Raven – a Thorn bicycle made for the longest of distances

Raven atop Minchinhampton Common

Cycling over to Stroud for my penultimate psychotherapy supervision session before heading off on (change of date) Wednesday April 4 prompted thoughts about a) the (at least temporary) ending of therapy for so many of my clients at once, and at a time not of their choosing, and b) the bike I’ll be using to cycle to Moscow, and then, with luck and a following wind, down through China.

I’ll post separately and later on the challenges of bringing therapy to an end as elegantly and supportively as possible – and finding just how powerfully and positively almost all the wonderful and brave people I work with are rising to that challenge of sorting stuff while there’s time.

But here, may I introduce the object with which I am to have an even closer  relationship for the months of April to August, going by the name of Raven – my extremely sturdy black steel steed, veteran of 4000 miles to Budapest and back and of 500 miles into Scotland a couple of years ago, and my all-time favourite bicycle. Continue reading

Visas and Jabs

Little more than a month till departure, and  – as winter begins to fade and (as in the photo on the right) Cotswolds snows thaw – the visas and jabs are beginning to come together.

Preparing to  take a bike through Russia to China and on to Vietnam isn’t working out cheap.

  • Best part of £500 for the necessary inoculations – tick-born encephalitis, Hepatitis-B, rabies (thank goodness no longer with the jabs in the stomach) and only the surgery knows what else. Two sore arms this weekend, and that’s a price with a 10% discount for a trip that’s fund-raising for charity.
  • (On which point, please do, if you haven’t already done so, consider sponsoring me for this ride, by clicking the links in the column on the right of each page.)

And on the visa front, ouch. Continue reading

Cycle Trip Preparations – 2 months to go

The View from Cirencester Park

With less than eight weeks to go until I set off on April 3 from the front door of our Wychcroft home in Cirencester (Sue, as a writer of books on the Old Ways, wanted to call our new home Witchcraft, but that really was a step too far), it’s time to start blogging more regularly on the preparations.

Not that there are many followers yet, but I’m hoping that might improve (and thanks to you personally, dear friend or colleague, for being here right now), since one of the aspects of the bike ride first to Moscow and then down through China that I’m most looking forward to is this blog.

You might think that entirely predictable for a former hack with 30 years of foreign reporting and editing experience.

But in fact, for this ex-journo to enjoy the prospect of writing is something of a first. Or rather, a second, given that blogging, to my great surprise, was one of the most enjoyable parts of my last long bike trip to Budapest and back in 2008. Continue reading