Features > Featured Guest Interviews
Neil Simpson - One Highway.
I'm a 30 year former IT professional from Scotland. I'm not a cyclist, I cycle in one 81 mile race each year but it's for charity. I do a lot of exercise though so I thought I'd be fit enough for the challenge.
Q, What’s the charity your raising funds for and what’s your connection?
A, British Heart Foundation. My father died from a heart attack brought on by heart disease in June 2008. Initially I wasn't going to raise money during the trip but I got pestered into doing so by friends and family, I'm glad I did.
Q, What’s your inspiration for the trip?
A, I wanted a physical challenge and I had plenty of free time after being made redundant.
Q, Where is it taking place?
Q, How long did the trip take?
A, I knocked it out in 42 days!
Q, While I was in America I had a gentlemen pull a rifle out on me, have you had any sketchy moments that have had you worried?
A, It's funny that you describe him as a gentleman, I would have used more appropriate language. I was fine for the majority of my trip, I think the sketchiest part was cycling in torrential rain for 2 hours with barely any shoulder to cycle on. I was almost certainly completely obscured by spray from vehicles and there were a lot of trucks passing fairly close by.
Q, What’s your fondest moment up to now?
A, I get asked that a lot but it's really tough to say, there were so many fond moments.
Q, Do you have any regrets about anything during the trip?
A, I almost regret doing it so fast but at the same time, I wanted a physical challenge, maybe I should've just swapped bikes with you.
Q, Where did you start?
A, I started on the 8th June in Victoria, BC.
Q, What’s the most interesting road kill you had to avoid?
A, Probably a dear that was spread over a few hundred metres. Pretty gross.
Q, What’s been your favourite country and why?
A, Canada, it was the only one.
Q, What country or place is on your wish list to visit?
A, I want to cycle to Australia.
Q, Can you name 5 pieces of kit you can’t live with out?
A, My bike, food and a tent. I know it's only 3 but everything else is an optional extra. Maybe emergency cash to get out of any tight spots and my iPod for those days with a gruelling headwind.
Q, Maps or GPS?
A, I had a GPS but I only used it to track distance and speed.
Q, How do you choose where you go?
A, I follow the road East.
Q, What’s your mode or transport?
Q, What is your bike of choice and does it have a name?
A, I rode a Surly Long Haul Trucker, it definitely wasn't the best bike for the job. I have some reasons why on my blog but I was definitely mis-sold that bike.
Q, Are you craving anything?
A, Another adventure.
Q, Do you have a nickname for your Grandma?
A, Nope, just gran.
Q, Can you put a price on the trip just in case anyone else wants to follow in your footsteps?
A, The experience was priceless, the rest was probably £4000 or so by the time I'd bought flights, a bike, tent etc. I had no equipment before I started.. I could've gone a lot cheaper but I wanted very lightweight kit.
Q, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King or KFC? (KFC for myself as BK & McD’s give me the shits 4hrs later).
A, Subway, the others are complete filth. Although McD's do have free wifi though. Always a bonus.
Tell me a short story related to your adventure…
In Quebec province I camped in the garden of an elderly French couple who spoke no English. I speak barely any French but they let me camp in their garden, use their shower and they fed me a 3 course dinner! I had a 2 hour conversation about where I was cycling from and to and where I came from. It was tough given my terrible French but it they were awesome!