A thought today for a good friend of the Jersey Pocket who is setting off in a week or so on what is definitely his most ambitious cycling adventure to date. Tim Moore has tackled the rigours of following the Tour de France route before and took on the most gruelling edition of the Giro d’Italia on a one hundred year old bike but, even by his significantly elevated standards of suffering for our amusement, this latest challenge is more than a couple of steps up the difficulty ladder.
For starters it is about three times the length of each of his Giro and Tour undertakings. Secondly it starts around 400 miles North of the Arctic Circle and will lead him through twenty different countries before the finish. And thirdly? Well there’s the thing. He is doing it on a 1970’s folding shopper bike..
There is some (not much I grant you) method in Tim’s madness. The route he is taking on is the Iron Curtain Trail; a circuituous, meandering delineation of the edge of the old USSR. In recognition of this heritage he has elected to do the ride on a 1970’s East German MIFA 904, which was the only bicycle available to many people in Soviet-controlled countries during that period of the Cold War. How it (and how he) copes with the wildly varying terrain that he will encounter remains to be seen.
From Kerkenes in the very North of Norway, through Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Solvenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Greece and Turkey to the shores of the Black Sea, Tim has really got his work cut out for him this time.. Just looking ahead on a 14 day weather forecast suggests that the first thing Tim will have to contend with are temperatures with a daily HIGH of around minus degrees 5C.
And then there is the risk of wolves…
…and Russian driving..
If he makes it through the first fortnight thing should get a bit easier but one thing is certain; Tim has chosen a long, long road to travel and a hard, hard way to do it. We here at The Jersey Pocket salute his patently ridiculous cycling schemes and the fantastically funny travel books that come out of them. In honour of his latest endeavour we therefore wish him a hearty “Счастливого пути” / “Schastlivogo Puti.”*
Follow Tim on twitter – @mrtimmoore