Wandering Cyclists Begin Their Long Journey
9 Feb 2000
Written by Kevin
Subject: Oxfordshire - West Sussex

It was dark and cold when we left our home in Islip, Oxfordshire on a frosty February morning. Due to the stress of last minute preparations that symbolic moment of departure was the first time we had actually rode with fully loaded panniers. As we wobbled off down the street I silently wondered what the hell we were doing attempting to lug this load all the way to Sydney.

Followed by TV crews, photographers and a random assortment of other journalists we climbed through heavy rain and gale force winds into the South Downs. Three days later we made it to my family home in Wickham, Hampshire where we spent a couple of days of re-packing. The 'absolute minimum' before you set off manages to get even smaller when faced with very long steep hills.

After a bidding farewell to my family we moved off once more, and right now we are heading up towards London for some interviews and photographs, and more importantly to meet up with a few good friends that we won't be seeing again for a long time.

We are currently staying in a beautiful old thatched cottage in Midhurst, West Sussex, which belongs to Lowanna's Great Aunt; Biddy. Tomorrow morning we will be setting off for the long trek to London, about 70 miles, longer than anything we have cycled so far. Hopefully we will get blown there as quickly as we got blown here yesterday - even going uphill the wind kept us moving without pedalling!

Once through London we will carry on in a northeasterly direction (if only because it means we will have the gale force south westerlies behind us!) until we reach Harwich, from where we will jump on a ferry to the Netherlands and begin the journey proper!

So apart from feeling really exhausted and looking forward to a good nights sleep when we get to Oz, all is amazing, the world is great, and we still think we chose the right way to get there…