Go Go Dermo - Cycle around the world
Fancy cycling around the world? Dermot Higgins is doing just that! We are proud to have kitted out Dermot with some Crua gear for this worldwide cycle. When we first heard about Dermot's plans to cycle around the world, we were struck with envy! As we put our envy aside we wanted to donate something to this man. We kitted him out with all the Crua essentials that he is going to need for his trip. Dermot is aiming to become the fastest person over 50 to cycle around the world in 9 months raising funds for Trocaire and promoting the UN global goals for sustainable development. Crua Outdoors is wishing you the best of luck Dermo on this awesome challenge. We will be following your journey all the way!
GoGoDermo Update #1
July 5th 2017
Dermo has made it to Spain!
"No words can express the joy we had today as we cycled from Alcanñiz in the mountains to Tarragona on the coast. 125k in blistering heat and through awesome landscapes over many mountains passes. We've opted for the luxury of a proper campsite where I'm cooking on my mini BBQ for the first time on this trip. Mataro north of Barcelona tomorrow and a rest day to follow.!"
GoGoDermo Update #2
July 7th 2017
"I had my first crash when my front wheel got wedged between the planks of a boardwalk"
"Day 6 was a real epic with over 175 K of cycling in blistering heat. We started early from Sitges and enjoyed the wonderful spin on the coastal road to Barcelona. Navigating our way across the city was a real nightmare but a friendly old cyclist, Guissepe guided us through the really tricky parts. It was weird to be passing through one of the most popular tourist sites in the world and not to be a tourist.
From Barcelona we took the scenic route along paths by the coast but this delayed us and I had my first crash when my front wheel got wedged between the planks of a boardwalk.
Fortunately I fell into a sandbank rather than into the sea below.
In the afternoon we pushed on over busy roads and into the mountains towards Girona.
A Facebook friend, Brian Canty had offered us a bed and dinner which we gratefully accepted. After a swim in his rooftop pool, a fine feed of pasta and beer, we slept soundly in a real bed while our clothes were being washed.
So it's off to the French border now. We can't afford to take a full rest day as the passport fiasco lost us some time but we'll have a short trip today with only 80k of cycling."
GoGoDermo Update #3
July 10th 2017
"After a big lunch and a nap in a nasty resort we bought a large scale map and were able to find a lovely route over the salt marshes and along an old canal"
"Day 8 was another epic day with lots of climbing over the Route du Cols which means the very hilly road. We broke camp early and enjoyed cycling through many petite billed. We were concerned that as it was le weekend when tout le monde goes to la plage, we would run into problems with traffic but Bon Chance! For the first time on this trip there was pas du soleil! In fact there were a few drops of gentle and very wellcome rain which kept the cycle paths fairly clear.
After a big lunch and a nap in a nasty resort we bought a large scale map and were able to find a lovely route over the salt marshes and along an old canal to our destinations, a lovely little seaside town called Guissan, where Teddy treated us to a huge seafood platter when the shops were all closed.
There was a fete in full swing so we decided to join in the fun.....
Tomorrow it's off to Montpellier my last day of cycling with a friend.....
Who knows what lies ahead?"
GoGoDermo Update #4
July 12th 2017
"It was my first full day of cycling solo"
"It was my first full day of cycling solo. I was woken up from my slumber by the fisherman preparing nets on the pier just as the sun was rising. After a lovely breakfast and a very early morning dip, I was on the road towards Marseille by 8.00am.
The early part of the cycle was over several cold and through lively resorts both of which slowed me down. The approach to Marseille was real nightmare and it was difficult to avoid the busy motorways. Eventually I found my way to Cemtre Ville where I paid Irish prices for coffee and a croissant at the crowded marina area.
Finding my way out of Marseille was another difficult task. My phone was refusing to charge and my map was useless. Jean Luis, a wirery old mountain biker was my saviour and he showed me the way to the best cycle path I've ever seen winding its way from Marseille through towards Toulon . There I made a bad navigational error and ended up on a peninsula 20k off track. At that point I decided first that I had to sort out my communication issues and that there was no chance that I'd reach my Freebird host in St Raphael.
So I bought a new phone battery and called Kelly.
My revised destination was Cavalaire Sur Mer where we'd once holidayed en famille by that was too far and I was drawn to the sound of Bono blasting 'I still haven't found......" So I grabbed some food in the shop and settled in for a few beers. The waiter had looked at my website getting the address from my top and soon I was being made guest of honour at the fete."
GoGoDermo Update #5
July 13th 2017
"Message learned: Don't sleep at the waters edge!"
