Retirement doesn't have to be boring
John Bell isn’t exactly typical of Carradice customers, but he’s an inspiration to us. We can’t wait to retire too! Here’s his story so far:
“I decided to take up touring on my bicycle after I retired as I was looking for something more challenging than golf. So in 2005 I purchased a bicycle and a pair of Carradice Super C panniers and set off across Ireland.
“The first trip went well and so a year later I decided to set off across Canada on my own, pedalling the 4,500 miles from Vancouver to St Johns Newfoundland in 56 days.
“A couple of years later I decided to try Africa and joined a group ride from Cairo to Cape Town that took 4 months.
“Then last year, I looked to the USA but this time my better half Jan decided that, rather than stay home, she would accompany me. So, that meant another pair of Carradice panniers. We left the Pacific coast on 1st June and arrived in Washington, after following the American Adventure Cycling’s Transam Route, on 4th August – a total distance of 4,200 miles. Our highest point on the trip was the Hoosier Pass, just outside the ski resort of Breckenridge and in the photograpgh you can see the 6 of us (4 Carradice Panniers, Jan and me) at the summit, just over 11,000 feet.
“My two panniers have been with me for the best part of 20,000 miles and they have many miles in them yet. Later this year they will do the Lands End to John O’Groats ride and then, in October, they are going to visit South America as I pedal fro Sao Paulo in Brazil, across to Antofogasta in Chile. I will enjoy my 70th birthday at Iguazu Falls on the Brazil / Paraguay border.
“I have to say that they have been and still are great panniers, always dry even in the heaviest rain and able to take a bit of knocking about.”
Thank you, John, for this fantastic endorsement. We can report that John did indeed complete the 1000 mile LE-JOG, but his trip across South America was cut short by news that his home had caught fire!
The latest news from John is he went back to South America the for a re-match with the Andes, this time riding from Bogota, Columbia to Quito, Ecuador with his great friend Bob and has just returned from 2 weeks cycle touring across Cuba with his good lady, Jan.
We salute you John!