“There is no I in Team, but there is an I in Pie” – Shaun of the Dead
I had my lovely friend Lena come and visit me at the beginning of the May for a few days all the way from London, UK. And we went tent camping here in the Southern California Desert. We’d put up our tent, enter our sleeping bags at night, shimmyied ourselves into comfortable positions, and lay at night with the tent roof removed looking at the stars and the moon and relaying the day’s events in our minds.
As we lay there, I would think forward to my near future and this bike ride I am embarking on with Marcus and try to imagine the actual practicalities and physical and mental feelings of doing this every day for a few months. I have done quite a bit of camping, longest was over a month, so am relatively well-versed and rehearsed in this way of being, but not for this length of time and not where my only mode of transportation is a bicycle. Needless to say, I am so unbelievably excited. About the nearing complete change in my daily life. About how on the road, life is whittled down to the most important things: ride, eat, sleep, converse, write, oh and dance – I have the solemn promise that Marcus wants to learn how to lindy hop – another one of my loves. He opened up the idea of street performances… I have not yet mentioned to him the idea of adding a ukulele and a kazoo to our repertoire….
And also of course, I am slightly scared. Will I be able to push myself in that way, every day? Will I be able to make my feet and legs endure each rotation needed to propel myself forward? If they aren’t game, what would I do? Most of the time, I am told my stubbornness is not necessarily a good quality. I just hope that in this it will come in handy, when my legs say ‘NO’ and my mind says ‘YES!’. If my mind says ‘NO’, then, well I will just have to keel over and have some wine. Having a companion will help in this situation, as we will help each other keep going.
Just how did this come about? Back in March, I was working this freelance AV job in Palm Springs for the third year, and this is where I met Marcus, who was doing lighting. He wrote about his version in the previous post, here is mine.
It is so fascinating to me when you meet someone and have an instant connection. I have moved a lot in my life and have met a lot of people, and it isn’t too often this happens. So, when it does, you tilt your head and pay attention. Us both being cyclists came up early in conversation. In the UK, where I lived for most of my entire adult life, most of my friends were cyclists. Here, in the desert in Southern California, I have not really met any, after three years. When I meet another fellow cyclist, I’m intrigued. And the love of travel and adventure was another common love, which was soon established. A few conversations after our initial introduction, he said something along the lines of ‘cycling trip, long term, leaving in July, cross country’. I responded with a less than measured tone, ‘I’m In.’ And could have left right there and then. Or at least done cartwheels.
In my mind, there was no question as to whether this would happen when I said I’m in. Marcus is a doer, spurned on by action and creating his own story. Kind, considerate, and hilarious are other positive characteristics that will make him an awesome cycling companion. He is wise beyond his years, a wonderful writer and critical thinker, and I look forward to going on this journey and doing this joint blog! I am a photographer, so will be posting photographs of our travels.
We are in this to conduct a different story for ourselves. To travel slowly, to witness each mile as it goes by, to push ourselves and simply see the land.
We both are partnering with a charity and have set up a crowd-funding site, where you, the reader can support our journey as well as have it benefit good causes.