Bans, Bears and Debit Cards

There is a certain irony that my previous post – Banned at Last! – appears to be having some problems getting published on this site. It doesn’t appear unless you are logged in, which means that only I can see it! Very strange. Let’s hope the censors at WordPress see fit to make it public soon.

I watched the first episode of Mark Beaumont’s documentary last night; a fascinating insight into life on the road for a long-distance cyclist. Being someone who checked Mark’s blog as he made his way from Alaska to Argentina, it’s interesting to now see the whole thing play out on the TV and there are moments where I think, ah, yes, I remember him blogging about that. I didn’t realise that it took him three weeks to climb to the top of Mount McKinley; that in itself is an adventure worthy of three hours of prime time television! And bears…. scary. I’m not sure if I would have kept my calm demeanor if I had to camp out in the Canadian forests and mountains if I knew that I could be an evening snack for a passing grizzly. That said, he was well-prepared with explosive devices, pepper spray and if worst came to worst, a knife (although I think it more likely that the knife would have been used by the bear to pick its teeth after dining rather than Mark fending it off in the first place). He survived; good news for the schedulers at the BBC as they have two more hours of documentary to show.

It was also interesting to see the bike in action and observe the equipment. He didn’t appear to be too laden down with stuff. I exchanged a couple of emails with him while he was in Canada and blogged about them on here. He explained at the time that he was using a Terra Nova tent and again, it was interesting to see him actually use it. At the risk of sounding like Location, Location, Location, it did seem very roomy inside. Next week Mark moves on to Central America and all its craziness.

Debit cards? It is nearly 6.30am on Friday. Usually, I am busily planning my lessons at school by this time of the day but I have (again!) left my card in the self-service checkout machine at Sainsburys. They open at 7am so I will detour via the shop to (hopefully) pick it up, meaning a little bit of spare time to write on here…. I get fed up with the woman telling me that I have an “unauthorised item in the bagging area” or that “authorisation is required”. Why does she not say, “Oi! Stupid! You left your debit card in my slot again!” as I wander aimlessly through the exit of the supermarket….

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael M says:

    Two summers ago I rode on the Carmi sub-division of the Abandoned Kettle Valley Railway. This six day trip was a bit different than riding from town to town in that it was necessary to carry eight days food, spare tire, cables etc. Everyday the goal was to reach the next water source. At times I had to filter and treat lake water. For the most part I was in remote areas. Bears, cougars, rattle snakes and the odd moose are home there.

    That said it was an amazing, and border line spiritual adventure. It is not often I get to keep company with only myself. The scenery was worth millions and I will do that trip again. Once home my only disappointment was I did not see one bear up close, a few in the distance. The closest I got to a bear was running over some fresh bear droppings. My advice is bear scat and bike fenders do not work well together.

  2. Chris Hammersley says:

    I now have tickets to see him in Derby in May!

  3. jim r says:

    Yep Did look roomy didnt it. Been considering one of them as a replacement for my tiny one, Either that or mark is just this tiny guy!! will see when I go to see him in April. Saw the terra nova in a bag in a shop in windermere the other week. Yes it is light enough. A bit longer than the one I have and I can pack mine in my panniers so wil have to measure.
    I actualy thought he was carrying quite a bit of kit! But I suppose he was in the middle of nowhere most of the time. Western Europe at least gives you the opportunity to not have to carry too much food.
    His peddling style is very high cadance which surprised me a bit. Or mabey he just did that for the camera 🙂
    Jim.
    P.S Hope the bike is getting used to you and did you resolve the shoe issue?

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