I haven't even left for Australia yet, but I'm already blogging about it!First off: "What is Riding on the Wrong Side (ROTWS)?" Like many other bloggers, I chose to start a blog since it is the best way to share whatever I have to say in a totally unedited and unrevised manner to the entire planet. More specifically, to those with computers, internet access and who can read english. However, I hope to pique intrest in readers since I will be writing about, and posting photos from, my bicycle tour of Australia's east coast. I am embarking on a solo 6,000 km trip that will be unsupported. The fact that I have never undertaken anything even close to the scope of this trip should hint that there will be some interesting stories to come, all at my expense of course. I will be brining a fair amount of fancy camera equipment to document this prolonged ramble. I will post photos linked from my Flickr page
. I will show off my camera gear in a post later on for all you camera nerds out there. The same goes for my bike and the bike nerds.
You may be asking yourself: "Why should I take time out of my day to read another verbose, ho-hum, self-absorbed blog?" Well if you understand sarcasm at all, then you have already figured out the answer to that question. This trip is not intended to raise money for a charity, or to write some arsty emo blog about how the sand between my toes makes me think of happy childhood memories. No! This trip is for my own personal benefit and is sponsored only by ME!
I hope to provide you with some laughs by way of my misadventures (leg cramps, heat exhaustion, getting lost, snake bite flats, actual snake bites, etc). However, I will also get to laugh at your expense since I will imagine all of you as a generic reader who will be reading this from your work stations in some cubicle farm during the breaks between the multiple daily occurrences when one of your eight supervisors comes by to ask about an e-mail you sent them that they have since printed out and are now holding... or perhaps your employer frowns upon blog websites because they are a detriment to the company's overall productivity and are therefore blocked. In this case you will have to catch up on my pedal powered perils at home either in the morning before work, or in the evening after work. Either way, it will most likely be completely dark and cold outside since I expect most you will be reading from Canada. The joke is on me for the next few days because I am writing this to you from my office desk near Fort McMurray where I have been working a twelve hour night shift for the past few weeks.
I have been working in Alberta's oil sands for the past 7 months now. Although I've had to sacrifice my social life and much of my sanity, it hasn't been all bad. After all, I got exactly what I came here for: a magnificently inflated pay cheque! When I first started this job I thought: "Great! I can finally realize my dream of owning a house in Vancouver!". A few months passed after I began my new job and I eventually came to the realization that owning a house would be a massive responsibility. I have always been proud of the fact that I have become a master of avoiding responsibility. Being a home owner is such a massive responsibility that I can only imagine fathering a child would be greater. I would have to stick to my mantra of avoiding responsibility for the time being since the thought of being a home owner created excessive anxiety. I had to reconsider how I would spend all of my bourgeois, capitalist oil money. After much personal reflection, I devised a plan that would have me quit my job, fly to the other end of the planet, ride a bike around and basically live as some type of a cycling vagabond miscreant... with a fancy camera and a credit card. If I were a movie character I would be a mix of:
Chuck Norris as Maj. Scott McCoy on his dirt bike in Delta Force
Kevin Bacon as Jack Casey in QuicksilverUnsecure image, only https images allowed: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ16RiygpqLyW3f3ttwmEC-ISJ49k5to0kRZLaXSm1JLA7yuck&t=1&usg=__nBJCAaER7FWCNShT-jyL2_nu7HM=
and Christopher McCandless a.k.a Alexander Supertramp (Into the Wild)Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://fathermuskrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/alex.jpg
... except I won't have missiles on my handbars (unfortunately) I won't be chased through a large city by a murderous drug dealer (hopefully) and although I will be tramping across a vast country, much like Chris McCandless did, I certainly don't plan on dying of starvation, stranded in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. That wasn't the best reference because unlike the first two protagonists I referenced, I will always be wearing my helmet while riding my bike!
There will be more posts to come about the prep before my departure for Sydney on Monday the 22nd. Until then, take care of yourself, and each other.