Women were made for labour: one of them can carry or haul as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and in fact there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country without their assistance…. Women though they do everything, are maintained at a trifling expense: for, as they always stand cook, the very licking of their fingers, in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence.
So said Francis Galton in Victorian times. My friends have occasionally asked me whether Adi is coming on my next cycling adventure. To which I reply “Of Course”.
Galton was referring to the need to have women in the party when travelling across hostile and rugged country. And although I don’t expect Canada to be too rugged I do expect that at times it could get hostile. With that in mind I could add a few other benefits that I can envisage, and would welcome Adi’s presence.
1. In case of bear attack Adi could well distract them long enough for me and my Mercian to get away.
2. Adi can go into Supermarkets to get grub while I ‘watch the bikes’.
3. Waiting for Adi gives me time to sit and contemplate life, while enjoying the view among the mountainous stages.
4. While in Saskatchewan I’m content in the believe that Adi will hold my bike in the absence of anything to lean it against.
5. While I get the kerosene stove going Adi can be busy toting water and turning the tent into a home.
I’m not convinced that Adi could survive on what she licks off her fingers, and she is a mite partial to the odd motel or hotel room. But promising her a motel tomorrow works for a while. Quite often there isn’t a hotel or motel tomorrow and even if there is she will probably then be feeling in better spirits and not require the luxury.
One other reason for Adi’s attendance now springs to mind. That being that she has allocated sufficient funds for the trip by prudent budgeting and holds the said funds in an account only she has access to.
Welcome aboard Adi!
|Not Cycle Camping but Most Definitely Bring Home Breakfast.|
Thomas Holding was apparently the father of cycle camping and of course would have to be one of my heroes. In 1903 he wrote The Camper’s Handbook. In addition to this he re-designed the Primus cooker to be more cycle friendly. The Camper’s Handbook is full of sound advice. I have offered to get Adi her own copy as I think she could well learn a lot from it. So far she seems rather indifferent to the idea!
Mrs F. Horsfield was one of Holdings female cycle camping friends and is quoted as saying that ‘camping is a break from domestic chores. Compared to dusting and tidying the various large rooms of a family home, the task of setting a tent straight for a day is minor, and the cooking involved at camp far less formal than at home.
Francis seems to have her head screwed on the right way and obviously proud to be involved with the practical side of the sport. How little things have changed in one hundred years of cycle travel.
Two and a half weeks to go now and then we will be on the road again. It’s just as well as the winter temperatures are making the weekly training rides more of a chore they a joy. We still go out and knock off 100kms but usually arrive home just on dark with cold feet and fingers. The cold clear days make the coffee stop a lot more enjoyable however. The kerosene primus is fully tested and I am pleased to announce will be coming with us to Canada. I will smuggle him through customs by strapping him to the frame in the vicinity of the drink bottle cages. That way he will be more difficult to make out when the Mercian gets CAT Scanned at the airport.
|Henry Has Settled In|
In the last week Adi has discovered yet another kitten under our house! Two cats booked into the cattery was a stretch for the budget. I would have turned him away but having shown him the door I then discovered that my boy ‘Henry’ had taken a fancy to him. Well, all I can say is that I hope Henry really does like him because he’s going to be bunking with him at the cattery for the ten weeks we are away. The lady at the cattery said he could have a special, special price if he boarded with Henry and didn’t cause any trouble around the place. So there you go Henry, you could have had a suite with a view to yourself, but now you have a rowdy roommate.
|Henry's New Room Mate.|
Southern New Zealand has had its first dump of snow so I hope that Canada is now warming up. I’ll go on line and check the temps. Anything over 18C will be acceptable.