Monotony and Motives
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.”
– Bilbo Baggins
It felt pertinent to start off the blog by explaining to those interested in following our journey why exactly we decided to undertake the challenge.
The process has in fact been under way for a good year before now, with murmurings of a desire to ‘cycle around the world’ being bandied about within our friendship group. With the age of social media well and truly established, tales of life on the road – arguably pioneered by the great Alistair Humphries – are now wonderfully accessible to people previously unaware of the great potential we all have for adventure. As it was, we both became fascinated with the potential to see the world on two wheels. With more reading into the subject, the idea of spending an extended period of time with nobody to answer to and no fixed weekly routine, was too tantalising to ignore.
A drunken Christmas Eve at the Cullen household settled it. The two of us, following another conversation fantasising about adventure, simply concluded that we were going to cycle somewhere far away once we were both able to. 2019 seemed a logical target and, as such, so did Japan – where the Rugby World Cup is to be held from September-November. While this kind of fleeting idea tends to peter out as sobriety takes hold, we have found ourselves in a position where we are set to embark on a journey that will most likely change our lives. Having told too many people and set up our online presence for everyone to see, it’s too late to turn back now! With our challenge set out, we thought that if we were doing something on this scale, we wanted to raise money for a worthwhile cause. The Movember Foundation represents an obvious option. The decision to support Movember was an absolute no-brainer for both of us. As two young men ourselves, who both know of friends and acquaintances who have suffered from the issues targeted by the charity, the chance to support it was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down – particularly if it gave us an excuse to grow our moustaches for another year! In particular, we see for ourselves that mental health is an issue that is spiralling out of control in young men. Suicide in young males is a brutally high killer as men are forced into adhering to certain social norms that simply don’t reflect their true self.
Now, of course, our adventure could be seen as the very embodiment of a testosterone-fuelled escapade. However, we are undertaking this for what can be construed as far more romantic reasons; a desire to actually escape these norms that are creating the problem in the first place, coupled with a desire to see the world in the rawest way possible. As well as raising as much money as possible, perhaps we can provide inspiration to men to not adhere to the boundaries that have been set for them and steer them away from subsequent mental health issues.
Alongside Movember, 10% of all funds raised will go directly to a foundation set up in memory of a friend of The Hairy Handlebars; Ian ‘BGI’ Williams. This will focus on Men’s Health and cardiac issues in young athletes. Ian’s sudden death in February has highlighted to us the fragility of life and has given us even greater motivation to realise our ambition of seeing the world and meeting as many good people as we can find along the way!