Gregg; Who? What? and Why?
A brief interview.
Q. Who are you, Richard?
A. I was known as Silas Wegg, a one-legged ballad-monger,
at school in the northern English, ex-steel-city of Sheffield,
but I have also been known as Gregg, Ricky, Dicky, R.T., Rich.T,
Captain Kinetic, Ricardo, Richardi, Ritchie, Richaado, Cog Rotator,
and, more recently as Bike-Dude. My middle name is Trevor, I have
at least one leg, but I don't wear fine clothes.
Q. What are you doing?
A. Oh! Sorry.......I just had an itch.
Q. No, I mean what are you doing in general?
A. Well, mmmm....as I say, I had an itch. To travel the
world. So now I'm trying to ride my bicycle around it. Every continent.
And maybe, if it takes much longer, incontinent.
Q. Forget about the itch. Why? Do you have a cause?
A. It's really been in my blood, which I've had from
an early age. When I was 8 years old I had to copy an encyclopedia
picture of the Taj Mahal at school. I mad up my mind to go to
see it for myself.
My 7 year old sister, at about the same time, showed me a Japanese
pen-pal's picture postcard of Mount Fuji. I asked her about it
and she said it was an exploding mountain. I would definitely
go and see that, I decided.
That was the tip of my ice-berg of curiosity. But I gave up studying
Geography at the age of 13. Maybe it was not alive enough for
me. Maybe I just didn't like the teacher. I studied an extra language
I ground through the educational mill. My start-so-I'll-finish
stubbornness square-pegged me into the round hole of engineering.
Graduate. But I yearned to strip myself of my long-established
mediocrity. Be something different. Challenge my shrunken limits.
Experience.....whatever. The sand between my toes. And travel
had to be a part of it. I needed to resuscitate my bashed imagination.
I thought I had one at one time. Three and a half years work later
and I could finance my escape from the ordinary. But I decided
to cycle around the world. It's ordinary once you're doing it.
The trick (which I don't always achieve) is to look at the ordinary
and see the extraordinary. To maintain my zest for life. For every
I have no "cause" so to speak. I'm doing this primarily
for me, my experience, my education, or at least, my enjoyment.
Even hardship has an enjoyment factor. Usually afterwards.
Hedonistic, maybe, but I don't want to hurt others in the pursuit
of my own happiness. The bicycle rarely does that.
But if I can maintain my zest for life, I want to help other people
do the same. I suppose that's a cause in a way.
People have said to me that they can't do what I'm doing, but
they are happy to know someone that is doing it and that it is
being done. So I feel a certain responsibility to others. I mustn't
give up. I think my adventure helps other people in a tangible
way. I hope that's not a tenuous justification of selfishness.
Let me plug a charity called [Intermediate Technology] though.
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