Monday, 29 June 2015

Soundtrack to my trip:

I have been collecting songs for my trip that have a meaning for me and I thought I would share them as just good travelling songs, if you have any others you think would be good make suggestions :-)

Savage Garden - Affirmation

You should always ALWAYS start on a positive note and for me this is the song that I dig out when I need to feel good.  I was shocked when I heard this, I never thought this would be a group I would like but it is still one of the songs I reach for!  If you have listened to it but not listened to the words watch it again and LISTEN :-)



AC DC  - Thunderstruck

This shouldn't need explaining, better than caffeine at waking you up, more explosive than uranium 232, more stimulating than a direct injection of adrenalin, more electricity than voltaire.... no journey should be undertaken without AC DC to back you up.  Until you have ridden down hill full tilt wind in your face, too scared to hit the brakes, wheels thrumming under you....  Thunderstruck screaming down your ears, then my friend you really really haven't lived....

Get up, grab your mp3 head to the steepest hill you can find now let go.. what are you waiting for, why are you still reading this????
http://mypages.iit.edu/~ahutches/images/thunderstorm.jpg
If you have ever been out in the open and this happens
you know you are alive

Lee Marvin - I was Born Under a wondering star

I watched this transfixed as a child, Lee Marvin's performance was perfection.  If I get the wanderlust, I can often be heard singing this around the house..  It just means travel, freedom...

Break rules not laws...
One day I will own that hat and have that beard

 "Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin' star
I was born under a wandrin' star
Do I know where hell is, hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye forever, its time for me to go"

Ameno - Era

If you have never listened to Era, try now..  Whenever I visit a castle or church or any historical site I imagine one of Era's songs.
Modern Classical

America - Horse with no name

This song reminds me of travelling and it's about a man on a journey.  It just takes me away to sunny days and  contemplation.

A horse with no name. Its from the song "Horse with no name" by America if you didn't know. I OHM A UPON " EQUESTRIAN Willi} BORE m Luck or was RATHER
Joseph Ducreux - google it if you don't get it


Jackson Brown - Running on Empty

How many times do you feel like there's nothing left...  well trust me you can still keep going for as long as it takes.

When you are truly empty and have nothing left to give..
it is at this point you are the lightest and ready to fly...  
Renyk de'Vandre 1992 - 22 yrs old and still learning the hard way :-)

 Christopher Cross - Ride like the wind

I know there have been a few versions of this, but hey this is my favourite.  I remember being stuck out in the middle of nowhere having cycled for 18 hrs and I was exhausted and this song came on and it picked me up and gave me a boost.  I haven't ever forgotten that experience so this is a favourite.

Sometimes life just loads you up too much and you come to a grinding
halt!  My advice:  if your going to look stupid do it in style and take the
opportunity to rest!


Russell Watson - Faith of the Heart

This is a song all about reflection and the future and faith in yourself.  I first heard it as the theme to Star Trek Enterprise and it always conjures up the end of a journey, and the struggle and having the strength to carry on.
If you don't understand this you have been too sheltered
and you should make it your business to find out
for yourself what it means.. it will change you.

Some might find it cheesy, get a heart

Ghost Rider - Riders in the sky

Theres two versions I take, the version from the film ghost rider and the doors version, just a great song that takes me outdoors even when I am inside! Just think of flying down hills on your iron horse!  I am starting to think there may have been a cowboy somewhere in my ancestry!

wwwherrress the bloody pedals!


Mussogorsky - Night on a bare mountain

Many many years ago when I first left home I bought my first good stereo and after I connected it  this was the album I put on.  There was a powerful summer storm outside it was raining but the air was filled with electricity and thunder and lightening.  I lived 8 floors up and I went onto my balcony with this playingI can still smell the summer air!   It reminded me of mountains and adventure...  it still does.

Gladiator Themetune

Another one that transports me to another place, another time...an amazing movie and the end scene playing out to fields of elysium..

