Sometimes stories in the press catch my eye and make me smile. No, I’m not referring to the French police forcing Alberto off his unlit bike on the Galibier and into the team car. In yesterday’s Nice-Matin there was a report on the exploits of a member from the largest cycling club in Nice. He had cycled 5500 kilometers from Vence to Jerusalem in 60 days which translates into around 92kms a day. I felt this was pretty impressive for a man of almost 70. He’s recorded the trip on his blog www.vencejerusalem2011.fr, taken 2500 photographs and around 6 hours of film.
This wasn’t his first adventure on the bike. In 2006 he rode to St Jacques de Compostelle and on arrival promised himself that his next trip would be to Jerusalem. Looking at his blog, he’s taken a very scenic route through Italy, Greece and Turkey. He wasn’t authorised to traverse Syria, nonetheless the guards invited him over the border for dinner and offered him overnight accommodation. He continued through Jordan, Palestine and into Israel. On the one hand this sounds like a rather pleasant vacation but frankly the realities of cycling that distance with everything one needs on one’s bike, plus the daily search for sufficient supplies and a place to rest one’s head, must make it very stressful. I would love to do something like this but without all those additional worries. I would like to be provided, as a minimum, with the following:
- a detailed map for the most scenic and varied route from A to wherever
- suitably comfortable accommodation (4 star minimum), a sustaining breakfast and lunch, plus a delicious dinner every day
- someone to transport all my luggage and do my laundry (I like fresh kit every day)
- an accompanying vehicle to attend to my needs en route
- my beloved to accompany me.
I’m quite sure someone would be prepared to do this, at a price. I just need to decide where I want to go and when.