March 15, 2004 GMT
What I'm Doing Is Easy

I had just entered Costa Rica from Nicaragua and I was in my usual euphoric state from being in a new country with the added relief of having cleared Immigration and Customs.

About ten minutes later I could see a cyclist up ahead, going the same way as me. That made it easy to chat as neither of us would have to stop.

As I slowed down I noticed her pony tail.

‘Wow’ I thought.

Not For Mum

I started to dribble along side her bike.

‘Hi’ I said ‘Where are you going?’

Jodie was headed for Ushuaia, at the bottom of South America, in time for their summer in Christmas 2004. . She is twenty seven and lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She left Colorado six months ago and will have cycled the whole length of the Americas on her own.

We were both headed for the same place so we agreed to meet later for dinner.

She had obtained a place at The Royal College of Music in London to study the clarinet but had decided to go cycling instead.

What I’m doing is a complete breeze compared to cycling one hundred kilometres every day.

All I do is just sit there. Whenever there’s a hill or headwind I just twist my right wrist a little more, or, if it gets really steep or strong, I may even have to move my left foot and left hand and change down one gear. It just takes me seconds.

Jodie, on the other hand, has to use to use her own power every inch of the way.

It takes a huge amount of willpower, energy and time.

I’m very jealous and envious.

A Big Truck

I love cycling so I can understand her pain and pleasure and am simply in awe of her determination and drive.

She gets many things that I miss on my bike, especially the silence but she also gets the worst of the traffic: trucks coming too close and their following vacuum that accelerates her into the middle of the road or blows her off it, buses running her off the road.

During one conversation it transpired she’d never eaten chocolate before breakfast.

I said it was all very well cycling from Colorado to the bottom of South America in eighteen months but anyone could do that. I suggested she needed to get out a bit more, really stretch herself, think outside the box, rather than go through life taking the easy option.

I dared her to eat some chocolate really early in the morning as a way of pushing the barriers back a bit and maybe learn something about herself.

Luckily, she laughed.

For Mum

Visit for more details on this and previous trips.

Posted by Jeremy Bullard at March 15, 2004 11:16 PM GMT
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