Ryan Quinlivan

Love Life.

Full Tilt Life

Late last spring I rode a bicycle a long way.

Eleven months later I still lay awake at night blissfully tormented by memories I haven’t thought about since they happened.

I didn’t write enough of them down at the time. My intent is that each of these posts will comprise a chapter in a book. Hopefully the nightmares will continue; I have to get them down before the next big adventure.

Full Tilt Life:

The Story of Organic French Goat Cheese Farms, Spandex, Sleeping in an Italian Pizzeria, 

and Biking from London to Rome

1. Great Wild Expectations

“Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations.”  —Ralph Charrel

“Why are you doing this?” he asked. “Are you crazy?” “I think so” I said. Or maybe I am one of the sane ones. Maybe by the end of this I’ll have some secret to life. Maybe I have to do this. “I think you’re crazy.” I smile. I can’t help but do this. He probably won’t understand. I don’t really understand, myself. “Have you ever done something like this before?” “Well, no… Not really. Hey is it okay if I leave my bike here? Will it be safe?” “So you’re just a guy who decided to bike across Europe, huh?” “Yeah… I guess I am just a guy who decided to bike across Europe.” “Did you plan your route before you left?” “No. I just know I have to go south.” “Did you train at least?” “Not really.” “Do you speak any French?” “Only parlez-vous anglais.” “And you’re doing this alone?” “Well yeah, I couldn’t convince anyone to come with me.” “Do you think you’ll get all the way to Rome? You really think you can do this?” “I had no idea if I could do this. So I had to find out. Never leaving would be a lot worse.” “Wow, you are brave, even just for making it to Paris.” “I’m not sure if I’m brave or not. This was just the craziest thing I could think up, I had to try. Some of us have to pee on the electric fence for ourselves. Hey let’s go eat, and then I want to see Paris by bike at night.”

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2014 by .

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