Tuesday, 31 October 2006

"I saw a man pursuing the horizon"

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never--"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

(Stephen Crane)

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Thursday, 26 October 2006

Songs for the Road

Music has an amazing power over our consciousness, with snatches of song hauling back vivid memories of times, people and places.
Some songs, in particular, remind me of wonderful empty miles of road and, if you have iTunes, you can visit my songs for the road
If you don't have iTunes, here's the list I made:

You Get What You Give
New Radicals
Wherever You Will Go
The Calling
Underneath Your Clothes
Times Like These
Jack Johnson, Times Like These
Foo Fighters
Stay Positive
The Streets
Aster Aweke
Part of the Process
Now We Are Free (Radio Edit)
Gladiator & Izzy
Leeds Leeds Leeds (Dance Mix)
The Leeds United Revie Team
Goo Goo Dolls
How You Remind Me
Guitar Song
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
Green Day
Father and Son
Cat Stevens
Eye of the Tiger
Drinking In L.A.
Bran Van 3000
Common People
Can't Stop Now
Brian Wilson
Barenaked Ladies
Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen
David Gray

Top 100 Sporting Moments

Radio 5's vote on the Top 100 Sporting Moments of all time went like this-

1. England win the 1966 World Cup
, 2. Ian Botham's 1981 Headingley Test, 3. Steve Redgrave's five Olympic rowing golds, 4. England 5 - 1 Germany, 5. Ali v Foreman, Rumble in the Jungle, 6. Manchester Utd win 1999 European Cup, 7. Bannister's breaks the four-minute mile, 8. Jesse Owens' four Olympic golds, Berlin 1936, 9. Gareth Edwards's try for the Barbarians, 10. Maradona's "hand of god" and wonder goal, 1986, 11. Hillsborough Stadium tragedy of 1989, 12. David Beckham's free kick v Greece, 2001, 13. Celtic win the European Cup, 1967, 14. Ayrton Senna's death in F1, 15. Lance Armstrong's Tour de France comeback, 16. Torvill and Dean dance to Olympic gold, 17. Brazil 4 - 1 Italy, World Cup 1970, 18. Steve Davis v Dennis Taylor, world snooker final, 19. McEnroe v Borg singles final,Wimbledon 1980, 20. Michael Owen's goal v Argentina, World Cup '98, 21. Gazza's tears for England at Italia 90, 22. Paula Radcliffe's world record London Marathon, 23. Gordon Banks' save from Pele, 24. Daley Thompson wins second decathlon gold, 25. Archie Gemmill's Scotland goal, World Cup 1978, 26. Black Power Salute, 1968 Olympics, 27. Republic of Ireland reach W Cup quarters, 28. Mark Spitz's seven Olympic swimming golds, 29. Europe win the 1987 Ryder Cup, 30. Munich Air Disaster of 1958, 31. Eric Cantona's kung fu kick, 32. Scotland beat England, 1967, 33. England v Scotland, Euro 96, 34. Gary Sobers hits six sixes, 35. Michael Thomas wins league title for Arsenal, 36. Ovett and Coe's Olympic rivalry, 1980, 37. Cassius Clay v Sonny Liston, 1964, 38. Frankie Detorri wins seven races at Ascot, 39. Jonah Lomu demolishes England, 1995, 40. Bob Beamon's smashes long jump record, 41. Ben Johnson stripped of 100m gold, 42. Liverpool win fourth European Cup, 43. Linford Christie's Olympic 100m gold, 44. Jonathan Edwards triple jump gold, 45. Barry McGuigan wins world boxing title, 46. David Sole leads out Scotland, Grand Slam 1990, 47. Michael Schumacher wins sixth F1 title, 48. Red Rum wins first Grand National, 49. Michael Johnson's 200m world record, 50. George Best scores for Man Utd, 1968, 51. South Africa win 1995 World Cup rugby, 52. Don Bradman, Bodyline Series, 53. Boris Becker wins Wimbledon aged 17, 54. Brian Lara's 375 for West Indies, 55. Munich Olympic Massacre, 1972 Olympics, 56. Jeremy Guscott's drop goal for British Lions, 1997, 57. GB men's 4x400m relay gold, 1991, 58. Nick Faldo wins 1996 US Masters, 59. Pete Sampras' seventh Wimbledon title, 60. Olga Korbutt's 1972 gymnastics gold, 61. Heysel Stadium disaster, Belgium 1985, 62. GB women's Olympic curling gold, 63. Tiger Woods' first US Masters win, 64. Real Madrid 7 - 3 Eintracht Frankfurt, 65. Henry Cooper floors Cassius Clay, 66. Emil Zatopek wins triple gold at 1952 Olympics, 67. Nigel Mansell's burst tyre, 1986, 68. Aldaniti wins Grand National, 69. Cathy Freeman's Olympic 400m gold, 70. USA beat USSR at ice hockey, 71. Lennos Lewis beats Mike Tyson, 72. USSR beats USA at basketball, 73. Northern Ireland v Spain, World Cup '82, 74. Jim Laker's 10-wicket haul, 75. Sandy Lyle's 1988 US Masters win, 76. Martina Navratilova's nine Wimbledon titles, 77. Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon, 1977, 78. Hungary beat England 6-3, 79. Mike Tyson becomes heavyweight champ, 80. Spurs do the double, 1960, 81. Derek Redmond in tears at Barcelona Olympics, 82. Arthur Ashe wins Wimbledon, 83. Denise Lewis wins heptathlon gold, Sydney 2000, 84. Jackie Stewart's third F1 title, 1973, 85. Mike Tyson bites Holyfield's ear, 86. Stanley Matthews-inspired Cup final of1953, 87. Desert Orchid's Cheltenham Gold Cup win, 88. James Hunt wins F1 title, 1976, 89. Mary Peters wins pentathlon gold, 1972, 90. Tommy Simpson's death in Tour de France, 91. Martin Offiah's try, 1994 Challenge Cup, 92. Dennis Compton wins The Ashes, 93. Bernhard Langer's missed putt, 1991 Ryder Cup, 94. Devon Loch loses Grand National, 95. Don Fox Challenge Cup miss, 96. Tony Jacklin wins 1969 Open, 1970 US Open, 97. Fred Perry wins Wimbledon in 1936, 98. Shergar wins 1981 Derby, 99. Len Hutton's 364 for England, 100. Lester Piggott's ninth Derby win.