"It was supposed to be my rest day. As a result of the disastrous stolen wallet incident in Spain I had skipped my rest day last week and now after 11 consecutive days of cycling, I was badly in need of some recuperation. However I was still 60k away from sanctuary and my Freebird host in St Raphael.
By 8.00 I was pedaling onwards. I was in high spirits.
Having slept well on the beach at La Linder 20k from Toulon, I was awakened very early by a massive beach cleaning machine which nearly scooped both myself and Karolina into its bucket. I got out of the way on time with but unfortunately sacrificed my sleeping mat to the monster. Message learned: Don't sleep at the waters edge!
So it was still only 6.30 am and I didn't feel like starting. I noticed some activity in the market square and was delighted to be able to join the stall holders for petit dejuner. I spent an hour savoring the atmosphere and the wonderful pastries.
By 8.00 I was back in the saddle heading towards my host. It was a lovely spin on a cycle path - or psycho paths as I call them due to the fact that they're usually shared with careless pedestrians.
After a few calls for directions I found myself safely ensconced in the most beautiful villa a few k from St Raphael.
Kelly, my Freebird host showered me with hospitality and plied me with food and drink. After a shower I collapsed into the super king sized bed in the air conditioned room with breathtaking views......into a deep sleep which lasted for 15 hours. I'm going to take advantage of this dream recuperation opportunity to take a full days rest.
My saddle sores need some attention and I have to source a new sleeping mat as well as other essentials"
GoGoDermo Update #6
July 17th 2017
"I seem to have picked up some kind of infection in my left leg"
"It was probably the toughest so far. I covered only 150k but had to contend with a reality undulating route along the beautiful Via Aurelia which runs all the way to Rome. Also making life difficult was the relentless headwind, the constant 35 degree heat, the fact that I had my first serious tumble and then to top it all I seem to have picked up some kind of infection in my left leg.
It all started out really well from Imperial. Marco had lined up some interviews with the Italian press and I repeated the flag raising ceremony and this I think will become one of the most memorable events of Gogodermo.
The early part of the cycle was on a lovely cycle paths but this soon developed into a series of relentless climbs in and out of busy resort towns. At one such town a gobshite on a Harley stopped dead in front of me. I opted for the relatively soft landing and bounced off him into the oncoming traffic. The Harley and my panniers took most of the damage and I've only a few more bruises and grazes along with a less than waterproof pannier bag to show for all the drama.
My plan was to get as far as Genoa and begin the big climb over the mountains towards Slovenia but the various mountain passes looked so intimidating that I decided to stop at a picture postcard perfect seaside town appropriately called Sori - I'm sorry but I'm not crossing those mountains today! I've just cooked a nourishing dish of pasta and seafood on my little stove after washing my worries away in the sea. I'm all set for the biggest climbing day tomorrow-Over 1000 m ascent in 50 km and then hopefully a glorious few days on. quiet and flat roads along the Po valley."
GoGoDermo Update #7
July 18th 2017
"The wind had shifted in my favour and it was a refreshing cool sea breeze"
"How strange it is that the day I was dreading the most turned out to be the most joyous days cycling I've had so far. I set off early and after a few km along the coast, bit the bullet and headed East into the mountains.
After yesterday's catalogue of whinging comes a perfect storm of circumstance.
The wind had shifted in my favour and it was a refreshing cool sea breeze.
Every Tomasso, Ricardo and Heraldo as well as their female equivalents were out in force on the mountain roads on a fine Sunday morning. And it seemed that the seriously strenuous climbing in Spain had yielded results. I climbed the 2,000m without dying and enjoyed the 80k descent into the Po valley.
I was drawn there. First p through Bobbie where Irish monks established a monastery there while we were still saints and scholars and then to the River Po. From an early age I was fascinated by this river and when I found it at Piacemza, it became my Ganges and I washed away all the troubles of my past in the swirling waters on the bank where I'd pitched camp.
After another mega meal, packing 5,000 calories in food and drink into each dinner. I wheeled Karolina into the nearest town where as luck would have it I fell in with a host of Eco Warriors - Julius, Allesendro and friends. Having plied me with beer and pizza they then brought me to the Cosnauti HQ where my bag was filled with fresh organic fruit and veg. I was on such a high that I had to use my SPOT Location Device to take me to my riverside campsite. There I slept peacefully, despite a visit by a pair of hungry and strangely tame coypu some time near dawn. All flatlands tomorrow!"
GoGoDermo Update #8
July 19th 2017
"I've only got 3 words - Veni, vide, vici!"
"Another epic day cycling across Italy, 165k with hardly any elevation at all.
The main roads were very busy with no hard shoulder and several times I had to detour when I found myself on sections where cycling wasn't allowed.
