Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My brother is a nut

See the map above ?
Thats the British Isles that is.
But you knew that anyway.

See the bit right down in the bottom left hand corner, the bit where the British Isles stops being the British Isles and becomes the Atlantic ?
Thats Lands End that is.

See the bit right up in the top right hand corner of Scotland, the bit where it stops being Scotland and becomes lots of broken up islands instead ?
Thats John O Groats that is.

Inbetween those two points is around 1000 miles of hills, ok so they are little hills and the things we laughingly call mountains would be called "undulations" in areas of Europe and the USA, but they are hills nevertheless, lots of them, all the way up the country.

My brother Ned is currently riding his bicycle from Lands End to John O Groats.
He is a nut.

He and a friend caught the train from Leeds to Penzance (the nearest bit of civilization to Lands End) on Friday and then had to ride the 12 miles from Penzance to the start-off point for the ride, so not content with having to do 1000 miles in two weeks they did an extra 12 as well.

I told you he was a nut.

He rang me yesterday on the third day of their ride to say that they were somewhere in Somerset, three days, three counties covered, about 70 miles a day, I told him again that he was a nut, he agreed.

Then he told me that they had collected money, lots of money on their three days and that a person could actually make a living at this, people keep driving past them, stopping, and then giving them money as they ride past.

They (the two of them) are not doing it for money, its not a charity bike ride its just something that they've alwasy wanted to do and so they've organised it themselves for their own satisfaction, weird isn't it ?

They had some T-Shirts made up for the epic with something like "two nuts on a long bike ride" printed ont he back and this is what is causing all sorts of people to just give them money, just stop and give them money, I don't know who the biggest nuts are.

Neds friend has had to organise a donation to our local hospitals babycare unit as his three kids all required help from them and they are having to stop in towns to find a bank every couple of hours or so to save having to lug around bags of money as well as a fresh pair of underpants and a clean T-Shirt.

Which reminds me...

About 15 years ago I went to France on a cycling/camping expedition with Ned, bear in mind here that at that point he had just returned from his second walking trip around the world where he'd lived out of a backpack for 18 months - I on the other hand was more used to suitcases and four star hotels.

We went for seven days and I packed accordingly and riding down our first French lane after alighting from the ferry at some god-awful early morning time I commented that he appeared to have forgotten our tent. He replied that it was in the left rear panier bag on his bike.

I asked him where he'd packed his sleeping bag then as mine was tied rather intidily across the back of my saddle - his was in the right rear panier bag, likewise upon asking he informed me that the cooking implements were in his left front panier bag and his clothes in the right front one.

There was a long silence.
We rode on for some more miles, or kilometres as we were in France.

He then asked curiously what it was that I had brought in my four panier bags and one handlebar bag.

"Clothes" I said.

He nearly fell off his bike with laughter.

I explained that we were away for seven days which to my mind meant a set of clothes for during the day (the riding of the bike bit) and then a set of clothes for the night (the going out boozing bit), 14 pairs of underpants, 14 pairs of socks, 14 T-shirts, a smattering of pullovers, three pairs of jeans, shoes smart and casual, in fact my whole wardrobe had come on holiday with me, I had probably even packed a suit, just in case you understand.

He actually did fall of his bike laughing at this point.

I asked in a sarcastic way what clothing he had brought with him, him being the travelling globe trotting cleverclogs then, he explained that you carry two of everything, one to wear, one to wash - "wash" I replied startled, "you wash your clothes ?", it was an alien concept to me as I had a wife who did that sort of thing who was waiting at home to greet me in seven days time with the washer already running ready to receive my fourteen sets of dirty clothing.

Its one of the reasons why I wasn't invited on the Lands End to John O Groats bike ride.


Island Girl said...

Good afternoon. Your brother is a nut indeed (and he also better watch his, if he's biking all that distance, Good Lord).

By the way, I am tagging YOU!

"Ten New Things" about yourself :)

Kody said...

Sounds like a decent way to see a lot of beautiful hills. I'm hoping to run around the world, if I make a fancy t-shirt will people pelt me with cash money when they drive by in their cars?

Gary said...

Its a viable business plan, I'll say no more than that.

Choose a heart-rending charity though.