I am going to give a shameless plug to my old mate Nic Conner, who (along with a friend named John Campbell - whom I have never met) has set-off to cycle around the world (or as far as they can get) with just £1,000. They are undertaking the adventure for two reasons. Firstly; because they can! Secondly; to raise awareness and money for The Big Issue Foundation.
I first met Nic in 2009/2010 when he came to work for the Gillingham & Rainham Association as they prepared for the General Election. The three Medway constituencies shared an office. It was quite an experience for us all; I have never met anyone who worked longer hours, survived on so little sleep - or was so bloody untidy. Within a few weeks the back room in that small terraced house became a hazard to public health. Half eaten takeaways, kebabs and discarded bacon sandwiches mixed with unwashed cloths, dirty socks, skateboards, rollerblades, running shoes, jockstraps and bits of discarded bicycle. It was like being trapped in one of those ITV documentaries about those people who horde their belongings until the Council sends in teams of masked men who take it all away in a skip.
My abiding memory of that period was turning up at the office early one morning, a few days before polling day, with a team of elderly ladies who were going to start packing pledge letters. The front door was locked from the inside. After hammering on the door and ringing the bell for ten minutes, Nic appeared, stark naked apart from a tea towel sometimes covering his modesty. "Sorry, I was so late finishing I kipped on the floor", he said, before walking away forgetting to move the tea towel to block the rear view. I don't think my ladies ever fully recovered, though there was no shortage of volunteers when I asked them to come back the following day!
We stayed in touch via social media, and have tended to meet for a beer or two at conference, where he drinks me under the table.
I wish them well and look forward to following their blog as the make their way around the world. You can visit their blog and follow their progress HERE.