Across Continents

Ken's Blog

For a good cause

Don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say my Dad really likes visiting the US. Might sometimes have teased him that other countries are available. But I’m beginning to get it, to see the attraction. At least in Alaska, for, as ever a bit ahead of my blog, that’s where I now am. Remarkably friendly people. And very generous, in so many ways. The full story will start to unfold in a little while, once tales from Australia are complete.

Been in Alaska for a little over a week, and already received a substantial donation, entirely unsolicited, for The Outward Bound Trust. A gift from friends – and I do mean that rather than simply acquaintances – at the Bent Prop Inn Hostel in Anchorage. Had me speechless, albeit briefly.

Avid followers of the blog may remember I’ve been carrying two mascots along the entire east coast of Australia. Wallace the Wallaby and Skippy the Kangaroo. They’re now on their way back to Blighty, destined for good homes. Skippy off to live with Mandy Bool, as she kindly made the largest donation during my travels in Australia. And that wasn’t her first.

marsupials

Wallace, however, may be obliged to sell The Big Issue for a while, until such time as someone makes a donation – no matter how big or small – with a suitably witty comment. For full details click here. So, please dig deep and help The Outward Bound Trust continue it’s great work with young people. In the meantime, I’m off to sketch out some Sarah Palin jokes…

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14 responses to “For a good cause”

  1. Roach87 says:

    Oh please,please do some Sarah Palin jokes,I heard it be said that she loves hunting and fishing ,a Ken head next to the Moose head would I think, make a change.We’ve had jokes about the indigenous populations each time I have bothered to looked in on your blog,nothing really bad ,but still rather annoying and somewhat corroding I should think of peoples perception of you.What next ?jokes about wigwams ,redskins and Rodeos.Look its a amazing journey you are undertaking and I guess its for a good cause, so why are you spoiling it with weak and somewhat dubious jokes about people you perceive as less fortunate than Ken ,people who’s only crime I can see is that they are not English?.On a amusing another note,I am confused as to how you timetable your blogs,perhaps I missed something,you seem to be in more than one place at a time.Do you blogs lots at the same time then send them off like balloons to arrive after your long gone.do you blog into the future or do you blog the past as one does in ones diary or is it all a smokescreen and you are where you are and not where we think you are,I have with great reluctance narrowed it down to planet Earth.

  2. admin says:

    Humour is an important part of long-haul cycling, so it’d be quite remiss of me not to reflect it in the blog. Much of it is about myself rather than others, certainly not those you might perceive as ‘less fortunate’ – and that’s certainly not a descriptor I’d apply to Sarah Palin! Posts are indeed written ahead of publication and then scheduled to appear bit by bit – as this very post explains. Thanks for the feedback – some interesting thoughts! Ken

  3. Roach87 says:

    ah! but Ken, methinks you deliberately misconstrue my meaning,we both know THAT lady can more than look after herself,I meant (as you well know)PEOPLE YOU felt were not worthy of your humanity.Humor is a rare thing my friend,you think you have it in your very hands only to find when opening your fist, nothing,nothing to see or laugh about, nothing to share,to be fair to you Ken I would say that you have spent too much time on your own,too much time to think things over and have lost track of what ‘funny’ is,maybe this whole blog thing is cathartic ,a way of staying sane(who am I to judge you on that one.Is feedback so important and would you listen?I doubt it)however I would still have to give you a A for endeavour ,C minus for humour AND F for Ambassador skills.It really is not the World’s fault that all people on this earth ain’t English .PS feel free to have a wisecrack about Sarah Palin I think she has bigger Fish to fry

  4. admin says:

    You do seem to make quite a few (erroneous) presumptions – which I find quite intriguing. I sense, from your style, your choice of expressions, we may have corresponded before? Do tell.

  5. John Forbes says:

    Roach87,

    You clearly, and undeniably, do not know Ken Roberts. I have spent considerable time with him and find him nothing but humane, funny as hell and not the least bit demeaning to those of us who are not English.

    I find it quite “humorous” that you haven’t been able to figure out the difficulties with writing and posting blog articles whilst in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps your time could be better spent doing something productive (perhaps working on your grammar and punctuation?) and not taking cheap shots that, arguably, are only for the purpose of attempting to boost a sadly undernourished ego.

    Might I suggest acquiring a pet. I imagine you would do well with a kitten.

