Born May 1st 1962 in Dewsbury, West
Riding of Yorkshire, England, my nomadic life began. Some 50 years and
addresses later has seen me living in Canada (several times), Germany
(several times), The Netherlands,
Wales, the Isle of Man and over much of England. Having attended several
different junior, secondary schools and Universities,
I have managed to obtain a BA in Human Geography, a PGCE in
Geography with Humanities and a BSc in Occupational Therapy.
I worked for 15 years
as a Secondary School Geography Teacher, and the last 6 years as an Occupational Therapist,
as well as spells working in a frozen food factory, in a museum's
education department, industrial cleaning, magazine packing, as a
motorcycle courier, a 'white van' driver, a farmhand on my sister's dairy
farm in Canada and an 'enabler' to disabled university students. I also
have spent some time travelling, and being a 'gliding bum' in the Canadian
I started to learn to fly
gliders/sailplanes at age 14 and have been flying them 'on and off 'ever
since - unfortunately for various reasons it has been more 'off' than 'on'
over the last 10 years. My greatest accomplishments in soaring were winning 2
days in the 1999 US Region 8 soaring competition, placing 3rd overall
and starting up the Coventry University Gliding Club. I have a Silver
C with Diamond Goal and needed to learn to carry a working barograph (O.K.
datalogger!) when going more than 500k or gaining more than 3000m.
I can't remember when I learnt to ride a bicycle -
probably as a toddler living in the Netherlands or Germany - but can always remember
having one, although often 'tucked away' in the back of the shed or garage.
My first serious bicycle tour being at age 41, cycling from Prague in the
Czech Republic to Leszno in Poland (and back taking the 'scenic route') for the 2003 World Gliding Championships.
I guess the idea of an 'around the
world journey' has always been with me since I read Ted Simon's 'Jupiter's
Travels' as a teenager. Well life intervened and other things were done.
However, approaching my 46th birthday the idea re-emerged from the back of
my sub-conscious, and mulled around in there for a few years. With the big
5-0 on the horizon, now seemed an appropriate time to start realising the
thought of a motorcycle for the journey, but for various reasons decided
to use a bicycle as my mode of transport. However, I knew that I
wanted the trip to be more than than just a ride around the world - I
needed to include something extra. Then the idea came to me - combine my passion for
travel, with my other great passion in life, gliding - flying gliders (or
sailplanes) - I would attempt to ride around the world on a bicycle and
try to visit and fly everywhere the sport of gliding takes place. Thus the
idea of Ride and Glide was born.
I have been married and divorced
once - no children. I have 'itchy' feet, get easily bored with routine and
still have some 'unrealised dreams' - this journey being one of them.