What does cycling round the world feel like?

DO YOU WANT to know what cycling really feels like? I found this on a random website…
“Craig's Beginners Guide to Preparing For a Cycling Trip”
Step 1: Get a spaghetti-strainer and several small sponges. Soak the sponges in salt-water and paste them to the inside of the spaghetti-strainer. Place the strainer on your head. Find a busy road. Stand by the side of the road and do deep knee-bends for 8 hours. This will acclimatize you to a day's ride.
Step 2: Take some sandpaper and rub your rear-end and the insides of your legs for about 20 minutes. Rinse with salt-water. Repeat. Then, sit on a softball for 8 hours. Do this daily.
Step 3: Each day, take two twenty-dollar bills and tear them into small pieces. Place the pieces on a dinner-plate, douse them with lighter fluid and burn them. Inhale the smoke (simulating car-fumes). Rub the ashes on your face. Then go to the local motel and ask them for a room.
Step 4: Take a 1-quart plastic bottle. Fill it from the utility sink of a local gas-station (where the mechanics wash their hands). Let the bottle sit in the sun for 2 or 3 hours until it's good and tepid. Seal the bottle up (kinda, sorta) and drag it through a ditch or swamp. Walk to a busy road. Place your spaghetti-strainer on your head and drink the swill-water from the bottle while doing deep knee-bends along the side of the road.
Step 5: Get some of those Dutch wooden-shoes. Coat the bottoms with gear-oil. Go to the local supermarket (preferably one with tile floors). Put the oil-coated, wooden shoes on your feet and go shopping.
Step 6: Think of a song from the 1980's that you really hated. Buy the CD and play 20 seconds of that song over and over and over for about 6 hours. Do more deep knee-bends.
Step 7: Hill training: Do your deep knee-bends for about 4 hours with the salt-soaked spagetti-strainer on your head, while you drink the warm swill-water and listen to the 80's song over and over (I would recommend "I'm a cowboy/On a STEEL horse I ride!" by Bon Jovi). At the end of 4 hours, climb onto the hood of a friend's car and have him drive like a lunatic down the twistiest road in the area while you hang on for dear life.
Step 8: Humiliation training: Wash your car and wipe it down with a chamois-cloth. Make sure you get a healthy amount of residual soap and road-grit embedded in the chamois. Put the chamois on your body like a loin-cloth, then wrap your thighs and middle-section with cellophane. Make sure it's really snug. Paint yourself from the waist down with black latex paint. Cut an onion in half and rub it into your arm-pits. Put on a brightly colored shirt and your Dutch oil-coated wooden shoes and go shopping at a crowded local mall.
Step 9: Foul weather training: Take everything that's important to you, pack it in a Nylon bag and place it in the shower. Get in the shower with it. Run the water from hot to cold. Get out and without drying off, go to the local convenience store. Leave the wet, important stuff on the sidewalk. Go inside and buy $10 worth of Gatorade and Fig Newtons.
Step 10: Headwinds training: Buy a huge map of the entire country. Spread it in front of you. Have a friend hold a hair-dryer in your face. Stick your feet in toffee and try to pull your knees to your chest while your friend tries to shove you into a ditch or into traffic with his free hand. Every 20 minutes or so, look at the huge map and marvel at the fact that you have gone nowhere after so much hard work and suffering. Fold the map in front of a window-fan set to "High".

