How I Joined the Journey
I remember a pang of jealousy when I learned that Tom and Woody were tandem cycling across England and Scotland. It was a bit foolish to feel as such seeing as at the time I was traveling across Mexico and Central America. Yet, I was quickly discovering that backpacking from town to town via bus, the type of traveling that so many friends raved about, was not really that appealing to me. I wanted to either be living in an exotic locale and fully immersing myself in the culture or challenging myself in some other way. The idea of seeing foreign places while pushing your physical capacities to their utmost extremes appealed to me greatly, and, often, I envisioned what it would be like cycling with Tom and Woody.
A couple years later I found myself with the two in a Liverpool restaurant eating one of the best hamburgers I have ever bitten into with caramelized onions and a Portobello mushroom that rivaled the size of the meat patty. Sometime between lunch and afternoon beers at the Liverpool Philharmonic Pub we got to talking about Tom and Woody’s idea to up the ante and cycle from the Black Forest to the Black Sea along the winds of the Danube. I immediately liked the sound of it and told them I’d love to join if they’d have me. We decided to keep the lines of communication open.
In the ensuing two years, the idea has kept simmering and slowly turned into a full blown reality. The exact details of it have gone through some mutations along the way but the general gist has stayed the same. We must ride the length of the Danube from the Black Forest to the Black Sea, enjoying the culture, sites, restaurants and people along the way. For a long time it was going to be a duo tandem ride, but that idea came unraveled due to logistics. Call me stubborn, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I’ll be pedaling solo on Joni Mitchell, my shades of blue Norco VFR Disc 2 hybrid bicycle, on this journey that excites me more than any trip I’ve ever embarked upon!