Author Archive: Chris Ware

A Pilgrims Folly

I have decided to leave my job, the city I live in and all my wonderful friends in London who make the city worth living in.  After two years in the capital I feel the need to move on and have a more stereotypical adventure.  I settled on the idea of cycling to Istanbul.  A quick internet search suggested I follow the Rhine then Danube and Google Maps tells me its about 2000 miles.  I’ve guessed I can cycle 300 miles a week and have booked a flight back to the UK in May.  Departure day, or D-Day as I like to call it, is the 25th of March.

The anticipation of an expedition like the one I am undertaking is probably the best part of the journey.  I feel I am waking up from two years of sedation, after the numbing effect of repeatedly being rattled in the gloom and fluorescent flicker of the Bakerloo line.  I have an over eagerness which ignores the practicalities of actually cycling 60 miles a day.  My longest ever bike ride so far is 30 miles, after which pain woke me in the night with burning agony throughout my thighs.  I relish the concerned looks and laughter when people discover my folly.  I enjoy the sense of nervous unease when I feel unprepared or unable to do it.  I am already feeling the health benefits of a more foolish life.  I remember the sense of relief when I booked my flight and the elation at handing in my notice.  I like my job but the decisive moment when I burnt my metaphorical ships and had to go through with it was exhilarating.

For now I prepare, more spiritually than practically.  I am contemplating failure and trying to imagine the loneliness, isolation and fear.  D-day is six weeks away and I will get round some training but for now I’ll enjoy the excitement of adventure.