Dan Hill - It's a long road

 The title says it all..  what can I say I am a child of the 80's and I grew up with Rambo!  Eat your heart out Bear Grylls let's see you cauterise a wound with gunpowder!

James - Sit Down

Being mad means I don't mind talking to other mad people which is a usefull skill when your are cycling mile after mile, because the mad person I usually talk to is myself..

RIP Terry, I only met you once but you will always live
on in my laughter and the thousands of others
who shared in your imagination.
It was a strange coincidence that when I heard the news of Terry Pratchett passing away I was listening to this track.  If ever there was someone who had a touch of madness it was Terry, one of his famous characters was twoflower the first ever discworld tourist:

“Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. 
Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant 'idiot'.” 

Journey Don't Stop Believing

Recognised cheese, I don't care I love it, I will sing it out loud and enjoy it see if I care!

Kate Bush - Running up that hill

There's plenty of hills on their way for me!

Thom Pace - Maybe (theme tune to Grizzly Adams)

I grew up with Grizzly Adams I still have a copy of the book from the TV series how sad is that!

Charlie Daniels Band - The legend of Wooley Swamp

Not well known but still one of my perennial favourites.

Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver

RIP Dio, I am sorry but the killswitch engage version makes me laugh! This version of Holy Diver always brings a smile to my face!

Lee DeWyze - Black Bird Song

Listen to it, see where it takes you, I am a new convert to Lee DeWyze.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

They say that for every uphill there's a downhill.... it never feels like it..  Another classic track imho

Motley Crew - Home Sweet Home

This is a song about going home, after all you haven't been on a journey unless you actually go home.  Someone asked me where my home was once, I gave them my address and they said "that's where you live" what is your real home, where are you most happiest.  I had to think about that one and basically it's wherever I am at the point I am happy so home for me is essentiall me :-)

 Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair

Many people listen to this and have no idea of what the song is actually about.  It is a song where a man requests the listener to request of his former love a series of impossible tasks before he will take her back.  It is a traditional ballad made most famous by Simon & Garfunkel.

Ennio Morricone - Magnificent Seven Themetune

Remember the rowntrees fruit pastel advert betting you couldn't eat one without chewing?  I bet you can't listen to this on your own without pretending to ride a horse (grinning like a maniac)

Dibbs on being Yul Brynner but my favourite character was
James Coburn
For some reason I always thought this was Ennio Morricone but it is Elmer Bernstein!

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. 
Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797) .

Barra Barra - from Black Hawk Down

visions of Desert Nights ....

Nox Arcana - Night of the Wolf

For dark scary nights, to set the atmosphere 

On the Road Again - Willie Nelson

Just a great song.

Ozzy Osborne - Shot in the Dark

A misspent youth listening to the prince of darkness!

Peter Gabriel (ft Kate Bush) - Don't Give Up

Okay this one is a pick me up song and it has nothing to do with a massive teenage crush on Kate Bush!

Rennaisance - Northern Lights

This is an oldie but again a song with the power to transport me to another world..

Republica - Ready to Go

Yes I am, and this song will get me there if I am not!

Roll Me Away - Bob Seger

Sometimes we all need to get away... even for a short time.


Lindisfarne - Run for home

I think of this when I have finished and I am on the home strait...  time to go home!

Saxon - Ride Like the Wind

It's just a cycling song I can't help it!

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

Another song to make you think, but listen to the message deep down there's always some fight left die on your feet not on your knees.


Tom Petty - Running Down a Dream

That's what every journey is about, running down your dreams!

Whitesnake - Here I go again

A favourite and yep here I go again

Yunhi Chal Chal Raahi - From the Bollywood Film Swades

Swades, with Sharukh Khan.. the story of a Nasa Scientist who heads back to india and ends up on a journey of self discovery.  This song is where he meets a religious man and gives him a lift.. I could see the stress flowing out of him... journeys can do that for you!



Thursday, 25 June 2015

Adventure - Why??

