Here’s a man with a film waiting to be made about him; John Adrian Short. He has just posted a comment on The Book section of the site about his cycling journeys (presumably prompted by the discussion between my cousin Richard ‘Bill Bryson’ Birkby & me about Portugal). John has written the following;
Hiya Andrew- I’ve done three trips to Portugal, the latest in January this year via the west coast. Great rides – the east coast is a lot easier but I keep losing too much weight. Getting too old and discovered this long distance far too late in life, I’m hoping to ride until they nail my coffin lid shut! Keep your wheels turning broth’
He has posted his comment via Facebook (which you can now do on WordPress btw) so following the link back I get to John’s page where he describes himself (publicly so I’m not betraying any confidences here) as follows;
A published author of Bins, Benches and Broken Bikes, truck-operator, mechanic, ex-motocrosser, paraglider and previously on the run convict (timeserved – read the book). A long distance cyclist / motorcycle rider I have four kids by four mams, proud of ’em all, had thirty jobs and have run four businesses, over fifteen broken bones (from various hobbies) am riding across europe for kids with cancer and other trips if I survive to make up for being a previous heavy drinker / drug taker / thrill seeker when there are kids who will never get a chance to do the things I have and still do.
Wow! Searching for the book on Amazon, you can glean a little more about the book & John himself;
This is a true life tale that brings home the fortitude of the human spirit and plums the depths of what it means to be alive on this earth. Following the dissolution of his marriage, the loss of his children and the collapse of his life in Wales and on the run from the law he awakes in a junkyard caravan in the Algarve, drunk and with little to live for. On an extraordinary whim he makes the decision to cycle, penniless, from the Algarve back to England to turn himself in to the authorities.
John Adrian Short is a Welsh truck mechanic on the run evading British authorities after committing assault, destruction of several vehicles and property, and stealing a lorry. All on New Years Eve 2006. He absconds over 2000 miles away to Europe and begins a threadbare life in a Portuguese scrap yard. Months later, an intoxicated late night crash forces him into a moment of
rationale. He decides to return to the U.K. to face inevitable punishment.
It all make my own little tale sound a bit tame…