To cycle or on foot?

On Sep 13th, 2014

With 1 Comment

An age old dilemma for the seasoned traveller.

How slow do you go?
For me it was a no brainer, or a part brainer to be precise, as I managed to damage some of the other half in my motorbike accident May 2012. On foot was the only option. No sense of balance was going to make cycling a little precarious at the start. I needed time to recuperate and I wanted to take pictures. Lots of them. In fact I set myself lots of tasks and challenges photographically speaking. Add to that a strong need to improve my interpersonal skills a very poor understanding of the world in general and it makes perfect sense.


Richard Hancox with his trusty steed.

A few days ago I met Richard (33 years) who is cycling to Japan, he gave me a hearty hello when cycling up behind me, we pulled over at one of the wonderful roadside ‘Turkish Transport Cafes’ and we discussed this subject a little amongst a great many other things. It was rainy grey outside and we tucked into some Lamb Kebab, Tomato, Onion, Pepper and Parsley salad over a coffee. It was one of those moments when life makes perfect sense.

I am still getting into the rythym again after the long series of recent personal events that have required my attention. So I found myself a little jealous of the two wheels. Sorry Gromit. Basically Richard can cover more than three times my mileage in a day for equivalent times ‘at work’ and that seems attractive when there are really long stretches of tarmac with little or no company save the wonderful iPod.

Richard was great and his company much appreciated. You can read about his exploits for War Child on his blog at

What clinched it though, was that no less than 3 minutes after he had pedalled off into the distance,  and I was missing some solid conversation,  I took the photo of the  lovely Turkish couple at the top of this page. Now he may not have even seen them. I had time to say my hellos and take a quick snap. I love it. It sums up what Turkey has been about so far. Hard working folk, relaxed with themselves, happy in their daily and relentless toil. It’s not an ideal and I’m not being naive about back breaking labour but it does seem a lot more attractive than office stress, sleepless nights, night sweats and becoming completely self absorbed with your anxieties. Bless these people they are so giving and I strongly suspect that the journey is only just beginning.



  1. Adam

    September 29, 2014 (7:54 am)

    Keep up the good work Si. It’s an incredible journey you’re on at the moment and for a just as incredible cause. I’m 23 from Wakefield and find myself wanting to do more fundraising work for the Alzheimers Society, (although I’ll leave the literal cross-country runs to you for now!) my plan is to engage in as many charitable runs as possible of the coming years. Best of luck for the rest of your trip, it’s inspiring. Adam.


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