Recently I was walking past a bookstore 5 minutes from where I work, one of those shops that instantly transports you back to years gone by, musty with the smell of old print and seemingly physics defying internals that appear to be far to much to fit into the building outside..  The first time I entered, I was hoping to see the librarian dragging his knuckles along the floor (see the discworld) or the shopkeeper from Mr Ben appear from around the bookshelves with a wonky fez on his head..  In fact the first time I went in the door was open but no one was there not a soul!  I was luckier on my second visit.

I happened to glance in the window and spotted a book which I didn't have the cash for at the time (no modern fangled cards accepted) so I reserved it and  I picked up today from the proprietor who turned out to be nothing as I had imagined but nonetheless fitting as if the bookshop had grown up around him.  The title  of the book is "The Kangchenjunga Adventure", F. S. Smythes - Famous Travel Book - the first cheap edition with all 48 original plate's at a cost of 6s!


The cheap edition


Kanchenjunga.JPG
Kangchengjunga the 3rd highest mountain in the world

I had no idea what this book was about but it had that marvelous word Kangchenjunga and Adventure in the title, it had called out to me from the second hand bookshop and despite having no idea of the content I was resolved to read it.  I had imagined some African adventure full of the mysteries of the dark continent, with moustached englishmen in plus fours being followed up river by locals carrying bales of hay, don't laugh check for yourself in any of those illustrations with natives carrying equipment there are always one or two with a bale of hay.. no one ever explains why they are carrying hay but they do..  Think back to all of the old films in black and white they are always sitting on a bale of hay.. who do you think carrried them, certainly not the explorer!  The truth is however it turned out to be an account of several ascents of different Himalayan peaks by an international team of mountain climbers.

Originally published in 1930 it saw four subsequent publications over the next two years so must have been a popular book, and judging by the exclamation on the cover of it being the first cheap edition the less well off of the masses must have been clamouring for an affordable copy, if anyone has an "Expensive" copy I would love to see it :-)

The part that immediately sprang out when reading this was in the preface:

"it is now no longer neccessary to disguise adventue shamefacedly under the cloak of science.  The scientific side of the expedition was well attended to, and interesting and important data have been gained.  We went, however, to Kangchenjunga in response not to the dictates of science, but in obedience to that indefinable urge men call adventure, an urge which in spite of easy living and "Safety First," still has its roots deep in the human race".

Firstly how nothing changes 80 + years ago they were fearing that society was becoming too closeted and safety conscious; and secondly the primal urge to explore and adventure!!!!!!

If I am asked why I am setting out on my travels I can honestly say in less eloquent terms that Mr F. S. Smythe "what he said"!

I am looking forward to reading Mr Smythes book and adding it to my seemingly growing collection of adventures from the turn of the century.  It is hard to think of an adventure not already undertaken or an area not yet extensively mappped, it appears our generation for the most must satisfy themselves with doing things faster, more of or in novel ways etc.. This doesn't detract from those adventures because from my perspective actually experiencing something yourself enduring personal hardship in itself is so personal that no one even those who have walked the same path before you have experienced in quite the way an individual does.

The satisfaction of setting a goal and achieving it will always be an adventure in itself! I have always had what I believe to be an adventurous spirit, and it seems that it is showing no signs of diminishing!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Soundtrack to my trip:

I have been collecting songs for my trip that have a meaning for me and I thought I would share them as just good travelling songs, if you have any others you think would be good make suggestions :-)


AC DC  - Thunderstruck

This shouldn't need explaining, better than caffeine at waking you up, more explosive than uranium 232, more stimulating than a direct injection of adrenalin, more electricity than voltaire.... no journey should be undertaken without AC DC to back you up.  Until you have ridden down hill full tilt wind in your face, too scared to hit the brakes, wheels thrumming under you....  Thunderstruck screaming down your ears, then my friend you really really haven't lived....

Get up, grab your mp3 head to the steepest hill you can find now let go.. what are you waiting for, why are you still reading this????
http://mypages.iit.edu/~ahutches/images/thunderstorm.jpg
If you have ever been out in the open and this happens
you know you are alive

Lee Marvin - I was Born Under a wondering star

I watched this transfixed as a child, Lee Marvin's performance was perfection.  If I get the wanderlust, I can often be heard singing this around the house..  It just means travel, freedom...

