Legendary tales from the road: the journey ends

27th July 2011 by

Northern Souls, we’ve done it!

750 miles since setting off from the west coast of Wales, the team spun into our final destination, the city of Edinburgh, looking like we’ve just landed from the Mediterranean; bronzed faces, arms, and legs while boasting a stellar collection of tan-lines (helmets, watches, gloves, socks, sunglasses, t-shirt). No stranger would have guessed from our appearance that we had just spent the past five weeks crossing the UK (except for maybe after having seen our thighs of steel)!

Charged with a major sense of accomplishment and an abundance of new knowledge, we now begin the re-integration into the real world. A challenge it may be for some and perhaps a relatively smooth transition for others, we will try to weave the Otesha message into our separate lives. Over the past six weeks we’ve built a firm foundation of inclusive and transferable community standards while developing the ability to creatively and positively participate in our communities.

During the tour wrap-up in Edinburgh with Calu, the team shared enthusiasm, hopes, fears, and dreams about the next chapter of our lives: from continuing on our personal low-impact routine back home, to starting a student composting scheme, to selling off that car, to baking more bread — we’re all excited to move forward with positive energy in our stride

We also took some time between eating massive jacket potatoes topped with veggie haggis and trading hardboiled eggs for inanimate objects on the streets (a final group challenge dreamt up by Pete and Heni to test the curiosity and generosity of strangers), to reflect and laugh over the amazing adventure we have all just completed! Our final tour blog entry would not be complete without recap of our major highs, the odd bump along the road and awards for all the amazing qualities and inspiration each member brought to the team.

Total miles cycled: 750
Schools and youth clubs visited: 14
Total puncture count: 12 (7 of which were on trailers)
Kg of peanut butter: 12
Rainy cycling days: 1.5
Most obscure performance venue: a polytunnel (the result of a combination of midges and rain)
Bars of Kendel Mint Cake consumed: probably 10 big ones
Team Member Awards

The Wampire: Heni; At the beginning of tour she often pronounced her ‘v’s as ‘w’s and her favourite song to strum on the ukulele was “I am a Vampire” which first came out as “I am a Wampire”. Another favourite is “Let’s buy Weggies for dinner” (instead of veggies).

Hip-Hop Honey: Meghan; She brought a full helping of hilarious American culture (among many other great things) with her on tour and provided the team with great tunes with her Ipod and speaker combo—on and off the bike.

Hedge Diver: Holly; She had a unique way of getting to know her bike at the beginning of the tour by sporadically moving from the road to the nearest hedge. Luckily she had great technique and the only damages incurred were holes in all of her tights.

Sugar Fairy: Rachel; She was always well equipped with emergency sugar supplies from fruits, to marzipan, cake icing blocks, mint cake and more! Her stocks helped out the team on many occasions to avoid potentially disastrous low-sugar-bonking situations while on the road.

Bunz of Steel: Erin; She had a particularly odd relationship with the trailers—namely BigZip—as she was often first to jump on the opportunity to hook one up regardless of the many hills and mountains. The team gave their gratitude through bottomless encouragement and several (serious) offers to have an image of BigZip tattooed on her once in Edinburgh.

Mother Hen: Iona; She is a calming force for everyone and held all the right remedies for low and tired morale. From massages to chocolate, real coffee, and assuring us that we’ve (almost always) cycled further than we think; her energy, awareness and thoughtful actions kept the group’s spirits high.

Taste bud Guru: Susie; She has incredible insight to satisfy every team members’ palate and cravings— an extremely important element in maintaining high morale. From surprise Nutella and fresh bread before a performance, to chocolate covered Brazil nuts half-way up a hill; gourmet Indian dahl, nourishing soups for dinner and sharing bites of her chocolate tiffins; she always knows how to keep spirits high, healthy and “hit the right spot”.

DJ Gasolina: Petor; He set the tour off on a high note with his extraordinary mobile sound system, providing a variety of beats and rhythm in our stride and in the lives innocent bystanders along the road. He also hosted many impromptu dance parties with surprises like strobe lights and anthems to sing while searching for camping fuel donations (hence gasolina).

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Northern Soul Otesha UK tour to make it such a success! We look forward to visiting you all again someday and keeping in touch.

Peace and bicycle grease,
Heni, Iona, Holly, Rachel, Pete, Susanna, Meghan and Erin

One Response to “Legendary tales from the road: the journey ends”

  1. Thanks so much for coming to stay at the barn! Glad you had such a great tour and hope we see you again someday!

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