takingthelongway

Edinburgh to North Cape by recumbent

About

In 2013 I cycled with my two sons, across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver Island. I have to admit that Canada wasn’t my first choice, I would have preferred to cycle to North Cape. However I was outvoted 2 to 1, and soon forgot about North Cape, and have no regrets.

At the time I thought I was living the experience of a lifetime. Canada is a great country and Canadians are truly wonderful people.

All the cyclists we met on the road, warned us about the long distance ‘bike bug’.I didn’t take much notice then, as I was already 57. As for my sons I decided to wait and see if they had been bitten by the bug.

The web is full of blogs and journals by cyclists in their seventies, who have done amazing rides like from Ushuaia to Prudhoe Bay. By the way the oldest cyclist to cross Canada did so at the age of 84!

Once I got back from Canada I soon realised that I had indeed been bitten by the bug, and at 61, I had to decide whether to wait until retirement age, or go on another bike ride while a little younger. My employers generously gave me the Summer of 2017 as sabbatical to try to satisfy the ‘bike bug’.

So, four years later, Olmo and I are finally going to cycle to North Cape. It has been my dream to return to Norway where I spent six months in my 20s working on a farm. We are looking forward to the road – the vast expanses of the North, the fjords, and most of all the people and the other cyclists that form the cycling community.

I am very grateful to my employers for giving me time off, and to my colleagues for accepting to cover in my absence, again. I work in a community for adults with special needs and while in Canada they and the carers followed our blog eagerly, so in a way they shared our experience with us. I hope it will be the same this time.

Many of the adults in our care have epilepsy, and have frequent seizures. I was also diagnosed with epilepsy less than a month before leaving for Canada. Fortunately it didn’t stop me because it is only in a mild form.

My son and I would like to use our ride to fundraise for Epilepsy Research UK because of the vital scientific work they sponsor, transforming lives through research.

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