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Monday, 23 October 2006

A new video- round the world in 3 minutes.

The Top 100 Adventure books

According to National Geographic, these are the Top 100 adventure books. Some classsics, some glaring omissions. See what you think:

1. The Worst Journey in the World, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 1921, 2 The Journals of Lewis and Clark, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, 1814, 3 Wind, Sand, and Stars, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1940, 4 The Exploration of the Colorado River, John Wesley Powell, 1875, 5 Arabian Sands, Wilfred Thesiger, 1959, 6 Annapurna, Maurice Herzog, 1952, 7 Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey, 1968, 8 Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer, 1997, 9 West With the Night, Beryl Markam, 1942, 10 Travels, Marco Polo, 1298, 11 Farthest North, Fridtjof Nansen, 1897, 12 The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen, 1978, 13 Roughing It, Mark Twain, 1872, 14 Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana, 1840, 15 South, Ernest Shackelton, 1919, 16 A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, Eric Newby, 1958, 17 Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl, 1950, 18 Travels in West Africa, Mary Kingsley, 1897, 19 The Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh, 1953, 20 Seven Years in Tibet, heinrich Harrer, 1953, 21 Journals, James Cook, 1768-1779, 22 The Home of the Blizzard, Douglas Mawson, 1915, 23 The Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin, 1839, 24 The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T. E. Lawrence, 1926, 25 Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa, Mungo Park, 1799, The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe, 1979, 27 Sailing Alone Around the World, Joshua Slocum, 1900, 28 The Mountain of My Fear and Deborah, David Roberts, 1968, 1970, 29 First Footsteps in East Africa, Richard Burton, 1856, 30 The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger, 1997, 31 The Oregon Trail, Francis Parkman, 1849, 32 Through the Dark Continent, Henry M. Stanley, 1878, 33 A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, Isabella L. Bird, 1879, 34 In the Land of White Death, Valerian Albanov, 1917, 35 Endurance, F. A. Worsley, 1931, 36 Scrambles Amongst the Alps, Edwad Whymper, 1871, 37 Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen, 1837, 38 Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals, Robert Falcon Scott, 1913, 39 Everest: The West Ridge, Thomas Hornbein, 1963, 40 Journey Without Maps, Graham Greene, 1936, 41 Starlight and Storm, Gaston Rebuffat, 1954, 42 My First Summer in the Sierra, John Muir, 1911, 43 My Life As an Explorer, Sven Hedin, 1925, 44 In Trouble Again, Redmond O'Hanlon, 1988, 45 The Man Who Walked Through Time, Colin Fletcher, 1968, 46 K2 - The Savage Mountain, Charles Houstan and Robert Bates, 1954, 47 Gipsy Moth Circles the World, Francis Chichester, 1967, 48 Man Eaters of Kumaon, Jim Corbett, 1944, 49 Alone, Richard Byrd, 1938, 50 Stranger in the Forest, Eric Hansen, 1988, Travels in Arabia Deserta, Chares M. Doughty, 1988, 52 The Royal Road to Romance, Richard Halliburton, 1925, 53 The Long Walk, Slavomir Rawicz, 1956, 54 Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, Clarence King, 1872, 55 My Journey to Lhasa, Alexandra David-Neel, 1927, 56 Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, John Hanning Speke, 1863, 57 Running the Amazon, Joe Kane, 1989, 58 Alive, Piers Paul Read, 1974, 59 Principall Navigations, Richard Hakluyt, 1589-90, 60 Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, John Lloyd Stephens, 1843, 61 The Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex, Owen Chase, 1821, 62 Life in the Far West, George Frederick Ruxton, 1849, 63 My Life as an Explorer, Roald Amundsen, 1849, 64 News from Tartary, Peter Fleming, 1936, 65 Annapurna: A Woman's Place, Arlene Blum, 1980, 66 Mutiny on the Bounty, William Bligh, 1790, 67 Adrift, Stephen Callahan, 1986, 68 Castaways, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, 1555, 69 Touching the Void, Joe Simpson, 1989, 70 Tracks, Robyn Davidson, 1980, 71 Adventures of Captain Bonneville, Washington Irving, 1837, 72 Cooper's Creek, Alan Moorehead, 1963, 73 The Fearful Void, Geoffrey Moorhouse, 1874, 74 No Picnic on Mount Kenya, Felie Benuzzi, 1953, 75 Through the Brazilian Wilderness, Theodore Roosevelt, 1914, The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron, 1937, 77 Minus 148 Degrees, Art Davidson, 1969, 78 Travels, Ibn Battuta, ca 1354, 79 Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, Tim Cahill, 1987, 80 Journal of a Trapper, Osborne Russell, 1914, 81 Full Tilt, Dervla Murphy, 1965, 82 Terra Incognita, Sara Wheeler, 1996, 83 We Die Alone, David Howarth, 1955, 84 Kabloona, Gontran de Poncins, 1941, 85 Conquistadors of the Useless, Lionel Terray, 1961, 86 Carrying the Fire, Micjael Collins, 1974, 87 Adventures in the Wilderness, William H. H. Murray, 88 The Mountains of My Life, Walter Bonatti, 1998, 89 Great Heart, James West Davidson and John Rugge, 1988, 90 Journal of the Voyage to the Pacific, Alexander Mackenzie, 1801, 91 The Valleys of the Assassins, Freya Stark, 1934, 92 The Silent World, Jacques Cousteau, 1953, 93 Alaska Wilderness, Robert Marshall, 1956, 94 Letter and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North, American Indians, George Catlin, 1841, 95 I Married Adventure, Osa Johnson, 1940, 96 The Descent of Pierre Saint Martin, Norbert Casteret, 1954, 97 The Crystal Horizon, Reinhold Messner, 1982, 98 Narrative of a Journey Across the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia River, John Kirk Townsend, 1839, 99 Grizzly Years, Doug Peacock, 1990, 100 One Man's Mountains, Tom Patey, 1971

