The last few days have been pretty busy. We spent the weekend promoting the expedition at the Adventure Travel and Gap Year Show in the RDS.
Monday and today were spent working out some exciting sponsorship deals with two innovative and dynamic companies. One from Cork another from Wales. I’ll say more on each when the ink dries over the next few days. Its suffice to say that the mood is very good here at Revolution Cycle HQ.
For the moment we’re busy sorting out the minutea of a charity cycle.
COME AND SAY HELLO
This weekend the RDS is going to be taken over by adventurers and the adventure curious as the annual Adventure Travel and Gap Year show rolls into town.
The organisers have very kindly given us a stand, to help promote our expedition and we’ll be in good company with many of the top companies providing sustainable and adventurous alternatives to a week in Santa Ponsa.
Fancy climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents, looking for advice on how to spend your gap year, interested in conservation in the Galapagos working in Christchurch or surfing in Sydney. You’ll find lots of help and assistance on all of these at the show, with seminars and exhibitors to answer all that you ever wanted to know about how to see the world.
We’ll be there to promote Revolution Cycle and give advice on adventure touring, so if you’re around do pop in and say hello.
More info on the show can be found here.
I’m just back from a nice long cycle it seems like an age since my last one.
The great thing about time on the bike is that when the legs are engaged, the mind is freed to go on flights of daydream and fancy. Sometimes its odd where these can take you. There’s something about physical repetition that opens a door to the unconcious, a magic door on the other side of which lies forgotten memories and unrealisable dreams. All of which can be lived in vivid technicolor from a bicycle seat.
The cadence of pedaling seems to act much like a mantra does for meditation, something constant and repetitive to focus the mind and then free it from the day to day worries and stresses that make us unreceptive to subtle stimulus and deaf to the sublime signals.
Its hard to say what triggers the memories or thoughts that come flooding through, theres a part of me that likes to think its a smell or action that the landscape presents that mimics one from associated with a past experience and unlocks that to be relived. Part me likes to think its a lot less scientific and therefore a bit more magical.
Today’s trip reminded me, suprisingly of cycling along the Baltic coast in 2005 on my way to St Petersburg. The trigger this time was quite simple. Golding, fallen leaves crunching under tyre reminded me of the Autumn Leaves(click below for Eva Cassidy’s version), which I was listening to a lot on that particular stretch of road. So, with the connection made I spent an indulgent 20mins or so reliving the windswept coast of Estonia, remembering the hearty food, the even heartier beer, reliving my old Giant bike, and above all savoring the feeling that I’ve largely been forgetting with all of the planning and cold calling that organising an expedition requires.
The feeling of being out in the big bad world on a bicycle. And now that the Autumn leaves are falling the world beckons.
Tonight I had the pleasure of listening to Borge Ousland speak in the NCI. Borge is a what you’d call a legend, National Geographic reckons he’s “arguably the most accomplished explorer alive” and I’m not going to argue. He has a string of polar firsts stretching back over the last 15 years to his name so he wasn’t exactly stuck for material. In a lecture that seemed like a breeze through several epic expeditions each worthy of an hour and a half in their own right, there was one sentiment that he expressed several times which struck a chord.
He spoke of how he invariably spent the first few days of each expedition wrestling with demons, and how he had to battle to differentiate rational and non-rational fears. Rational fears were the ones that were objective, present and real such as a polar bear attack or falling into the sub-zero artic ocean. Non- Rational fears were subjective and imagined. He was, in a sense, trying to segregate the internal fears, which we should aim to control(non rational) and fear of things external that are beyond our powers and we should try to avoid.
This got me thinking to how much non-rational fear holds us back. How many times have we not done something because we were afraid of failing, or of looking silly or not swimming with the current. How many times have we let our non-rational fears get in the way of our hopes and dreams and more importantly divert attention from things that we really should have a healthy dose or rational fear of?
Yet the real risk posed to ourselves is often internal. Often it is that non-rational fear of things internal that holds us back from succeeding, being and living like ought to. If I got one thing from the talk tonight, it would be that:
If you can get a grip of your fear, the world will look after itself.
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Hope to see you there : )
Thinking of organising an expedition? Not sure where to start? Don’t know your press releases from your promotional brochures? Not feeling particularly confident about GPS and communications equipment let alone field first aid? Need inspiration, motivation and maybe a bit of education?
Then you’re in the same boat that we were this time last year before we went to the Explore conference in the Royal Geographical Society. It was an eye opening experience. Three days spent listening to the impressive feats of the guest speakers, most notable of whom were Stevie Smith and Jason Lewis, and the encouraging words of Paul Deegan and Ben Saunders, helped us dream big. The workshops on photography, communications etc in between showed us how to make those dreams happen.
The line up for 2008 has just been announced and places are filling up fast. So stop making excuses, book a Ryanair flight, get inspired next November- and realise that the world is your oyster, we did : )
Here’s a video shot at last years conference to whet the appetite.
Every now and then in between the neoliberalism, the free market championing and the leftie bashing the Economist pops out a winning article. Of late they’ve been championing the humble bicycle- the thinking mans transport choice ; ) There’s a touching piece in this week’s edition in memory of remarkable a life.
IN A man’s life there comes a time when he must get out of Brixham. He must leave the boats bobbing in the harbour, the Devon cream teas, the holiday camp and the steam railway; he must bid farewell to the nine-to-five job at Standard Telephones and Cables, up the A379 in Paignton, and hit the more open road.
Some might get no farther than Bristol. But Ian Hibell went so far in one direction that his eyebrows crusted with frost and his hands froze; and so far in another that he lay down in the hot sand to die of dehydration (as he expected) under a thorn tree; and so far in another that the safest place to be, out of range of the mosquitoes, was to burrow like an alligator into black, viscous mud.