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Old 01-11-03, 04:03 AM   #1
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Greetings from New York

*The world's longest introduction*

The first time I ever rode a bicycle was when I was - get this - 20. During my sophmore year in college, I made plans to backpack across England that summer break. Instead, I met someone in my dorm who suggested that I should see the country on a bicycle. Naturally, I thought he was out of his mind, but I took up his offer. I bought a used bike, got riding lessons from him, and off I went to England with two panniers instead of a rugsack. On the very first day of my bike trip, I attempted to cycle from Canterbury to Tunbridge Wells, a distance of 60 miles (before that, the most I'd done was 10 miles around my campus). Everything that could go wrong did go wrong: it poured all day, I bonked for the next 40 miles, all the while crying like a baby. I mean I was sobbing. After 11 of the most torturous hours of my life, I reached Tunbridge Wells. I headed straight for the train station so I could catch the next plane out of Heathrow. Bicycle touring was just not for me. Unfortunately, the last train had already left. I sobbed some more. The next day, the B&B owner finally convinced me to continue the bike trip. And so I did. That was 12 years ago. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to cycle tour across 33 countries on five continents. Sorry for tooting my own horn that last sentence.

'Till this day, I've always wondered how my life would've turned out had I caught that train...
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Old 01-11-03, 11:03 AM   #2
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Many welcomes Tony. BTW, great post - I felt like it was me @ the train station!!!
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