Ithaca Calling to the Faraway Towns

We are now back home, down by the River. Pedalling around on our old city bikes, encountering those familiar assault courses of pot-holes, cycle-unfriendly intersections and madcap gyratory systems that some civil-servant signed off on without ever comprehending the perils that lie within. But we are become made of stronger stuff these days…. jaunts through the throbbing streets of Cairo, shimmying around the pulsating concrete arteries of Zagreb, and Russian-Roulletting our way across Chinese mega-town after Chinese mega-town has immunised us like you never quite would believe.

Those were the days, my friend...

Those were the days, my friend...

Saying all that, however, it took less than 48 hours for Sam to go tumbling over his handlebars and stare bemused at a mischievous fissure in the road that surely never existed before we left. Not a single fall in a solid year of cycling and more than 31,000km between us…. It was inevitable we suppose.

But our adventuring days are being gently parcelled up and cupboarded, as we re-don old robes and think of trundling around our mighty city in search of work and buttery bagels.

What do we say to the inevitable questions of “How was it?” before conversations meander on to tales of snow in Ithaca and it actually having been a mild winter? There is no answer. At least not one that we can satisfactorily verbalise to friends and family. What we feel though is that if Odysseus had roamed the world on a bicycle, to come home to Ithaca or London or wherever, he may well have stared doughy-eyed towards his beloved Penelope over a steaming cup of tea and cast his mind back to glorious days on the open road with the wind in his wheels and the joy of sharing those curiously precious moments in the best of company.

This is the end of Odycycle. It has been the market place of our last year in the saddle. A market place in which we have gossiped wildly, shared tales and photos from our adventures, and most enjoyably for us, received the steady stream of support and encouragement from you. We cannot thank you all enough for joining us on our journey and making it never a lonely road.

We really hope that in 2012 the adventures begin or (better yet) continue for all of you and that we get to see some or all of you in the flesh very soon!

Cheesy closing shot

Cheesy closing shot


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12 Responses to Ithaca Calling to the Faraway Towns

  1. Hannah Blom-Cooper says:

    Here is to the next adventure!

  2. Maurizio says:

    Dear Francesca and Sam ! thanks for your excellent posts and photos which I always enjoyed a lot, sad I won’t have new ones in short term…wish you all the best for the new life in London, I think I won’t be always easy after a long time on the road. Meanwhile, you can enjoy my posts from Africa. Hope to see you in the future and do some pedaling, even if it is only in London. Cari saluti, Maurizio

  3. Lydia Wilson says:

    Hear hear Hannah – to the next adventure indeed!

  4. Minnie says:

    Welcome home! See you soon x

  5. woollypigs says:

    welcome home. We are stuck in Southern Chile waiting for a new fork for my Surly. Broken forks, spokes and sporks have slowed our tour down

    Weather beaten

  6. Phil & Kara says:

    George and Francesca, thank you so much for allowing us to live vicariously through your words and images, without the burning quadriceps and unsettling odors of the road.
    Cousin Phil

  7. Maryse Bardet says:

    Quelle aventure !!!! Un bon retour à tous les deux !!! Merci pour ce rêve partagé !!!!
    Lots of kisses

  8. Judith Vidal-Hall says:

    It has indeed been the most wonderful Odyssey by proxy for us all and your blog has been a delight. I can’t possibly miss it all as much as you two, but it will leave a gap — no more delightful diversions in the midst of the cyber grind. Congratulations nd all. JVH

  9. Everything’s got to end somewhere, I suppose. I need to catch up on some of the earlier instalments in the tale and hopefully also in person sometime this year. Greets to you both from grizzly Hamburg. Dan.

  10. The blog is staying online for a while yet, right?

  11. Michele, Justina says:

    welcome back my friends!! You made us even more envious with your last lap in australia. The perfect end of a journey where I think you have re-discovered yourself along with this incredible land where we live. This is the era of rational knowledge, but I think you have promoted also the emotional land that we need to help and to pursue. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your adventure. Michele & Justina.

  12. Annie says:

    Sam and Francesca,
    Lovely to meet you at dinner the other night at Emma and Ben’s. We’d love to be part of Sam’s birthday tightrope walking and to catch up with you both again.
    Let me know where and when. Email address is

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