It’s All Going South!

http://about.me/lesliemackay

Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive…
(Henry Frankenstein)

Yay, the blog lives and breathes again. It’s been well over a year since I arrived home in San Francisco after cycling across the United States from coast to coast. I’ve since been flirting with the idea of cycling from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego (kind of like the Americas version of Lands End to John o’ Groats). Not sure I’m butch enough to ride from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in one go (though I hope a few of you would heartily dispute that!), so I’m starting with the US leg from Vancouver to the Mexico border — still a hefty 1,857 miles of breathtaking cliffs, redwood forests, lighthouses, beaches, and rugged coastline.

Setting off for this trip in just a couple of days’ time brings back memories of how apprehensive I was last year when I was about to set off cycling across the United States. I’d recently been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and wasn’t sure I could get up the Appalachian Mountains, let alone the Rockies. But I completed the ride with aplomb, even if I say so myself. This time round, a year further in with the CLL, and my specialist at Stanford tells me one of the best things I can do is cardiovascular exercise. Hee, hee, I’m not sure he had this ride in mind though. Anyhow, I hope you’ll join me again on this trip, even if only from your desk chair or deck chair, and send me your encouragement along the way 🙂

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Better Late Than Never!

I wanted to cycle around the world about 21 years ago. Instead, I was unexpectedly offered a job and told myself that I’d do that job for a couple of years and then cycle around the world in greater comfort. Fast-forward 21 years in that job in Germany and then the United States, and here I am, almost ready to set off on the trans America leg. Whether I’ll ever cycle around the world is unknown, but who cares? It’s the journey that counts.

I’ve lived in America for 16 years. Much longer than I ever expected. But then I planned to live in Germany for only 2 or 3 years, and ended up spending much longer there too. It’s been a funny old time in the US – not really a natural fit for me. So besides fulfilling a dream, my trip across America is to experience the country, to see what folks on the west and east coasts rather disparagingly refer to as the flyover states. I’ve always suspected that there would be something in the middle that I’d rather like – a bit like a custard cream biscuit.

Turning 53 last November, I realized I’d better put my skates on if I want to do this ride. I’m a little skeptical whether I can do it at all, to be honest. For one, I’m no spring chicken anymore, and then I got a diagnosis of leukemia last November. But I’m going to give it a shot – and I’m hoping you’ll support me with your comments and encouragement along the way …