I think it’s fair to say we are getting to the point where we all would quite happily throw our bikes in the sea and never see them again. That’s saying something as I love my bike. We have 3 more days to go and I can actually see Rio on a map, if I zoom out a bit anyway! We have nearly cycled 3000 miles which despite doing it I can’t quite get my head around. Every day I’ve worked hard to get through the days challenges and at some points thought how on earth are we going to do this on a day to day basis. All of a sudden I’ve found myself on day 36.
By Mike Tomlinson
This is Day 32 of Ride to Rio and there is no doubt that it was never going to be easy. But, as often, on these rides the cycling can be the easiest part of the trip. Long days, a different town every night, strange bed, no chance to do laundry are just the tip if the iceberg.
Everyone is affected differently, with me I crave the solitude and head space that is hard to find in the environment.
This has been heightened in Brasil. We landed in Recife two weeks ago. We were all shocked by how poor the country was and the quality of housing. People had little, work seemed scarce. Like many poorer countries I have visited the quality of life has been excellent without the demands of materialism.
There was though an undercurrent of danger from robbery, never felt by us but advised by the locals. As darkness falls by 5:30 we were advised not to go outside of the accommodation and I felt trapped. The people were to a person, smiling pleasant and very helpful.
As we have moved down the country, about 1000 miles, the wealth has increased considerably, especially in the Cities and so has the aloofness of the people. There is a considerable north/south divide, ring any bells, I know where I would rather be.
Brasil is an outstandingly beautiful country, many places unspoilt, since we have been here we have seen no western or American visitors; who knows how long that will last.
So for all the long days in the saddle, the one thing that I will take away from me is that wealth does not mean happiness, its the simple things that matter the most.
By Mike Tomlinson
10 days on the bike; 750 miles no rest days. Sleep deprivation, a different bed every night, countless hours waiting around. Every day punctuated by moments of sheer bliss and amazing scenery.
In the hills you crave flat roads, on flat roads I spend my time swiping right on my garmin to check speed elevation and the route.
Each day i live in my own bubble, I am the least talkative of the team, happy to cycle on my own. Time to reflect on loved ones, family and home.
When things are at there best we are working well at the team but the challenge is an individual one. The aches, pains unique to the rider.
Today we were in st Domingo and I talked to pilgrims walking camino de Santiago a walk of 754 km. As a Catholic its probably something I should know more about. As we cycled in the aftenoon we passed many of them on the road to Burgos. We all have our journeys for many reasons mine is to raise money so people didn’t suffer like Jane which why now my arse is so sore i may never sit normally again