  6. Roach87 says:

    Cabin fever is like that,insidious and varied ,one dwells upon smaller and smaller ‘problems’.Now it is I who intrigued , having looked in on your blog ,you have (as far as I can tell)few comments.I find precious little humanity in your writings so not (erroneous) there,not too much humour so not erroneous there either.You tell me.Its all very smoke screens and mirrors this trip of yours,like I said before its a brave undertaking you have taken on and if it helps others then good.Unfortunately when I look in on you web site you have this capacity to annoy readers with underhand remarks and lack of real substance.Example-I have been looking at Across Continents for a few weeks now,where is your gruelling days in the saddle ,where do you tell us about calorie intake,how many kilometres you have cycled each day?.I have been thinking about going east ,west across Canada myself,it scares me to be brutally honest as I know that in places I will have to stock up and sleep out under canvas,where is your experiences of this?.You Ken in short miss the human element.Any presumptions I have are all gleaned from reading Across Continents

  7. admin says:

    Dear Roach87 (or is that bitofbling?) – I’ve a pretty shrewd idea we’ve corresponded before, judging from, amongst other things, your style and phraseology. The earlier dialogue was, just like this one, really about challenging perceptions. I have always sought to convey the realities of life on the road, warts and all, being very open about the experiences. No smoke screens or mirrors. When it’s tough I’ll say so, if it isn’t then I won’t. I have no need to exploit perceptions and over-dramatise. Yours Ken

  8. Roach87 says:

    So its not been tough,not one little bit.no headwinds ,no punctures.No change of worn gear,no weakness from lack of energy?.Its is fine to admit these things Mr Roberts without the need to dramatise,all of the above are real and NOT PERCEPTIONS,true,you do gives snippets about life on the road but its almost an after thought,either you are the worlds most organised man or so tough you ‘man it out’.Newton once said “if I can see further it is because I have stood on shoulders of giants”,standing on yours I would not be enlightened.You know Mr Roberts something has been bugging me for a few weeks now when I read your blogs,something I couldn’t put my finger on,then it came to me what I think it is,your blogs are for family and friends(nothing wrong in that)not for everyone and I was reading something that I shouldn’t have read and would only make sense if I knew you,I almost feel I should apologise for snooping.

  9. admin says:

    Dear fellow Somerset resident?

    There has been plenty of drama – loneliness, corruption, detention by border guards, attempted theft, encounters with a Cyclone, camping alone near howling dingos, punctures as dark approaches, and a good deal more – all reflected in the blog. And I’m sure, in the wilds of Alaska and Canadian British Colombia, there’ll be a bit more. Actually, there has been. But that’s something to appear in the blog in a little while.

    But, in any case, I shall continue to simply recount the experience openly and honestly, just as I’ve sought to for close on two years. For anyone to read. I have no pre-conceived ideas as to how the story will unfold – others may have some pretty deep-rooted perceptions as to what it should be like – I like to be as open minded about it as possible. And that applies not just to the practicalities of riding, but to the people I encounter on this journey, and the places I visit.

    Perhaps you should consider a venture similar to mine? And blog honestly and openly about it. You’d have at least one avid reader.

    Yours

    Ken

  10. Roach87 says:

    As I said Ken,all along there is no doubt about the enormity of your undertaking the planning and the sheer fact that one has to get one’s head around 3 yrs away from home-could I do it?no probably not, I would miss my family and home,which is part of the reason doing east west across Canada scares me,all the more reason for me to take interest in your adventure as I wanted to find out what it really feels like.I think in a nutshell what I am saying is that I expected a cycling based blog,a whirlwind description of places you passed through,it was not what I expected it to be, but then I guess why should it.I will have to read on in future with a different head. I openly admit to a grudging respect to this whole endeavour and will have to accept that there are ways of doing this trip that I would never have imagined

  11. admin says:

    The blog no doubt reflects the fact that I see the bicycle as the means of getting from place to place, rather than being an end in itself. Hence my bias towards writing about people and places, rather than the mechanics of getting from A to B. That said, given what I know of the road ahead, there’s likely to be much more of a focus on the physical and psychological challenges of the Alaskan and Canadian wilderness. And the bears. Actually, I think the real key to success is remarkably simple – give yourself time – do it step-by-step – suddenly you end up three continents later flying into Anchorage, Alaska. And treat set-backs and such like as just problems to be solved – again, take your time and solutions always emerge. Incidentally, what I do enjoy is constructive feedback. Contemplating my replies is always fun! Finally, do tell, am I correct in my suggestion we’ve corresponded before? My natural curiosity.

  12. Roach87 says:

    The bears as far as I can see are a problem ,I assume you will only camp out under canvas at designated sites,for cycling east -west the biggest problem(headwind aside)I see is having enough food and daylight to reach a safe place to sleep,I suppose this would be the same going north to south.I think I’m right in saying that you hit the area when they(the bears) are feeding on berries and other plentiful supplies,but guess you wouldn’t trust them to take a detour from their diet.How have you prepared to cover the vast distances between each stop?or are you likely to have to rough it on occasion.

  13. admin says:

    Designated sites – and I think there are a few – are possibly a double-edged sword. Safety in numbers perhaps, but familiar to the bears. Some wild camping will probably be inevitable. Of course, bear attacks make headlines simply because they are very rare. And encounters that end in confrontation often do so because people do the wrong things – like try and run. And, despite its name, the Grizzly – or brown bear – isn’t the most dangerous. That goes to the far more inquisitive black bear. And I’d stay away from moose. They can be very aggressive.

  14. admin says:

    I can’t help noticing you seem to overlook my little question as to whether we’ve corresponded before – and whether, as I rather think, you’re a fellow Somerset resident? Do tell!

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