Well, I guess I have to start somewhere. I don’t just mean the training which I suspect will be the easy part. When you love riding a bike, the prospect of 7,500 km somehow doesn’t seem that daunting, yet I can understand other people’s reaction when I talk about the scale of my undertaking.
Of course a lot of people think I must be mad, and you may be one of them. Perhaps I am or is it just because I’m 45?? I’m fortunate to be fit and healthy, have been with my current employer for over 17 years (read long service leave), loving life and in the mood for adventure. As I see it, you don’t get too many opportunities to do something that you just know was put in front of you to grasp with both hands.
I hope you will join me in my journey as I prepare and for a fantastic trip across Canada, west to east over four months (May to August 2012).
It is only December I hear you say, still have 4 1/2 months to go. Well of course there is much to plan for including how to work out how to build my blogs site, get touring gear together, arrange contacts, tickets etc etc.
For those interested in the cycling part of the journey, I hope to add sections regarding the sort of gear we will be taking on our journey, itinerary and other logistics. Hopefully I will also encourage you to ask questions as we go along.
When I say “we”, I am referring to Professor John Martin from LaTrobe University. (http://www.latrobe.edu.au/csrc/staff/martin_john.html) John is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, based in Bendigo. He is the real instigator behind the trip across Canada and I guess I wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t for him sowing the seeds of possibility. We will also be joined by Trevor Miles for the first 20 -30 days which is a welcome inclusion.
Some of you may think this is just another epic bike ride, however it is much more that this. Sure, riding a bike across Canada would be fun enough but it is too good an opportunity to let slip by without engaging the people and communities of Canada along the way.
One of my aims is to assist John in his social research into regional and rural Canadian communities, which is part of a wider project being undertaken by the Canadian Rural Revitalisation Foundation (http://CRRF.ca). My agricultural and finance background will hopefully provide some additional insight.
Canada is very similar to Australia in many respects, particularly their Agriculture industry. There is a long history of Australia/Canada exchange in ideas, technology and people. It is through this foundation of sharing that I hope to learn about some of the innovative things the Canadians are doing that I will be able to share with colleagues at Rural Finance. And of course I can see many benefits in putting myself out there, getting out of my comfort zone. For an introvert like me, this trip will present me with challenges which if accepted will benefit me greatly. Starting this “blog” is but one of the challenges.
Over the past few months I have collected most of the gear I need for the trip, that is except for a touring bike. I ordered a Vivente World Randonneur back in September, however the November arrival date has been pushed back to January. Fingers crossed it arrives soon.
As soon as I can work out how to get a “gallery” sorted out, I will post some photos from a recent trip to Freeburgh. A small village nestled between Harriotville and Bright in Victoria’s North East. This is a great location for access to some of Australia’s best riding.