My weekend is visitor free! I make it sound as though I have people staying here all the time; this is not the case and it was great to see Matt, Ross & Pirrko but it did make for a non-stop weekend, my visitors departure and arrival sandwiched around a long day of Olympic (volunteer) training on Sunday. This weekend is in stark contrast to the last (i.e. I have nothing to do) and it allows me the time to catch up with the kind of cyclist that I envy deeply, Chris Gruar.
I mentioned a few posts ago about the round-the-world adventures of Mike Hall. He has just smashed the world record for doing just that but however much I admire and respect his achievement, I wouldn’t want to do it that way myself. Not that I would be capable of such a feat of course. On a higher pedestal in my little tower of cycling admiration are those cyclists who do the whole thing just a little bit more slowly. Chris Gruar certainly falls into this category. He is an Australian and is heading for home on his bike. He set off from Leeds on the 1st April and, two and half months later has made it as far as… Norway!
The first few weeks of Chris’ trip were spent in the UK and although he is not a professional film maker (he’s a teacher), he has some skill when it comes to putting together a quality video clip of his adventures. Here he is travelling across England (in what looks like mostly rain);
The weather since you left hasn’t improved at all Chris. In fact, you escaped before the really bad stuff started.
Arriving on the continent Chris made his way east through France & Belgium (even stopping off in Luxembourg) but rather than heading south as you might expect, he then continued to cycle around the North Sea, through The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden & Norway to where he is currently which is somewhere near the Arctic Circle. He will soon be heading in the ‘right’ direction once more when he cycles south through central Europe, then Turkey, Iran, north of Afghanistan, before aiming for Australia on a journey that will take him through northern India, south-east Asia, Indonesia and then, of course, Australia. He’ll get there in a couple of years after an epic and fascinating trip.
He is supporting the charity AICR, the Association for International Cancer Research and you can make a donation via Chris’ Just Giving site. If you need a celebrity endorsement before you give, when it comes to cycling, you can’t get a better one than this;
And here is a message from Chris himself;
I’m getting quite a lot of reading done on my kindle in the evenings, and just thought I would let you know I thoroughly enjoyed reading Good Vibrations as I travelled through Germany and Denmark last month. Cracking read, and your tour was the perfect size to order your book through daily chapter observations. I was a little envious as I cycled north into the headwind while I read of your journey south to the mediterranean coast!
I’m still pondering whether to write myself, but at this stage it will be best to start towards the end of my trip rather than get bogged down with the scale of the journey. I hit 5000km this morning, and plenty to go before I think of the end!
All the best,
And by the way, he must be a real cyclist as he has given his bike a name; Wilson. Even better, he has joined that elite club of cyclists who have had issues with their spokes. Respect!