Cycling Full Circle with Astrid
Pushing a loaded touring bike, wearing a warm smile and with a large wicker basket decorated with a huge plastic sunflower, Astrid stood out a little in the back streets of Jerusalem's Old City.
"Nice bike" I said eyeing her ride…
"Hang on that's another Thorn Raven."
The Old City had never been so blessed. To have two loaded Thorn Raven's negotiating its cobbled streets on the same afternoon is surely an honor. Alas my reasons for cycling in The Holy Land were some what less impressive than Astrid's, who was well on her way into a two-year cycle trip round the world.
Astrid's enthusiasm reminded me of my time on the road. The excitment of a new city, the thrill of the unknown and the freedom of life in the saddle, time cutting in front of you with every turn of the pedals. Reading her website it is clear Astrid is a remarkable woman. Her idea to cycle the world came as a direct consequence of reading a book by fellow female cycling legend Anne Mustoe, which she had picked up in an Oxfam shop in September 2005. It was clealry an inspirational read. Astrid had an Ah-Ha! moment and realised that the only way to see the world in a meaningful way was on the back of a Thorn Raven.
Taking a break from work and setting off in May 2008, Astrid left her home near Bristol, travelling towards the rising sun. Her trip will help raise money and awareness of for a couple of specific charities, The Leprosy Mission and the Deaf Studies Trust. Do take a look at her beautiful website www.cyclingfullcircle.com read her journal and peruse her great photos. But most imortantly take a peep at her charity page.
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