Mediterranean Cycopaths

A Day in the Life of… Team CYCOPATH

Thursday 15th March 2007

8.00am Awake in Damascus, Syria (ecstatic to have survived another night deep within the Axis of Evil).

9.00am Newspaper over breakfast. Team Cycopath has hit page 4 of english language daily, The Syria Times.

10.00am Visit blackmarket in order to exchange Syrian Pounds for US Dollars – Banks will not make this exchange.

11.00am Depart Damascus in driving rain, heading west for Beirut. Water on the roads is a foot deep in places and we are soaked to the bone before escaping the city limits. Begin climbing almost immediately and snow starts falling 10kms out.

12.00pm Snowfall intensifies flying straight into face and making it difficult to see; hands now aching due to cold which necessitates retrieving gloves (relegated to the very bottom of the largest bag).

1.00pm Summit the Anti-Lebanon mountain range to reach Syrian Border. Obtain exit stamp.

1.05pm Stopped and questioned by bored Syrian Military Personel 500m further up the road with insightful questions like:

  • “What is your nationality?” (Whilst holding our passports)
  • “Where are you going?” (Stopped on a road passing through deep snowfields – with fully laden road bikes – with no turn offs, 2km shy of the Lebanese border)
  • “It’s bad weather – aren’t you cold?” (Yes, we’re freakin’ freezin’  so please cease this ludicrous line of questioning and let us go!!)

2.00pm Enter Lebanon.  Accept offer of shelter from the fearsome Lebanese Military who share our jubes, make jokes, read the Syria Times article (nothing like a little self-promotion) and offer us dry socks. Soldiers assure us ascent of next mountain range is very gradual.

3.00pm Jon’s slow release punture (has been riding with all day) warrants attention and we attend to repair at base of Mount Lebanon Range.

4.00pm Begin ascent of range and quickly deduce riding bicycles over this range has not been a part of standard military training in these parts (gradual my @rse!).

5.00pm Summit Mount Lebanon Range. Begin 30km descent to Beirut through patches of snowfall. Jon’s hands have lost sensation.

5.15pm Take detour off main highway to avoid gaping hole in bridge created by Israeli Military in Summer 2006 conflict. Detour road characterised by steady flow of melt water, potholes, heavy traffic and large but barely discernible mounds in the tarmac.

Bombed Out Bridge

5.45pm Continue descending. Now shivering so much having difficulty steering bike and operating brakes (which incidentally have worn right through so that levers are impacting on handlebars).

6.30pm Arrive in Beirut at nightfall after 110km (below average mileage day).

7.00pm Check in and meet fellow guests – one of whom is the first New Zealander to be charged under UK Terroism Act.

7.30pm Commence thawing process via the medium of Turkish coffee and boiling hot showers.

9.00pm Dinner and drinks with aforementioned Kiwi and an Iranian BBC Correspondant on assignment in the Middle East.

11.00pm Hit the sack for an early night after another day at the office.

Sean & Jon

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March 16, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

9 Comments »

  1. ******NEWS FLASH*******
    Big Bad Badger will join Team Cycopath in late May/early June for a 10 day stint. This injection of style, sophistication and smoothness will be just what this stale ‘team’ requires as it enters the classy parts of the northern Med. Try and stick with it viewers, things are due to get a lot more exciting!

    Comment by BADGER | March 19, 2007 | Reply

  2. Bang bang. Im sure Banger “The Robot” Harvey will reach an all new level of fitness given the kay’s these boys are travelling.
    Good luck finger. Good luck.

    Comment by Besty | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. Big Lanky, you need to read carefully… Badger not Banger.

    Comment by BADGER | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  4. Big Bad Badger you are clearly delusional if you think it’s possible to increase the level of style and sophistication emanating from the Team Cycopath Camp!

    Comment by seansmee | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  5. Lads,

    After such a tough day, I thought some news from home might cheer you up. Tasmania are on top in the Pura Cup final. At the end of day two, NSW are 8/207 chasing Tasmania’s formidable first innings score of 340. Rumours that if Tasmania wins they will repeal laws banning homosexuality are yet to be substantiated.

    All the best

    Simon

    Comment by Simon | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  6. How about another update fella’s?

    Comment by Update???? | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  7. Sounds like brotherly love is prevailing as Team Cycopath prepare to welcome Jons older sibling Rob (Alias Badger, and no his parents are unaware of the origins of the nick name) who plans to join the team for a few days.
    Jon I shared your emails (hard copies) with “Den” (Grandmother) today and she was fascinated and openmouthed at the experiences you guys are enjoying and of course asked me to “send her love & tell you both to be very careful”.
    Good to chat via Skype Jon, hope the frost bitten fingers have some feeling back in them, would not like to think of such an injury cramping your style!
    Take Care,
    Dad & Mum

    Comment by Tim & Sue ~ Jon's parents | March 21, 2007 | Reply

  8. Dear Jon and Sean,
    How wonderful it is to see you undertake such a huge adventure. We are intrested to know how much money you have raised to date?
    Keep it up Fred.

    Comment by Fred H | March 22, 2007 | Reply

  9. Damn, i thought it was to good to be true.

    What i wouldnt give to see a photo of Bang Bang Harvey on a ten speed.

    Comment by Besty | March 23, 2007 | Reply


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