I was not a young man when I had my first cycling adventure. To be exact, the first Tour d’Afrique took place when I was 50 or I should say I turned 51 in Sudan. Ever since then, I have averaged one great tour every two years. If I keep going I will be able to explore all the great tours on earth by the time I am 80. So what happens after that? My sister just wrote me that I am the youngest 61 she knows but then of course she is an economist. Still I hope to be cycling at 80. And I would really like to cap my cycling career with something out of this world. Though I am not much of a worrier the thought of what I should do had started bugging me. But recently I came across a bit of news that has given me hope. With the rapid development of 3D printing, a well-known London based company called Fosters+Partners, the builders of such iconic buildings as Virgin Galactic spaceport, Apple’s “spaceship” campus and the Kuwait International Airport, have, as part of a consortium set up by the European Space Agency (ESA), started exploring the possibility of using 3D printing to build a lunar base for astronauts. The idea is to use lunar soil – known as regolith –and a robot-operated 3D printer to process the regolith and build a base.
Given the inventiveness of Silicon Valley and the limitless desire of billionaires to spend money on super grandiose projects especially if they can get a tax deduction in the process, I imagine that within a decade or so, Virgin with Oracle and Facebook will be building the first tourism base on the Moon. So what this has to do with me? Well, by the time I am 80, with any luck this base will be functional and I will be finally not only be able to realize my childhood dream of flying to the moon but be also be able to cycle on the moon. Just imagine what will it feel like cycling at 1/6 gravity. I do see one small problem. I am not a billionaire, nor even a millionaire. So the costs may be prohibitive. But I do have a solution. If I can get a reasonable size group to sign up, they will be a need for an experienced tour leader (and by the time I am 80, I should be very experienced) and, of course, tour leaders do not pay. So if any of you want to have a guaranteed spot in the first group, we will soon be opening the registration for the first cycling trip on the moon called Moon Odyssey. Advanced payments are accepted as there is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done.