The Germ of the Idea.
Anthea and I went on a cycling holiday down the Danube tow path. We went from Passau [ just insde Germany], to Vienna. I don't know how long ago that was but we can find no photos on the computer so it must have been pre digital- that long ago! It was one of those trips where your luggage was carried from destination to destination and we spent each night in a comfortable hotel. The scenery, cycle paths and and following the river made this a very enjoyable experience.
As we were going along I came up with the notion of cycling from Holland and ending up in Vienna- the difference being that it would be by taking everything on the bike and camping all/ most? nights. Completely understanably, Anthea wasn't so keen on that idea but it was something I posted to the back of my mind and thought might be a good retirement project.
I kept mentioning it every now and then - just to keep the dream alive- and got on with working and earning a living. This state of affairs continued and one of the highlights of the intervening years was that we went to see Leonard Cohen at the O2. There might be a lot of Lenny in this blog, but then, everything comes down to Lenny in the end- as WE ALL know.
During the concert the wonderful Lenny said that the last time he had played London was sixteen years ago when he was sixty and ' just a kid with a crazy dream'. Lo and behold, the equally wonderful Anthea, gave me a card for my sixtieth with a picture of me, a map of East Anglia to Vienna and the caption of 'just a kid with a crazy dream'.
This was like getting official approval so I started dropping it into conversation to those who I thought I might be able to sucker into joining me. Bruce, with his history of long distance cycling was up for it, and Fredwas so enthused that he actually went out and bought a bike- we call it one of those basic requirement sort of things. Special mention here must go to Jim Harmer who could have easily made us up to a quartet but Celia's birthday and a confusion of dates got in the way.
Special mention must also go to Jim for recommending 'Assos' cream which is apparently wonderful for your nether regions [ somewhat appropriate as we are going through the netherlands] when cycling. One would like to think that Assos is an ironic play on words but the ointment is manufactured in Switzerland so I think that dispels the witty, ironic theory.
Vague plans, such as, ' which way do we turn when we get off the ferry?' were made. Bookings for planes and ferries took place. Lots of maps were consulted and now, here we are ready to embark upon the crazy dream [ thanks Lenny].
When I left Robert Peel I was overwhelmed with all the good wishes, presents, and kind words. A number of presents were cycle related and the very best of these were three tee shirts with 'Crazy Dreamers- Holland to Vienna' printed on them and our names on the back.
So, that's eight paragraphs to tell you how the blog name came about- this could be a long trip [ for you].
There were other ideas for the group - The Socialist Cycling Club- motto 'Cycling for Socialism' and variations around that theme. Another idea was ' The Chain Gang', other suggestions are welcome - but will be ignored.
Deciding that we would cross the border into Germany somewhere near Arnhem [ they wouldn't be expecting that].
More planning, more maps.
Frightening- isn't it?
Trying to decide which way up the maps should go.
Thanks Robert Peel- although I never realised what a fattening colour bright orange was. Suppose that explains why you never see a thin Dutchman.
Last photo- I suspect there might be stories about pop up tents that refuse to pop down.
Right - this is the last entry before we set sail- the next entry should be from foreign shores.
Louise- I did the above as an individual page [History], but it didn't seem to register- after much hunting around and cutting and pasting I think/ hope I've recued it. I did the page and clicked 'Publish'- did I miss out a step?