Rocket Sprocket…How To Detonate a Route While On Tour

As rain dances on the ferry boat schedule departing Turkish, Cyprus, I stand like a racehorse at the starting bell antsy and raring to go.  I have new water bottle holders, a repaired Rohloff bearing and a new rocket sprocket that gives me lower gears on hills.
It has been a week and ½ since the ferry boats have not run.  It is the coldest and rainiest winter that Cyprus has had in 25 years. I am told by a curious British expat as he peers at a wet magic bicycle circling the port town of Girne hoping for a ferry boat. The roads lack drainage, dirt puddle sloshing has become my new past time. An awful lot of fun not counting the wet car door I skidded into this afternoon.

Love this guy, he sits grinning on his sinking boat. He probably realizes there isn't anything he can do about it so he might as well smile.

As dark rain/snow clouds take up residence over the ocean between Turkey and Cyprus, the temperatures in the Sahara desert up ahead continue to climb. My legs soften from the lack of daily long cycling distances as the plan morphs itself into new phases of halted indecision.

Cyprus is an island divided by two countries, Turkish, Cyprus and Greece, Cyprus.  So pedal off  I do in a thunderous down pour of winter rain from Girne to Nicosia then Larnaca on the Greek side of Cyprus.  Larnaca is my last stop in the search for an island escape. Decisions of east verses west Africa still preoccupy my thoughts as reality sinks in that I can either wait possibly for weeks for a boat to Turkey then cycle Europe to the west of Africa or take the aviation express over Syria to Amman, Jordan pedal the dead sea down the infamous King George Highway and ferry into Egypt. 

Also, crossing the Atlantic and pedaling ocean to ocean across Canada has been ever present on my mind. This would complete my cycling line that rounds the world, that I began many experiences ago in 2009. Fresh thoughts of completion have crept into newly discovered spaces of my, got nothing to prove, could it be time to finish this mind. After all, world peace has changed a fair bit in the last few years since I pedaled out the door.

Egypt…..Egypt….Sudan….Sudan…..halted indecision. Grandiose media reports flood my vacillation as cyclists friends on the ground continue to share good reports and pedal on through the E Africa region. However, one news worthy report has captured my curiosity, “Cyclist robbed at machine gunpoint mid-day on the desert road in Egypt”. He reports he is fine and still pedaling towards Sudan, lightened only of some money and his bank cards. For now, I will just pedal my rocket sprocket over the mountains to the rainy south side of Cyprus looking for clear skies, beach camping, ferry boats, a little bit of logistical magic and/or a decisive onward plan.


Anonymous said...


My heart goes out to you - I've never embarked on such a journey as yours, but I have traveled alone in some difficult enough situations for long enough to know that there are decision points and low points and the answer that you ultimately reach becomes the right answer, no matter what. We can't ever know what would have been with a different choice. Africa can wait if Canada is calling you. You have surely proven anything you felt you needed to prove to yourself and others in terms of strength, bravery, persistance, humor, compassion, etc. etc. so choose to go on to Africa if you truly want to do so, knowing all it may entail. But we're approaching spring in North America and a ride across Canada may be just what you need. You could recharge, perhaps give a few Rotary and/or other fundraising talks to boost your bicycle ambulance funds even higher and then hop a flight to Africa and plot a new route there. And, the funds you've raised for bicycle ambulances will do good, even if you aren't there to personally deliver the ambulances.


Karla - Juneau

Anonymous said...

well said anonymous.Very well summed up!

Anonymous said...

Ha, no it's not his boat at all. He's smiling because he just sank the boat of the dude who ran off with his wife. Btw, great blog.

Skalatitude..."When humans and nature are living in harmony there is magic and beauty everywhere"
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