Break rules not laws...
One day I will own that hat and have that beard

 "Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin' star
I was born under a wandrin' star
Do I know where hell is, hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye forever, its time for me to go"


Marillion hearts of lothian(This one is for Scotland)

I have always loved Marilion and I spent more than a few teenage nights lying in bed listening to this on vinyl!  Along with Big Country this always reminds me of Scotland! Don't leave us!!!!!

Missplaced Childhood a timeless album

Ameno - Era


If you have never listened to Era, try now..  Whenever I visit a castle or church or any historical site I imagine one of Era's songs.
Modern Classical

America - Horse with no name

This song reminds me of travelling and it's about a man on a journey.  It just takes me away to sunny days and  contemplation.

A horse with no name. Its from the song "Horse with no name" by America if you didn't know. I OHM A UPON " EQUESTRIAN Willi} BORE m Luck or was RATHER
Joseph Ducreux - google it if you don't get it


Jackson Brown - Running on Empty

How many times do you feel like there's nothing left...  well trust me you can still keep going for as long as it takes.

When you are truly empty and have nothing left to give..
it is at this point you are the lightest and ready to fly...  
Renyk de'Vandre 1992 - 22 yrs old and still learning the hard way :-)

 Christopher Cross - Ride like the wind

I know there have been a few versions of this, but hey this is my favourite.  I remember being stuck out in the middle of nowhere having cycled for 18 hrs and I was exhausted and this song came on and it picked me up and gave me a boost.  I haven't ever forgotten that experience so this is a favourite.

Sometimes life just loads you up too much and you come to a grinding
halt!  My advice:  if your going to look stupid do it in style and take the
opportunity to rest!


Russell Watson - Faith of the Heart

This is a song all about reflection and the future and faith in yourself.  I first heard it as the theme to Star Trek Enterprise and it always conjures up the end of a journey, and the struggle and having the strength to carry on.
If you don't understand this you have been too sheltered
and you should make it your business to find out
for yourself what it means.. it will change you.

Some might find it cheesy, get a heart

Ghost Rider - Riders in the sky

Theres two versions I take, the version from the film ghost rider and the doors version, just a great song that takes me outdoors even when I am inside! Just think of flying down hills on your iron horse!  I am starting to think there may have been a cowboy somewhere in my ancestry!

wwwherrress the bloody pedals!


Mussogorsky - Night on a bare mountain

Many many years ago when I first left home I bought my first good stereo and after I connected it  this was the album I put on.  There was a powerful summer storm outside it was raining but the air was filled with electricity and thunder and lightening.  I lived 8 floors up and I went onto my balcony with this playingI can still smell the summer air!   It reminded me of mountains and adventure...  it still does.

The Who - Teenage Wasteland

 Although I was never a mod, I grew up with the Who and Quadraphoenia...  This is one of those rebel songs that stay with you, I guess I never got over the spirit of adventure.

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven

Image result for teenage wasteland
Add caption



Gladiator Themetune

Another one that transports me to another place, another time...an amazing movie and the end scene playing out to fields of elysium..

Dan Hill - It's a long road

 The title says it all..  what can I say I am a child of the 80's and I grew up with Rambo!  Eat your heart out Bear Grylls let's see you cauterise a wound with gunpowder!

James - Sit Down

Being mad means I don't mind talking to other mad people which is a usefull skill when your are cycling mile after mile, because the mad person I usually talk to is myself..

RIP Terry, I only met you once but you will always live
on in my laughter and the thousands of others
who shared in your imagination.
It was a strange coincidence that when I heard the news of Terry Pratchett passing away I was listening to this track.  If ever there was someone who had a touch of madness it was Terry, one of his famous characters was twoflower the first ever discworld tourist:

“Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on the discworld. 
Tourist, Rincewind had decided, meant 'idiot'.” 

