27th April 2009.
It's now quite a while since my last blog at the end of the big ride. The reasons are many but the main one was the setting in of a 'Slough of Despond' which hovered around and remained with me for several months. On reflection, I think it was the enormity of the challenge I had taken on board and all the drama that was to unfold along the way. I look back on the whole adventure and often wonder how on earth I did it. The medical problem with Penny and then her having to fly back to Scotland to be given a pacemaker. Making the decision about flying back home with her or going it alone which, as you know, I finally did cycling on through the mountains and across the seemingly endless prarie, finding somewhere as safe as possible to camp each night, the putting up and taking down of the tent, trying to keep in touch with 'base camp' and trying to blog as often as possible, being saved from pretty near freezing to death in the bizzard, by my knight in shining armour, Oh, and I almost forgot - filming away all alone when the camera crew had left, and wondering what on earth I was doing there, and much, much more......
Fast forward and Granny Mave is now up and running once more. There has been a tremendous amount of interest possibly due to the TV film that Triple Echo Productions made called 'The Big Bike Ride'. I have been invited to speak to several groups, interviewed for magazines, several newspapers - News of the World, last Sunday, was the latest - and TV appearances. STV Productions (Scottish Television) came to my log cabin recently and made a film about the fact that a 70 year old Granny takes on challenges and why? A few days later I received a phone call from STV inviting me to sit on the couch on the 5-30 show that goes out nightly and is very popular. I was terrified at the thought of sitting there knowing it was a live show and any mistake I made could not be corrected. I asked if it would be possble to pre-record it and I would be happy to sit on the couch. They agreed to this and off I went with son Bob driving and my two little grand daughters. They were to be given a tour of the TV studio whilst Granny was doing her little bit! Unfortunately, we lost our way in Glasgow and had to be collected by taxi in the end! We arrived eventually at the studio a bit late but all was well and the "pre recording" would go ahead. As I was having the make-over of face and hair Stephen, presenter of the show, appeared at the door to say due to the fact that we were running a bit late I would have to appear on the live show. At that point I took myself out of the chair and headed for the door. I told him I could not possbly do this live thing as I would be too nervous and make a fool of the whole show. The outcome was, I did it!! It was actually quite good fun but my heart was beating fast through most of the interview. Stephen and Rachel simply could not understand how someone who had cycled across Canada could be nervous about this. I told them, on the live show, that one night alone in my tent on the prairies of Saskatchewan, a massive thunder storm exploded around me and I was scared believe me but it was nothing like this live show! They could hardly believe it and it all seems just like a dream now.
I am (tongue in cheek) now dreaming of another adventure of a slightly different nature. I watched Ewan McGregor with his friend Charlie make that amazing journey from John O' Groats to the South of Africa. I remember at one point they came across a guy cycling with the fully laden bicycle and were duly impressed! That moment went over in my mind for a long time and one day I thought what fun if their engine power could be swopped for pedal power and do a bike ride with Granny Mave. I have also watched Billy Connolly on his big bike and thought he might like to join us -what about "A Hebridean Journey"? Watch this space, or is it "Dream on Granny Mave?" I will be keeping the blog going with any eventualities.....
Thanks to all the people who have helped me so many ways.
Bye for now.