Taking the rough with the smooth – and a fundraising plea

On most of the main roads in Brazil, there’s an acostamento – a hard shoulder. Great for cyclists, as it gives relative security away from the traffic. But there’s a drawback in that the surface is usually rough and bumpy. You have a choice of the rough acostamento, or risking the smoothness of the road with the cars.

Everyday on this trip there have been things that made the ride easier, and things I wished would be different. The main road may get you places fastest, but you have to deal with fast traffic. The sunshine may be pleasant, but it dehydrates you quickly. The rain is cooling, but visibility is awful. There’s always a rough with the smooth.

And the past fortnight hasn’t been easy, if I’m honest. The days climbing uphill have been physically tiring, but the hardest times have been on the BR101 – an arterial North/South road in the pouring rain. Awful visibility and fast trucks make for uneasy riding.

All this to say, this ain’t no holiday. There are two reasons I’ve been eating the miles that I have been: firstly to ensure I’m in Buenos Aires with time to spare before meeting my girlfriend Sophie on January 25th, but also because this is a great opportunity for me to challenge myself in a bid to fundraise for the Teenage Cancer Trust, helping provide expert care and support for teenagers diagnosed with cancer.

I’ve left it until now to start the fundraising as I wanted to get half way, mainly so I could be absolutely sure of myself that I’d be able to complete the challenge.

It would mean a huge amount if you were able to donate on my Just Giving page, at the link here. Every penny will go directly to the charity. They do a wonderful job, and your support would be a massive help.

Vida! Saúde! Felicidade!

Mike

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