Tim walked into the hostel I was staying at about an hour after I had arrived. I had already had a shower and was sitting on one of the lounge setups checking email on the laptop in front of me.
He walked in and started speaking to the owner, I was English and seen to be a really friendly guy.
Out on the road you can tell if people have been at it a long time by the state of their clothes and the amount of facial hair. It was clear that Tim had been out here a while.
My interest grew when I over heard him ask the hotel owner where a suitable place to put his bike would be.
He disappeared for about 10 mins and walk back in the same door with a fully stacked Surly touring bike. He had the lot.
He found a place near to where I was sitting and started filling out some GPS spots and doing his daily log, I was doing much the same at the time.
He eventually introduced himself and we started chatting. I told him I was running and he was enthused by that.
He rather quickly told me some of the details of his cycling journey. he and his wife decided to ride around the planet. He had left the far north of Europe 2.5 years ago and rode down to Cape Town with his wife. They then got on a plane to Chile and started their journey north back up to Alaska.
This was a serious ride. It was a ride around the world.
The story has a sad middle bit. In Bolivia, his wife of 6 year and partner of 16 years was hit and killed by a car whilst out riding. He didn't see the accident as he was a few hundred meters ahead, but by the time he had got to the scene of the accident his wife was dead.
I was shocked for a split second at what I had just heard but quickly processed it and we began to talk in detail.
I can relate because just like them, I had people say you are silly to put your self so close to danger and I know what it is like to live in the roads and the amount of effort it takes to keep safe. I guess the thought would have gone through their minds that it might happen, but for it to happen and the result to be fatal is just horrible.
The next part of him story is why I won't forget him.
Tim had to go home, clearly there was a lot to organise and family to see. He was only home for 10 months.
Tim said when he was home it was a bad time. He wasn't sleeping and eventually got on medication.
In not sure why but Tim then decided to take a very aggressive approach to moving on and processing his loss. He took it head on.
The first thing he did was celebrate their wedding anniversary solo I the same way that they had done every year together.
He then felt compelled to go back to Bolivia and complete what they had both started a few years earlier.
For a normal English guy from Devin to have that kind of strength and resilience makes him great. He is not a famous bike rider, or anything out of the ordinary, and he proves that you don't need to be that to be great.
We are all doing these massive challenges for one reason or another. I personally struggle with my thoughts being left alone with then for 8 hours a day but I can't imagine the cant of thought Tim would be processing out here. Doing the exact same thing that he and his wife shared only 18 months ago.
We ate lunch together, went to a waterfall in the afternoon and compared notes and gear I the evening.
The whole time Tim was saying things that really made sense to me.
He said the biggest thing he was happy about is that he and his wife didn't have any regrets. He said they were the kind of people that if they said they would do something, they would do it.
I want to be that kind of person. The kind of person who can sit on his chair at 80 years old and know that he lived hard and not have missed an opportunity to experience all that the world had to offer.
Tim said "life can be shit, but the world is an amazing place".
This whole run I have been thinking about riding around the world on a bike. I think it is the ultimate way to travel.
So now after meeting Tim and hearing his story I am outing it out into the Universe...... I am going to ride around the world on a bicycle: Riding From The Blues?
I think Tim is a real life modern day explorer, both on a physical basis but also mentally, I really admire the attitude he has taken towards life after his whole world was turned upside down.
One thing I learnt only 2 years ago and am so passionate about now is, you need to always be prepared to learn, always be prepared to listen to others, because you never know when you will meet someone that can really teach a lot. I so glad I learnt that at a young age. I have learn so much from Family members, strangers and fellow explorers sines I started listening to others.
Tim has been offered TV deals and all sort but isn't interested in any of it. He makes his decisions for him and Doesn't want other dictating them. He is a lovely, friendly guy and I'm really glad I met him.
Good luck getting to Alaska Tim.
What your doing is greatness. You are proof that you don't need to be a someone to reach greatness.