The solution was to take a super cycle path which meandered along side the Po through forests fields and marshland. The surface was very dodgy in places and meandering doesn't provide much progress but it was one of the best days cycling I've ever had.
I met some friendly adventure cyclists enjoy route.
I camped on the riverside again just outside Manitova, which is a beautiful town.
Now it's off to Trieste on the Adriatic.
By far the biggest cycling day so far with more than 200k under my belt!
It took a lot of determination to get to Venice. What a city! What an experience!
I've only got 3 words - Veni, vide, vici!"
GoGoDermo Update #9
July 24th 2017
What makes GoGo Dermo go?
"A number of people have been asking me how I'm managing to fuel myself on this trip,especially given that my budget is very tight.
I have to pack in at least 7,000 calories every cycling day just to have enough energy to keep going. Obviously it's essential that my diet is balanced and that I get the required nutrients and trace elements lost through rivers of perspiration. And all this on a budget of €20 per day?
The trick is to avoid eating in restaurants at all costs. I treat myself to a morning coffee break every day and I usually have a restaurant meal on rest days. Apart from that I'm looking after my own food supply.
I'm eating several kilos of fresh fruit and veg every day. I usually buy whatever is in season and on sale at the roadside. At the moment in Croatia its peaches and they're beyond being delicious!
I'm drinking as much as 5 litres of liquid(-and that doesn't include beer!) every day. Most mornings I drink 2 litres of milk and I keep my drink bottles topped up with a variety of sweet stuff all day. Initially I developed a Coke addiction but pineapple juice is presently my daytime tipple of choice. Often I stop on the road side to pick the abundant hedgerows fruits- the blackberries and elderberries are already ripe here.
I'm also constantly being offered gifts of fruit and veg by guys working in the fields.
Around lunchtime I go to a supermarket and buy bread, cheese and tomatoes which I consume in situ.
After much trial and error, I've perfected the art of buying food for dinner. It's crucial to get supplies no more than an hour before I finish cycling as it's too warm to keep the meat fresh. I usually buy a cooked chicken or some fresh fish and some fresh veggies. Generally I also buy a few bottles of local brew and a bag of frozen peas (Do you know the reason for the peas?)
I cook a huge dinner wherever I've camped and always leave half of it (stored in a lunchbox to keep critters away) for breakfast.
Generally I retire to a bar where there's wifi after the washing up
have a pint, to blog and socialise with the locals if I'm feeling lonely.
It's actually quite easy to do all this for €20 a day and that's in Europe where food and drink is relatively expensive.
This diet allows me to maintain condition and fuel me sufficiently.
Strangely, I've lost only a few kilos. My leg and arm muscles have become more toned but the beer belly hasn't been affected....."
GoGoDermo Update #10
July 25th 2017
"I knew I was deepest Eastern Europe!"
"My third country in 3 days! I've found myself in Bosnia Hertzogovia, a country I never intended to visit but after being here for only a few hours I'm delighted that I made the decision to go a little further south and follow one of the many river valleys flowing East.
Last night as I was falling asleep, I was treated to a nocturnal display of enormous owls hunting in the field where I was camping.
I slept well and was on the road early, after being woken by a buxom woman wearing a headscarf like my mother used to wear as she drove her tractor to mass. I knew I was deepest Eastern Europe!
I opted to avoid Zagreb and took a cross country route across a rolling landscape eastwards. This decision had pros and cons. One one hand, I was able to witness the wonderful countryside with abundant wildlife and extraordinarily friendly people.
On the other hand the road frequently disappeared into a void or deteriorated into a gravelly potholed dirt track.
As a result Karolina suffered her first mishap when a spoke snapped on a particularly bad stretch. As it was Sunday, I'd no option other than to motor on eastwards towards the Bosnian border, where I hope to find a bike shop tomorrow.
En route, I passed a trio of llikely lads on bicycles. They were taking part in a charity cycle which involved stopping for 'pivo' at various pit stops. I politely refused the offer of a beer, having another 60k to travel on a dodgy wheel. Nonetheless we made a good effort at singing the Croatian anthem with the encouragement of a girlfriend.
I reached a beautiful little town immediately after crossing into Bosnia. I bought food had a wash in the river and was just about to cook and set up camp when I was approached by. lovely old widow woman, Baibe who insisted on bringing me to her cottage for 'hospitality'. I've set up camp in her garden after enjoying a superb feast of chicken and chips, swallowed down with a very big bottle of beer.
Tomorrow I'll straddle the border all the way to Serbia, another country I'd no intention of visiting.
One thing for sure, I love this part of the world, the landscape, the vernacular architecture, the wildlife, the people....-my comrades!"