Inspirations

There are many points in a persons life that brings them where they are today. All of the choices we make, whether large or small, have an impact on us. Although I have always loved bicycle riding and long distance touring there are a couple of incidents that helped me make the decision to ride around the world now. And there are a few people who helped influence my planning and decisions and fed my desire.

After having a stroke and dragging myself out of my apartment in Cambodia in the middle of the night while half paralyzed it was an easy choice to increase my exercise regiment. The best way I could do that was to get on a bicycle and ride. And keep riding. Read More

Vietnam – A Little Help From Strangers

My ‘Strokes to Spokes’ around-the-world bicycle trip continues in Vietnam. I leave the flat lands of the Mekong Delta and the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City behind as I head out to the ocean for some views of the coast. I made a decision to head inland to the mountain town of Dalat after some soul searching about my physical abilities. This part of the ride turned out to be the toughest so far almost leaving me stranded half way up the five-thousand foot climb. But in the darkness I found some angels waiting to help.

And as always I list the random acts of kindness at the end of the post showing how nice people I see along the ride are to me when they see me pedaling around Vietnam. Read More

Venturing Into Vietnam – Pho, Lotus Fields and Rats

Fishing boats in front of a hill along the southern coast of VietnamI crossed into Vietnam from Cambodia on the seventh day of my bicycle ride around the world. It is time for some Vietnam bicycling. The border crossing at Ha Tien was uneventful and quick – it almost seemed too easy. I originally planned to go to Phu Quoc Island from Ha Tien but all of the ferries were cancelled on the day I booked my ride due to the weather. The outlook didn’t look much better for the next few days so I decided to continue on instead of playing the waiting game with the ferry. I have an overnight stay planned in some lotus fields in a few days leaving me wondering what surprises they have for me on the dinner menu when I get there!

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Strokes to Spokes – Week One

 

Early morning mist across the rice fields and palm trees near Skun, Cambodia.

Early morning view from my guesthouse near Skun Cambodia

Every journey starts with a single step. This week I began a huge step in my life and the first week has come and gone without a hitch. Strokes to Spokes began seven days ago. I rode five of the first seven days for a total of 309 miles. I planned a day off in Phnom Penh to look for a tripod head which was hard to find but I was successful. As I neared the southern part of Cambodia I kept thinking about the excellent food at Ciao! in Kampot so I headed that way and spent an extra day in one of my favorite Cambodian cities.

This is the rainy season in Cambodia and I expect to ride in rain from time to time. On the second day I had to get out my rain jacket for about twenty minutes of rain on my way into Skun. Riding into Kampot was a day full of rain in addition to a stiff headwind most of the day. Thoughts of the ravioli dinner waiting for me kept me focused on the road. Read More

Strokes to Spokes

Me and my new Surly Long Haul Trucker Bicycle at the Let's Touring bicycle shop in Bangkok.

Picking up my new bicycle at Let’s Touring in Bangkok

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When I suffered an ischemic stroke twenty-six months ago just about every aspect of my life flashed through my mind. That happened in the first five minutes as I woke in the middle of the night to a  half-paralyzed body faced with the challenge of getting help in a third world country. It amazes me how much self-evaluation can take place in such a short time. You can read about that experience here. With all of the things going through my mind at the time one thing I didn’t think about was riding a bicycle.

The thought of learning to eat with chopsticks using my left hand and creative ways I was going to have to come up with to control my camera kept my mind occupied as I dragged myself across my apartment floor with one functioning leg and arm.

For the moment my future consisted not of years, but minutes. While lying on the floor I could only wonder what my stroke recovery prognosis would be. What would I be able to do after a stroke? Or more importantly what wouldn’t I be able to do after a stroke? Read More