It’s incredible what happens when you allow yourself to follow your dreams.
Rebooted and back at it.
Starting: Cairo, Egypt.
Ending: Sat 7th March 2015, Istanbul, Turkey.
Km’s covered: 0km by bicycle.
Hard to believe that an unplanned and extended break from the bike (and hence these diaries!), could be almost as life changing as the expedition itself, but when you allow yourself to follow your dreams, try see the positive in all situations (certainly not easy at times), and be open to change, it’s incredible what can happen!
In short, arriving in Cairo, almost 6 weeks ago now, to complete the African leg of Lettie’s Ride was completely underwhelming, and certainly there were no euphoric feelings of having completed the hardest thing I’ve done in my life that I guess I pictured when pulling out of Cape Town stadium 20 months earlier. At the same time getting sicker than I’d been at any other point on the journey, trying to get my head around the final hurdles presented by the Middle East, and in general dealing with complete exhaustion, all lead to some difficult and honest self-reflection in an attempt to get motivated and excited for the final 7 or 8 months left on the road to England.
Fortunately during this process I met some incredible people who helped get me healthy through a complete change in my diet, and never again will I look at food, and in particular it’s power to heal, in the same way…and I even found myself adding daily yoga to my stretching regime! It’s truly incredible how things begin to fall in place when one puts health, vitality and mobility front and center – at this rate the Fat Kid on a Bike could soon be the Vegan on a Bike!
All of this, combined with a new attitude of being less hard on myself and open to fresh ideas, and a fortuitous delay in the return of my bike from her overhaul, which resulted in an enforced extension of the break, and even reconnecting with old friends at the Bangkok 10s rugby weekend (thanks for the generosity boys!), mean the Fat Kid is eventually ready to hit the road again with a spring in his (pedal) step!
For those interested in the plan, rough schedule, and map for the remainder of Lettie’s Ride through Europe, they are detailed here on the Fat Kid website http://fatkidonabike.com/where-is-the-fat-kid/ . Part of the process of ‘letting go’ and being easier on myself mean that the stretch from Cairo through the Middle East to Turkey has been binned in order to save some time, headaches, and money, and by doing so this has opened up the opportunity to see more of parts of Europe that are new to me. At the same time though, if plans change en-route or opportunities arise to connect with people or places as I go, and I need to take a more direct route and miss a few countries to get the UK on time, then that’s also OK.
On the subject of motivation, it really now feels like the Rugby World Cup is looming large, and I am so excited at the thought of cycling around England following the Springboks on their journey from Brighton to Birmingham to Newcastle to London and onto what I believe with all my hear t will be a successful final at Twickenham on 31st October…but whatever happens, it will be an incredible privilege watching the boys do our country proud, and it obviously promises to be a lot of fun!
Finally, and probably most importantly and excitingly, is that this break has given me an opportunity to think deeply about the ‘legacy’ of Lettie’s Ride…it’s been the most incredible adventure of my life, and exceeded expectations on so many levels, but ultimately it’s vitally important to me that this journey becomes more than just a story of a Fat Kid living a ‘selfish’ dream, and that it leaves something in the form of a tangible legacy that makes a difference in terms of giving back. As I’ve alluded to before, and after a very successful ‘soft launch’, plans are well underway for a fun(d)raising ride from Paris to Brighton to watch the Springboks opening Rugby World Cup match against Japan on the 19th Sept. So keep your diaries clear for the 15-19 Sept, and watch out for an announcement in the next week or so on the event and everything to do with the charity aspect of Lettie’s Ride.
In the mean time, stay happy, and have an amazing weekend,