Cycling Monologues No 2 – The Cycle Tourer

“So anyway I’ve been going touring for about 20 years now I love it I can carry everything on the bike I’ve got it down to a fine art I don’t carry anything I don’t need my bike is a Pearson it’s got a triple chain-set I don’t really need it but it’s nice to have I have a set of Ortlieb panniers which are like totally waterproof I’ve had them for years and I’ve got this Carradice saddle-bag holds a ton of stuff the last trip I did was in Spain 60 miles a day just pootling along no I don’t get lonely there’s such camaraderie on the road you meet up with other cyclists and camp together I use this website to arrange stuff Golden Showers it’s called I’ve done loads of trips Lake District, France, Ireland, Italy that was fabulous I want to do South America one day north to south that would be great you have to be self-sufficient and able to do repairs my forks snapped once I was in Iran but I found a blacksmiths they didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Iranian who does but I managed to get by it turns out he was a Spurs supporter so that put an end to that ha ha you need a sleeping mat that’s the best thing to carry you need a decent night’s sleep I’ve been in the CTC for years it’s such a great community people share their routes and stories I’m going to write a book one of these days like that woman what’s her name anyway the stories I could tell they say everyone’s got one book in them I don’t know where mine is ha ha no I can’t remember any right now but I’ll put them all in the book I must have taken 1000s of photos some of them are just amazing I’m going to sort them all out one day I carry 2 pairs of shorts, a shirt, 2 pairs of socks, camping gear, fleece and my rain stuff you’ve gotta have rain stuff ‘coz you’re going to get caught in a storm I hate it to be honest with you it gets so lonely and the camp sites are bleak and miserable shitholes and no-one talks to you I can’t stand the Lake District, bloody hills up down up down all the bloody time I hate youth hostels, youth that’s a laugh there’s no-one under 70 they’re so cold you know what I dream of a nice hotel with a pool, somewhere hot, buffet breakfast, sunshine, someone to talk to I hate touring always have but what can you do, credit card touring don’t make me laugh I can’t get a credit card I’d stop now if I could I’m never going to write anything I’d sell all this gear on EBay if I could but it’s worthless now God I’m so tired I wouldn’t mind going to Cuba.”

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