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A travel poem

Keep checking back for samples of great travel poems.
The first offering, Home from Abroad, is by Laurie Lee...

Far-fetched with tales of other worlds and ways,
My skin well-oiled with wines of the Levant,
I set my face into a filial smile
To greet the pale, domestic kiss of Kent.

But shall I never learn? That gawky girl,
Recalled so primly in my foreign thoughts,
Becomes again the green-haired queen of love
Whose wanton form dilates as it delights.

Her rolling tidal landscape floods the eye
And drowns Chianti in a dusky stream;
The flower-flecked grasses swim with simple horses,
The hedges choke with roses fat as cream.

So do I breathe the hayblown airs of home,
And watch the sea-green elms drip birds and shadows,
And as the twilight nets the plunging sun
My heart's keel slides to rest among the meadows.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2006

How I am selling my book

One reason that I decided to cycle round the world was to start making a career as a writer.
Unfortunately many people have had the same idea and I have been unable to find a decent publisher for my book:

"oh, not another travel book:
I already read that one about the guy with his fridge..."

"Aagh!! Not another book about cycling:
Lance Armstrong already wrote one of those."

When I did find a publisher she offered 25p a book: not great for a £10 book, 5 years of my life and potential saddle-inflicted impotence.
So, eventually realising that this could all be a new challenge rather than just a disappointment,
I have decided to do it myself.

I will do this by:
* Giving away -absolutely FREE-
of the book,
Moods of Future Joys
, so that you can try before you buy.
* Publishing sample chapters of
Moods of Future Joys
-absolutely FREE- as
for you to listen to on your MP3 player or computer whenever you want.
* Publishing the book myself. No middle men, nobody to blame for mistakes.
* Marketing the book myself, online and through public speaking.
* Donating a percentage of the profits of the book to Hope and Homes for Children.
* Paying a Carbon Tax to offset the carbon dioxide produced in printing and delivering the book.
* Regularly updating the blogs, Podcasts and photos on this site to entice you to return to the site again and again and learn about future events and expeditions.
* Inviting reviews, comments and criticism on my first book to ensure that the second book is even better.
* Offering discounted rates for my
appointments in proportion to books sold at the event.
* Offering discounted rates for bulk purchases.
* Publishing sample chapters of my next book -absolutely FREE- as Podcasts and to read, in order to get you excited about future releases.
* Publishing sample chapters of my children's book -absolutely FREE- as Podcasts and to read.


10 More Random Acts of Kindness

1. Say something nice about someone behind their back.
2. Forgive someone.
3. Give your old watch to someone who doesn't have one.
4. Listen to someone's problem without immediately comparing it to one of your own.
5. Plant a flower in someone's garden, under cover of darkness.
6. Buy a scratchcard and hand it to a stranger.
7. Help a lost tourist.
8. Smile at someone.
9. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the queue.
10. Leave 20p in a phonebox.

With thanks to
for the tips!