Not content with braving the London streets on her fixie, Pan has been itching to get cycling for many, many months – actually years now. She cycled from Switzerland to Croatia back in 2014, and across the Black Sea coast and down to Ankara, Turkey, in 2015. The first trip was her maiden journey as a cycle tourer and camper, alongside a childhood friend, her second trip was with super Dutch girls. There are some fun writings to discover from each of these trips, on CrazyGuyOnABike (the best website, don’t be fooled by the HTML look) and on R4WR’s Facebook page, for each trip respectively. Pan is ready to keep going East, having read thrice her weight in Silk Road books.
By the way, Pan’s name is because her Mum calls her Princesse Pan Touffle. A term of endearment, having its etymological roots in Josephine’s propensity to stay in pyjamas until past 4pm and her past as a rather douillette girl (adj. someone who does not expend much effort, prefers the comforts of home, good food and a fluffy duvet; who would not be caught dead in a tent). What transformations we can undergo!
The above (and below) was written pre-cycle from Georgia to Azerbaijan, pre-cycle down New Zealand, pre-cycle of the South Downs, post-cycles in Turkey, post-cycles from Switzerland to Croatia… Yep, flexin’ to make up for the fact that Pan is currently having to content herself with a 25 minute commute to her job as a trainee lawyer in the City of London… Luckily, Ella’s assisting her reliably with this, though it looks like a new addition in the shape of a pearly pink fixie (thanks Vaz, the South London frame sprayer) for more nimble weaving through the undying traffic will soon keep Ella company on the terrace where she snoozes nightly.
Pan’s trusty steed Peg*, who accompanied her across Europe has been replaced… sad times but it had to be. Pan’s knee’s been hurting for over two years and Peg’s frame was for a six-footer. Ella is named after Ella Maillart, the Swiss writer and explorer. We’ll see if she grows into that name, at present she just bemuses Pan – who is still trying to fathom how to adjust the gears and marvels at the fact that there are tiny little ball bearings in bicycles. Poor Ella – soon she’ll have tamed Pan, and then we’ll be ready to roll on.
* Photo above is of Pan on Peg – at the time Pan was more commonly known in cycling circles as JoSpeed.