Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder!
2 April 2018

Pauline and Hugh

On Saturday, March 10 at Mealbank Hall, Hugh and Pauline Symonds took a rapt audience through China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and then into Cuba, Mexico and over the border into Arizona and New Mexico. How had they travelled? By bike!

The couple fascinated the audience when they recounted their many adventures; unsurprisingly, food played an important part as they needed to replace the calories they burnt up as they cycled in these far-flung places. Pauline and Hugh admitted that they suffer from obsessive compulsive cycling disorder. The result? No sooner have they finished one trip than they are planning the next.

Both rides were illustrated by many colourful images which allowed the audience to get a real taste for their adventures. Clearly, they preferred to avoid the busiest roads if they could which helped them see small towns and villages as well as huge cities. They showed photos of locals cycling along with the most amazing tree trunks on their bikes which made Hugh and Pauline’s large panniers look tiny; they joined in with dances when they happened upon festivals; they showed some of the extraordinary things they had to eat, often a mystery for them in China. They gave a view of the different accommodation they had from their small tent to beds in a hostel room to quite plush rooms in hotels. Perhaps the most unnerving event for Hugh was getting stung by a scorpion in one of their overnight stays.

They had been on cycling adventures before, for example, in South America, Australia and New Zealand, but what was special about the two trips in this account was that they came after a nine month enforced spell in England while Hugh was treated for cancer. The specialist had promised to try to get Hugh back on his bike – and he did. A big thank you goes to Pauline and Hugh for their kind support. More generosity came from Escape Bikes who gave two gift vouchers for the raffle and discount cards for everyone who attended. The event raised £120 for District funds and an anonymous donation of £150 added to the proceeds, which all helps towards providing adventurous activities for youngsters in the Dales.