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Month: May 2019

50 Days Until The Party Starts

50 Days Until The Party Starts

13th July 2019 I’ll be down in Cornwall eating a pasty next to a fully loaded bike. On that Saturday morning rain or shine I will be ready to head north.

Two weeks of my valuable annual leave will be devoted to this. It’s not going to be two weeks on a beach sipping Pina Coladas. It’s going to be two weeks spent on a saddle, two weeks sleeping in a survival bag in the woods and two weeks of unbelievable growth.

I can’t wait for the struggle. A lot of it is going to be Type 2 fun, the type of fun that’s miserable while it’s happening, but unbelievably fun in retrospect. It usually begins with the best intentions, and then things get carried away. It’s riding your bike across a country.

It’s an odd thing this. You may not understand why I love going off on a bike for a solo journey into the unknow, but Les Brown knows, and he explains it so poetically…

“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon — if I can. I seek opportunity — not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done.”

All aboard ladies and gentlemen, the train departs 13th July at 7am and you won’t want to miss this journey!

Yours in cycling,

Dan

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

For my sister Charlotte,

You’re probably wondering why I’m going off the topic of cycling. But this is my website and my soapbox for whatever I like.

I finally checked in with my little sister Barley, she’s on her own adventure down under right now. Although this isn’t her first, she’s a seasoned vet of Armenia and also India. Can’t believe she’s my sister to be honest, the most tenacious, brave, caring and supporting person I know. I lucked out in sisters I’m certain of it.

It was the perfect time to catch up with her. Adventures are tough, really tough. Back before I embarked on my Transamerica journey, I found a definition of adventure, it read “adventure is an unusual and exciting or daring experience”, and it’s completely true.

We go for our own reasons, to find something, to escape something, to experience something. But once we get on the adventure, we are alone and time spent alone can be bad if you don’t keep an eye out. Doubts can set in of our abilities to continue, of the reasons we’ve come and even of what’s next once it’s over.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my sister may be in the midst of these feelings so it was such a stroke of fate that we caught up. I was able to relate with her because I’ve been in that exact same boat a few times now. This is her adventure so I’m no person to put my opinion on it, but I was able to reassure her that she is free to do whatever she wants. More importantly I was able to remind her that although the excitement of adventure is incredible, the excitement of returning is also immeasurable. Life can’t be one massive adventure, even soldiers need R&R. We shouldn’t try to stay in the unknown forever, it’s exhausting!

There’s so much to be said for security, stability and support, I never thought these were important. I went from place to place and it’s only since returning to Essex with my tail between my legs that I started to experience the gift of a stable life around friends and support.

Sometimes we get caught out on adventures. I remember one so vividly I’m going to tell you about it.

I was 2 years into my life in the Middle East, from the outside my life was envious. 5-star lifestyle on a tax-free salary, weekends brunching and pool partying but it was all surface happiness. I was struggling deep down and my life was a disaster to be honest.

It came to a point where I just didn’t want to be there anymore. I felt so frustrated that after all this hard work I was still empty. Why me?!

The oncoming storm finally reached me on my little boat in the middle of the ocean. The cold waves crashed over me, the rain poured and the wind howled. I couldn’t see the lighthouse through the dark skies. I sat there on a bench alone on Dubai Marina and in pure despair shouted “Jesus, I thought you would save me!!”. Then Jesus answered me, “I am saving you Dan, I brought you the storm.”.

I still cry thinking about that moment.

I came home that same week.

Yours always,

Dan

Good Evening, Dan Speaking

Good Evening, Dan Speaking

Good evening, Dan speaking.

Where am I? I’m on the sofa at home.

Why haven’t I written a blog entry in a while? Because I’ve been parked.

What do I mean parked? I mean, I’ve been parked. Everyone else has been driving up the road of life and I’ve just been sat here in the layby with the engine off.

It’s what happens when you get slack on your gratitude, you stop exercising, you don’t speak to people on the weekends, you lose sight of your goals and you forget why you’re getting out of bed. Y’know, a real existential funk.

God Dan that sounds like you’re a bit mental! Oh 100% I agree it does; a healthy body, mind and soul all need regular maintenance. Imagine you’re one big garden, yeah you, and all the positive things in your life are the beautiful flowers that fill your garden.

Now to keep those flowers beautiful and alive you must water them and sing to them, there’s maintenance involved. But wait, what if you don’t water them…the flowers start to wilt and new guests turn up in the garden….WEEDS goddamnit! Weeds need nobody to water them, nobody to sing to them and they thrive off neglect!

To cut this horticultural anecdote short I haven’t been watering my garden as much as I should have. Life can get stressful and tough and before you know it, life is living you not the other way round.

But here I am, back on the road of life. A few small tweaks and some good old fashion discipline are back on the menu and I’m back to it.

Forgive yourself if you stumble, life is a wacky ride and its so easy to lose your way sometimes.

Keep doing your best and be kind to everybody, including yourself.

Yours in cycling, and in living,

Dan