Monday, October 05, 2009

Bikes, boats, books and some reflection concerning Travis McGee...

Just before I hit that 40 year landmark of life on earth we made a decision to do a Travis McGee and take some retirement while we were at an age where it makes some kind of sense... Retirement on the installment plan if you will.

At the time, it was not a decision that made sense to most people as we had a very good life in Paris, my wife had a job for life in the diplomatic service and as one of the few Steadicam operators in Europe I could look forward to something very hard to find in the film business... job security and interesting projects. Leaving that to go sailing for "a few years" was not something people understood... Most still don't get it.

We'd been members of the SSCA at the time and had noticed an alarming trend in the SSCA newsletters of people who had waited to go cruising, waited till the kids were out of school and set up, waited till they had the perfect boat and then at the very beginning of their voyage would succumb to some ailment or disease. Reading those obituaries in the SSCA newsletter was one of the reasons we decided to go then rather than later.

Some say hind sight is 20/20... Me, I'm not so sure, but I do know that if I was in the same place again I'd do it all again.

Which brings me to "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage first published in 1983, an excellent book about a couple who decided to ride their bikes around the world and did it. After two years and 25,000 miles Larry and Barbra returned to the "real" world where sadly, Barbra Savage was involved in a cycling accident and died before publication in 1983.

Both a good as well as a must read for anyone setting out to do something now rather than later.

The Mountaineers have an ongoing award The Barbara Savage Miles from Nowhere Memorial Award

As long as I am mentioning a book on biking I should point out that I am waiting for my copy of David Byrnes (Talking Heads) new book on his cycling exploits and thoughts on  subjects varied and knowing Byrne's work, interesting...

"Bicycle Diaries"