Monthly Archives: August 2012

Flights of Fancy

For years I’ve had this running comparison going on in my mind between the romance of flying someplace, as I used to know it was back when, and that of travelling by bicycle. I became acquainted with both at around the same time in my life, when I was six, for it was that year…

North to Alaska

In the words of Johnny Horton I am going North to Alaska. Yet another assignment (can’t complain about all the work) in this very busy summer and yet another good reason for looking into the possibility of getting myself a Brompton one day. How nice it would be to be packing along a bicycle on…

Shooting The Moon

Earlier this month I came across a post on a touring cycling forum that captured my imagination and by the look of the responses that followed, captured the imagination of a number of other readers as well. The post was written by a young, unattached, unemployed guy who was receiving what is called here in…

Vicarious Velodrome

There was much giggling from two little girls in the Smith household on Friday afternoon when the postman knocked to deliver a large parcel from Amazon: something my wife ordered as a surprise for me while I was off in Norway. Heads crowded close as I slit the packing tape and opened it up –…

An Auto-da-Fé

So Lance Armstrong has thrown in the towel, uncharacteristically walking away from a fight and announcing that he is no longer going to contest or otherwise involve himself a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation he evidently sees as little more than a lynching. “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say…

Rising and Shining

I’ve been spending an awful lot of time at high latitudes this summer, travelling on one assignment or another. Norway’s remote Lofoten Islands, where I’ve made multiple trips this year, is well above the Arctic Circle at 68-degrees north and even Orkney is getting up there, at nearly sixty degrees; Kirkwall is north of Juneau,…

The More The Merrier

So here I am back home in Sussex, having lobbed in last night on an evening flight from Oslo in which I found myself seated beside a prosperous looking Norwegian man in his forties and beside him a thirty-something (maybe) Asian-American woman from Washington DC who occupied the window seat. We were all strangers to…

Southbound

My apologies to anyone who has been trying to follow my blog this past week and found it not being updated as regularly as I’d like it to have been, but internet access at our remote little harbourside cabin was a good deal more scratchy than expected and then too the work days were long…

Dog Day Afternoons

I read in the BBC news website yesterday that England has enjoyed, if that is the word, its warmest day of 2012 so far with temperatures soaring to more than 32C in parts of Surrey, or 90F for those measuring their temperatures on the old Fahrenheit scale. Still warmer weather is forecast for today, and…

Out of Office – Again

I was barely home for twenty-four hours, not even time enough to squeeze in a decent ride on my bicycle than I was obliged to hit the road yet again, this time back up to northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle, to a region I’ve been a couple times already this year. As ever with…