Journey Don't Stop Believing

Recognised cheese, I don't care I love it, I will sing it out loud and enjoy it see if I care!

Kate Bush - Running up that hill

There's plenty of hills on their way for me!

Thom Pace - Maybe (theme tune to Grizzly Adams)

I grew up with Grizzly Adams I still have a copy of the book from the TV series how sad is that!

Charlie Daniels Band - The legend of Wooley Swamp

Not well known but still one of my perennial favourites.

Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver

RIP Dio, I am sorry but the killswitch engage version makes me laugh! This version of Holy Diver always brings a smile to my face!

Lee DeWyze - Black Bird Song

Listen to it, see where it takes you, I am a new convert to Lee DeWyze.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

They say that for every uphill there's a downhill.... it never feels like it..  Another classic track imho

Motley Crew - Home Sweet Home

This is a song about going home, after all you haven't been on a journey unless you actually go home.  Someone asked me where my home was once, I gave them my address and they said "that's where you live" what is your real home, where are you most happiest.  I had to think about that one and basically it's wherever I am at the point I am happy so home for me is essentiall me :-)

 Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair

Many people listen to this and have no idea of what the song is actually about.  It is a song where a man requests the listener to request of his former love a series of impossible tasks before he will take her back.  It is a traditional ballad made most famous by Simon & Garfunkel.

Ennio Morricone - Magnificent Seven Themetune

Remember the rowntrees fruit pastel advert betting you couldn't eat one without chewing?  I bet you can't listen to this on your own without pretending to ride a horse (grinning like a maniac)

Dibbs on being Yul Brynner but my favourite character was
James Coburn
For some reason I always thought this was Ennio Morricone but it is Elmer Bernstein!

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. 
Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797) .

Barra Barra - from Black Hawk Down

visions of Desert Nights ....

Nox Arcana - Night of the Wolf

For dark scary nights, to set the atmosphere 

On the Road Again - Willie Nelson

Just a great song.

Ozzy Osborne - Shot in the Dark

A misspent youth listening to the prince of darkness!

Peter Gabriel (ft Kate Bush) - Don't Give Up

Okay this one is a pick me up song and it has nothing to do with a massive teenage crush on Kate Bush!

Rennaisance - Northern Lights

This is an oldie but again a song with the power to transport me to another world..

Republica - Ready to Go

Yes I am, and this song will get me there if I am not!

Roll Me Away - Bob Seger

Sometimes we all need to get away... even for a short time.


Lindisfarne - Run for home

I think of this when I have finished and I am on the home strait...  time to go home!

Saxon - Ride Like the Wind

It's just a cycling song I can't help it!

Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

Another song to make you think, but listen to the message deep down there's always some fight left die on your feet not on your knees.


Tom Petty - Running Down a Dream

That's what every journey is about, running down your dreams!

Whitesnake - Here I go again

A favourite and yep here I go again

Yunhi Chal Chal Raahi - From the Bollywood Film Swades

Swades, with Sharukh Khan.. the story of a Nasa Scientist who heads back to india and ends up on a journey of self discovery.  This song is where he meets a religious man and gives him a lift.. I could see the stress flowing out of him... journeys can do that for you!



Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Repair to an Ortlieb Pannier

I recently noticed one of my front panniers had developed a tear probably something sharp as it was a very straight cut.  I got hold of some glue and repair material for a car soft top and used that, it was designed for a car travelling at speed so should do the trick!

To repair:

1. cut a patch at least 3cm wider than the tear at each point.
2. Clean the surfaces (I use plain old water).
2. Coat the patch and tear with glue (thoroughly)
3. Wait 10 main for both surfaces to become tacky and apply the patch
4. Wait 24 hrs to dry properly, dust with talc and test in water.

Here is the tear

Vinyl glue & patch

Fully covered
Repair in place

When it has had 24 hrs to dry I will dust in talcum powder so nothing sticks to the excess glue.  I will then put it in the bath to see how waterproof it is.  So far a 10 minute job!

I have now tested it in water and on the road, waterproof and isn't peeling away etc..