The Jack Rabbits
Not all our Tour riders are incredibly quick. Not speaking of their mental sharpness of course, but of their cycling speed. Naturally there are many good reasons to not cycle quickly; enjoying the scenery, eating berries by the road, taking pictures of wild turkeys, climbing a tree, swimming in a creek, napping under a log, playing with the street dogs, standing around feeling cool in spandex, speaking with a tractor driver… A few cyclists though jettison out into the cool early mornings with speed on their minds. In the case of the Orient Express this year that would be Mark Peters and Adam Birkin. Their lust for speed and the unquenchable thirst they have for pushing themselves physically has led them to not only surpass, but to positively shatter the previous recorded fastest times on this Tour. Sure, you might ask “but I thought the Orient Express wasn’t a race?” and of course you would be utterly correct, there is no race element and we don’t actually record anyone’s time for the day. O.K., so we’re really just making a bold statement without any facts to back it up, but let it be. We’re pretty sure that they are very fast and deserve some kind of accolades.
Adam, a photojournalist, at times cycles over 40km/per hour, and still manages to snap amazing shots of the roadside attractions. Mark, a German, also cycles over 40km/per hour, and on his hand held computer connects to myriad wifi zones along the route, allowing him to solve, in real time, problems related to his occupation. This is the kind of cycling and life spirit which makes all of us on the Orient Express a fortunate bunch.
Luckily, there is one place where there is no rush for any of our cyclists; and that is camp. Once arriving the leisure begins. At times there are certain duties involved with maintaining ones’ cycle, but for the most part, with bliss and deserved euphoria, as if stuck in the most pleasant molasses, people slow down to the quietest pace, moving about the camp with dream-like smiles.
The jack-rabbits though are ready to pounce, waiting for the next mornings’ ride, preparing to unleash their lust for speed.