Saturday, 8 December 2012

Wye Breakfast Club talk - Q&A

I gave a talk at a very pleasant breakfast club in Wye (Kent) this morning. Delicious breakfast guys! The talk centred upon the 10,000mile cycle trip and the 6 facets of the book: Cycling–Adventure Expeditions–Euro/Asian Travel–Father/Son relationships–Husband/Wife relationships–Work/Life balance.
There were some good questions:

Q: Whose Idea was it?
A: My son's when he was 10yrs. He didn't have any idea how far Tokyo was!
Q: But you made it happen though?
A: Yes. And perversely, I felt throughout the preparation and the journey that I was doing the trip for my son. Later, I discovered that he felt he was doing it for me! These days we both feel we personally gained the most from it. My business partner feels he gained more than either of us (he took on the running of the company and has continued since my return). Obviously this is the best of situations, where everyone's a winner.

Q: How did you cycle across water?
A: We took a ferry then cycled up and down the deck during the crossing.

Q: Did you have any major disasters?
A: No, I planned things too well. It might have been better to leave more to chance.
Q: Yes but mightn't that have meant losing a leg or death for example?
A: Good point. We don't get to choose which disasters do we.

Q: Did your wife mind you being away for 10 months?
A: She missed me more than she ever expected but she felt at the end she had grown and gained by it. I felt we had grown as a couple.
Q: Were there any negatives?
A: Yes. When I got back she found she had got used to having the house to herself (and my quiet youngest daughter). She found my 'noisiness' intolerable. "What noisiness?" I asked. "Well you keep walking through the house. It sort of moves the air and it disturbs me," she said. Very tolerant my wife! Eventually she got used to me again but she never has entirely.

Q: How long did it take you to get back to normal after you got back?
A: In truth I never have. I am more laissez faire about life. I don't let things bother me in the way they did. I place value on simple things and have stopped obsessively setting myself targets. I let myself enjoy life without concerning myself over what purpose things have. I am more comfortable with myself I suppose and I have made peace with my own father (who died when I was 15).

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Non-cyclists Like it too!

I just received an e-mail from one of the bosses I worked with on the 2012 Olympics (disaster recovery planning). Very reassuring thing to receive from a non-cyclist:

Hi Mark,

Finished the book;

I have experienced so much reading it although I have never owned a bike! – The descriptive writing and relationship between you and Sam made for a very good read -

·         I laughed aloud with the drunk getting caught having a piddle by his missus!
·         I got hungry every time I read – proper food!
·         I was astonished at some of the places you stayed
·         And couldn’t believe the ‘risk’ taken when cycling along, going down waterfalls etc..

Brilliant, would be good to catch up.