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Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike - Part 1
 
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Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike - Part 1 [Kindle Edition]

Alastair Humphreys
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Product Description

Review

The first great adventure of the new millennium. --Sir Ranulph Fiennes

This book is a literary match to his physical achievement. --Geographical

Product Description

This enthralling account details Alastair Humphrey’s epic journey across Africa, through Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. His experience is at times brutal, and though he faces loneliness, despair, and harsh conditions, he also survives through trust in the kindness of strangers. Moods of Future Joys is the story of the first remarkable stage of the expedition. Just two weeks into the ride the September 11th attacks, and the war that followed, changed everything. All Humphreys' plans went out the window and, instead of riding towards Australia, he suddenly found himself pedalling through the Middle East and Africa and on towards Cape Town. But his journey did not end there. In fact, this was only the beginning...

From the Author

I thought riding round the world was tough.
But the riding was easy compared to the writing! It took me four years to
pedal, and a whole year of peddling, with rejections galore from
publishers.
To actually have this book up and running is an achievement I am proud of
and I hope this will be the first book of many adventures.

About the Author

1995-1996: Taught for a year in South Africa and travelled round
the region.

1997: Cycled from Pakistan to China (Karakoram Highway).
Cycled from Turkey to Italy.

1998: Cycled from Mexico to Panama.

1999: Ran a student charity project in the Philippines (3 months).

2000: Cycled across South America.

2001: Began cycling round the world. England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg,
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey,
Syria, Lebanon, Jordan.

2002: Cycled down Africa. Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi,
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa.

2003: Sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the `Cape 2 Rio' race
Cycled up South America. Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador,
Colombia.

2004: Sailed from Colombia, through the Panama Canal, and up to Mexico.
Cycled through Mexico, USA, Canada and up to northern Alaska. Canoed the
Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Crossed the Pacific Ocean by
freighter. Russia.

2005: Cycled across Asia. Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia,
Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland,
France.

2006: Tuscany, the Western Isles and a camper van tour of the World Cup in
Germany. Expediton to Wales to watch Leeds get thumped in the Play-off
Final. Failed several job interviews because the above is all conspicuously
lacking in 'work' experience. Published my first book.

Excerpted from Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys. Copyright © 0. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Who am I? Why am I here?"
- Admiral James Stockdale


I am holding a tangle of bike spokes in one hand, a box of rough red wine
in the other, and my back is braced against the tent wall as it bucks and
thrashes against the punishment of the storm. The beam from my head torch
is the only light. Wet canvas flaps and cracks around my face. Puddles are
growing on the floor and everything is soaked. The sour wine is
half-finished but my attempts to completely re-build my back wheel -beaten
and broken on the rock-strewn tracks- are not nearly so advanced despite a
whole day working hunched in the gloom of the tent as the gale screams and
pummels down the craggy mountains. Frustration boils: at my inadequate
lightweight tools, at the cramped workspace, at my own incompetence, at the
weather, at the brutally wearing roads. I still have so far to ride. "What
am I doing here?" I try to remember.
My head thumps and darkness encroaches at the edges of my blurring vision.
I am dehydrated and the sun is ferocious. I know that I must find water and
shade but I know also that I must ride faster and have no time to stop.
Paranoid police checkpoints have not yet noticed that I have forged the
visa dates in my passport to allow me to reach the border before my visa
expires, but the implications of getting caught frighten me. I feel weak
and nauseous. But I have no alternative except to keep riding as hard as I
can along this mind-numbing desert road past god only knows how many more
checkpoints to the border. "What am I doing here?" I curse.
After squatting with diarrhoea above a ditch of raw sewage I climb weakly
back onto the road, busy with traffic and pedestrians. The humid air stinks
of fumes and rubbish and sewage and people living cramped together in
makeshift shelters of corrugated metal and cardboard. I ride shakily along
the frighteningly busy road, swerving round potholes and cars and donkey
carts. I am anxious to be out of the slum before nightfall, to find a safe
hiding spot -away from staring eyes- where I will lie soaked in sweat
listening to the whine of mosquitoes until morning. Then I will get back on
the bike and do it all again. I have been doing this for so long. What the
hell am I doing here?
And yet, whenever I asked the question, I always knew, deep inside, that
the answer was perfectly clear.

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