Are you on your own?

“Are you on your own?” If I were paid a pound for every time I’ve been asked that I’d be getting on for earning a decent wage.

Whether it be border guards, campsite owners, restaurant staff, other travellers and tourists or fellow cyclists, they all have the same question. Sometimes asked with an inflection of surprise, sometimes with an air of curious disbelief but always the same question.

And my answer is always the same. “Yes.” Continue reading

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A moment to ponder…

12 countries, over 4,000 miles driven and countless thousands of kilometres more cycled.

I’m almost three months out of work, and ten weeks travelling in Victor.

I’ve been wondering what, in that time, have I missed? What have I thought about from home? What have I discovered about the practicalities of leaving a very good, well-settled life to up-sticks and head off into, albeit hardly wild country, an unknown agenda? Continue reading

Cracking Croatia

Waking to the sound of church bells is nearly always a pleasure and so it was on this overcast Friday morning in autumn in the south west of Slovenia.

Iimag2860 had plans. A mixture of sightseeing and training. The previous day’s exercise regime had been a success with reverse tri of an early run, then a ride followed by a swim, so I thought I might do similar today.

I headed straight for Rakov Škocjan – a gorge just to the west of Cerknica. The Tourist Information Centre had told me there was an 8km educational trail so I thought I’d go and have a run round that. Continue reading

Italy? Slovenia? Croatia? I can’t decide!

Trieste. Only my third time in Italy and where did I head directly for, having dropped Jane off at the station and parked the van by the docks…. Only the very best, one of a kind, bakery I’ve ever been to.

I needed breakfast (and to soak up some of the previous day’s prosecco) so I took a half an hour stroll through the busy and hilly streets of the city. At almost every corner it seemed there was a huge staircase to climb, or a 1:4 hill to drag myself up. But the city was alive and felt very Mediterranean. Listening to the babble of Italian and the hustle and bustle as I walked was really lovely and for the first time I felt like a traveler, rather than a holiday maker. I felt like I was experiencing the sort of thing that they write about in the Lonely Planet or such like. Continue reading

Recovery and reflection. Oh, and prosecco.

After the being locked out incident, the security of Victor was satisfying and we slept well (though Jane did think we were going to be attacked by screeching birds half way through the night. I think that was the beer talking though she insists she heard them). We breakfasted like kings and set off down into Lienz to explore.

We were both still tired so didn’t fancy much activity though Lienz seems to be the place for it, as the host of a gruelling sounding four-person team event called the Dolomitenmann that consists of a mountain run, paraseiling, mountain biking and canoeing (with each team member doing one each). Anyone up for that next year?! Continue reading

Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl – ETU Middle Distance Championships

This was the main event. Trumping Challenge Poznań as my A-race due to a winter of illness and a spring and early summer of stress!

If nothing else it would be proof, or otherwise, that you can train and travel.

Since the race in Poland I’ve done quite a bit of training; 1,228 km of cycling, 12,577 meters climbed, 108 km of running and 24.6 km swimming. That’s not too bad, though the running is down on where I’d have liked it to be. Continue reading

How many cold river dips are good for you?

Time marches on and seems to be slipping through my fingers. Where is it all going? How can it be two months since I left work? 6 weeks since I left the UK? 5 weeks since I raced in Poznań?

For the past week I’ve been training hard, the last push before the next appearance for Team GB in Walchsee, Austria. The weather has been glorious and I’ve begun to appreciate that early starts really help to make the most of the day (she says, typing this at half past midnight ensuring anything but an early start tomorrow). Continue reading