Wilson, my noble stead who has taken me 14, 000 kilometres throughout Europe, has sadly got himself a fatal injury. Over the years the road has been treacherous and demanding for us both, travelling along potholed and gravel tracks, sinking sand dunes, epic mountains, sliding through icy and snowy tarmac, withstood all kinds of ferocious weather, dodged careless drivers, and crashed multiple times into unseen cars or animals. The bike has taken me across most European countries on various trips, totalling well over 20, 000 kilometres. But all things unfortunately come to an end…
This week in Greece, as I slogged up the famous mountain slopes beside Thermopylae, I heard a distinct break in the bike as I pushed down on the pedals. I quickly unclipped the bags and flipped Wilson on his back, wiped away the sweat that was dripping into my eyes, and discovered … nothing! So I rode on, but with each descent I felt more unstable, almost as if the frame was bending below me! I reduced myself to a slow speed and waited for the expertise of a bike shop. By the time I reached Patra, as I prepared the bike to enter my couchsurfing hosts car, I saw the fatal break in the aluminium frame of Wilson. At the rear dropout, where the back wheel joins the frame, a five millimetre gap had distinctively emerged to potentially shatter my adventure. It was a true miracle that I had even arrived in Patras, and within just kilometres the bike could no longer be ridden safely.
After a visit to the local Ideal bike factory to diagnose the injury, we found that it could not be welded. With so much components of the bike worn and needing replaced (pedals, tyres, front pannier, and chain set to name a few), it made much more sense to purchase a new bike before crossing into Asia. So I now find myself here in Greece (20 000 kilometres from my target in Sydney) with no ride!
AICR have jumped on the case, and we have come up with a plan of action to try and get me on the road as soon as possible. We plan to purchase a Dawes Galaxy in the UK, and transport the bicycle to The Peloponnese. But we need your help! Due to my small budget and duration of the upcoming journey, we need to raise funds to purchase my new tour bike to take me across the world and spread the word about the vital work of AICR. Already my planned visit in a couple weeks to a school and cancer lab in Crete is in jeopardy.
If you are able to help, please make a donation to AICR by clicking here. You can also contact AICR directly, or send me an email.
Last night I had the honour of visiting a breast cancer support group here in Patras, who does crucial work for women in the area suffering from the affects of this awful disease. To see videos, photographs and a description of this moving experience please click here. It’s moments like these that make the global cycle tour worthwhile.