In the summer of 2003, after about 9 months of constant training, I packed my bike up in a cardboard box–along with 40 pounds’ worth of touring gear–and set off for Paris, France. Six weeks, eight countries, and almost 2200 miles later I came home. Or someone came home…just not the same guy who left.
Shortly after my return I wrote an article about my trip called “The King’s Tale,” which I have updated for this blog–adding images and cleaning up the prose, insofar as that’s possible with such chaotic source material.
While scanning images and digging through old maps, I came across my journal from that voyage. After so much time had passed, it came as quite a shock: detailed, emotionally blunt, full of joys and hopes and self-doubt, sometimes enthralled with life, sometimes angry, and generally difficult to revisit. The preface page, included here and written on the plane ride home, caught me off-guard, having completely forgotten writing it. I’m not sure how to feel now, sitting at the other end of a decade, reading a note written directly to a much older and less hopeful me.
Nonetheless, in the spirit of honest reflection as I face the prospect of yet another journey–sure to be far more taxing and life-altering–I thought it’d be cowardly not to share.
The rest of the story, in the form of “The King’s Tale,” should prove much lighter and more entertaining.
I hope you enjoy it.
Start reading “The King’s Tale” now.