Since I first mentioned this trip to family, friends and online OU students, my sanity has from time to time been questioned. I know that these accusations are made with a tongue in cheek, but there's something worrying about proposing an idea and then being told: "You must be mad". Have I made a mistake? Have I underestimated what's involved? If I'd suggested eating a tree or indulging in a session of heavy petting with Ann Widdecombe then these people might have had a point but I haven't. It's just a bike ride. Yes, it's a thirty thousand kilometre bike ride, but it's still just a bike ride.
Some long distance cyclists however clearly do believe that they are mental. One of the best websites for cycling blogs is www.crazyguyonabike.com, originally set up by, well, a guy on a bike who thought himself crazy. Some people revel in the idea of their own insanity. They love nothing more than to think that they're utterly, toad-lickingly bonkers. But I've yet to meet a self-confessed madman who was anything more than a bit wacky. Real loonies tend not to know that they're barking. No, they think that they're Napoleon, or they're Scientologists.
Y'see, I'm not mad. I'm the sanest person here. The nutty ones are those who say that they'd love to do something like this (or some other type of adventure), but then never get around to it. They get old, and by then it's too late to do anything useful. And then they die. Or they enter the House of Lords.
Personally I think it's more insane to sell your finite existence to a company you hate, to work with people who get right on your areolae and to slowly decompose in traffic for an hour in each direction just for the privilege. Of course everyone needs to earn some money but in this short life you get what you settle for and if you're in a job that makes you want to take an AK47 to your co-workers, or if you're not enjoying the majority of your life for whatever reason, then it's you who's off your rocker. But of course you can change all that. Go on, buy a bike. Or an AK47.
So now that we've established that I'm not mad, I can tell you the details of my next charity venture. Yes, you've guessed it. After a lunch of deep-fried elm, I'm going to indulge in a session of heavy petting with Ann Widdecombe. Tongue in cheek? Only if she asks nicely.