion.  The idea was germinated in July 2004, whilst we were cycle touring for a couple of weeks in Normandy in France.  Rog was ahead of me, (as usual!), and came across a heavily laden bicycle, with the owner tucking hungrily into some chocolate, whilst waiting expectantly at a road junction.  Rog joined him, enjoyed some of his chocolate, and the 2 of them waited for their respective wives!!

Jay and Nancy are a Canadian couple who were cycling Round the World for their Honeymoon, (well, it beats going to the Maldives!) !!  They’d flown over to Spain and cycled up through the Pyrenees and were now heading up to the D Day beaches to look up the grave of a relative who’d passed away on Juno Beach, back in 1944.  We cycled with them for the rest of the day towards Bayeaux; I felt tremendously guilty as Jay and Nancy were seriously laden with heavy panniers and Rog was towing our trailer and I, well I,  just had my handlebar bag!!!    We camped together that night and, in the morning they were off, leaving behind a RTW seed, which we have been watering, feeding, nuturing for the last 6 years ……….. !!

We have been asked a few times “Why?”, and we both find this a really bizarre question!! Why wouldn’t you want to go adventuring, exploring other countries and finding out about other cultures? I think maybe we could understand the question if it was more to do with the mode of transport we’ve chosen!! After all, it isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea” to go by bicycle ……….. !!! However, the question is always about why do you want to go travelling to destinations, that, at the moment, perhaps aren’t on the tourist map!! Some people can’t seem to understand why you would want to traverse Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan or any other place that is perhaps, “off the beaten track”.

We both feel very lucky that we have the opportunity to do this and we intend to make the most of it ………. We think we are going to gain so much from this trip and among many others, here are the top few things that come to mind:-

1. Meeting new people
2. Gaining a greater understanding of other cultures
3. Learning more about ourselves and us as a couple
4. Learning to communicate in other ways
5. Having the time to reflect and maybe become more spiritual!
6. Seeing the most fabulous people, views, animals, weather …………. nature at its best ………….
7. Improving my photography skills
8. No housework or car cleaning or ironing! LOL!!
9. Getting fitter and, losing weight – BONUS!! Size 12 here I come ………… !!!!
10. No work!!
11. No responsibilities; well perhaps only occasionally ……….. !!!
12. No major decision making – bliss!!!

We believe we will be away for 2 Years, (budget permitting and, of course, if we are really enjoying ourselves!!). We aren’t in the same boat as Tim and Cindie Travis who are on Year 8 of their Round The World Cycling Touring (http://www.downtheroad.org). I don’t believe that they have any intention of stopping, afterall, they sold all their possessions before they set out!! In contrast, we have put our possessions in to storage, we do have our property here in the UK and we do intend to return!

When people ask “Why?”, I guess we should be saying “Why Not?!”

2 Mad Fools!!

We thought it was appropriate to start our trip on April Fool’s Day and we’re calling it our  Mature Gap Year!

We wanted to fulfill our dreams and experience something completely different. Rog has been running our Shop Bigfoot Bikes (www.bigfootbikes.com), for the last 10 years and I have been working in London for an Internet Service Provider. We’ve sold our business, I’ve left work, we’ve put our furniture into storage and now we’re off on the trip of a lifetime!

First Mad Fool is Rog
Aged: 48
Likes: Penguins, Guinness, and old Citroen cars!
Dislikes: Arrogant Drivers, Spiders and bad Customer Service!

Second Mad Fool is Dee
Aged: 47
Likes: Animals, Reading & Socialising
Dislikes: People who pick up dog poop, put it in a plastic bag and then leave it on the pavement or in the hedge!

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