About Me

Location: Hong Kong
Date: Summer of 1986

It was a typical hot and humid afternoon in Hong Kong. I was looking at a map of Europe and thought it would be a great idea to try to cycle from England to Southern Portugal. My parents had just retired and were relocating to a small coastal town in the Algarve, called Tavira.

I was nineteen at the time and it never crossed my mind that over two thousand miles was a long way to cycle a bicycle.  At the time I had never cycled for more than an hour and the fact that there were some rather large mountains called the Pyrenees that sat firmly in between France and Spain were of little interest. They were ‘minor details’.

I emptied my bank account, walked down to the local bicycle shop and purchased one of the first mountain bikes. I changed the remaining Hong Kong dollars into British Pounds and jumped on to the next flight bound for London.

My first stop was a large camping store where I had a memorable time purchasing all the necessary camping accessories followed by a difficult time trying to cram it all into the panniers that I would be living out of on the trip. My bike weighed as much as me by the time I had finished. I decided to throw out all the unnecessary items. So I set off with one pair of bike shorts, no underwear and no spoon or fork. Perfect.

The fact that it was November the 8th and that it got pretty cold in the Pyrenees in winter never entered my mind. I was excited, the world beckoned and my new bike looked great in the weak winter sunshine.

That first bike trip was memorable. I had completed the trip, was half starved but was fit as a fiddle. I had broken my record for the number of days spent in the same pair of shorts and had experimented with a wide range of pasta recipes, loosely based on sardines and chickpeas.

I had also become hooked on cycling and upon my return to the real world, albeit briefly, I saved up and purchased an Italian road-racing bicycle. For those of you out there that are interested, it was a bright red Colnago SLX Spiral Conic steel frame, with Mavic Open Pro rims and a mixture of Shimano Ultegra and Shimano 105 components.

For the next seven years I raced in stage races and in one-day cycle races throughout SE Asia and Australia. I became fully sponsored and enjoyed travelling and competing. I was not particularly wealthy. I shaved my legs, never drank any beer, never stayed up late at night and ate more pasta in one sitting than your average Italian family ate in a week.

As my cycling career drew to a close I joined a bicycle shop. Working as the shop manager , I decided to also start up a travel company, called Quick Release. I could not face only riding a bike at weekends and the thought of an office job did not appeal. I decided I would take people on cycling trips around Asia and then spend the rest of the time running the shop. I led adventure travel trips for about five years and had many memorable adventures in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and the Philippines.

Along the way I managed to squeeze in trips to the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica. The bike shop did well, I got married and then kids arrived on the scene.

Needing to earn more money. I was sucked into an I.T. job after meeting someone at a party. They convinced me that I wanted to work for a large U.S. merchant bank. I took the job.

I seemed to have a knack for combining creativity with technical skills and in managing small teams.

The size of the teams grew and my management responsibilities increased. In 1998 I relocated to London.

By now the World Wide Web was up and running and the web design company I was working with was purchased by a band of young Finnish guys, who decided to float the parent company on the AIM market in London. We spent many nights working on the prospectus, finally floated, made quite a bit of money and then spent quite a bit more money.

Dot Com Mania was in full swing and I was doing my best to lead a ‘team’ of 65. I was not quite sure where the company was meant to be going- there were no maps and the terrain was unfamiliar, but the scenery and food was great.

The Dot Com bubble burst and I parachuted out of London, landing safely in Berkshire. I set up a small web development firm, specialising in building interactive games using Macromedia’s Flash development tools. We had a lot of fun, made less money than when we were in London during the boom times and drank less beer.

I started cycling again. I even raced. I landed a contract job for a bicycle shop outside of Reading. I was designing their new retail environment, upgrading their I.T. infrastructure and handling their marketing activities. I loved it.

One afternoon, I bumped into the owner of a bike shop, located in Crowthorne and discovered that he was about to put the shop on the market. I did some number crunching, spent some time researching the market and received the keys to the store on the 4th of August 2004 and launched iBike Limited.

iBike grew like Bamboo, at an alarming rate. In a year we doubled our turnover.

I was having a fantastic time.  iBike took on board some excellent cycling brands and acquired some customers that have since become my closest friends. To top it off we were located next door to one of the best Indian restaurants for miles and within a short cycle of Swinley Forest. I was enjoying the food and scenery again and I was riding my bike.  Perfect.

Like many things in life, many businesses do not last forever, the market may change and the economic climate can worsen.  All of that rapid growth brought on board a number of pressures to the business and whilst the till was ringing, and we were run off our feet, cracks were starting to appear.  They say ‘cash is king’ and cash flow was starting to become a problem.  We had a huge amount of capital tied up in stock. I went on the investment hunt and managed to raise some. It gave us some valuable breathing space and allowed us to make it through a wet and windy summer of 2007, a summer that lasted about a week before the rain set in.  We would have been better off selling umbrellas.  Or Arks.

In July of 2008, almost four years after we started I closed the shop doors for the last time.  With the spectre of a full blown recession on the horizon and talk of an immense global financial crisis just months away, I was glad to have found a potential buyer and someone to take over the lease.

Perhaps the dismal weather in the U.K. back in July was a sign of the impending huge financial storm that was to lash the shores of the United States in September.

It was raining and the sky was grey.  I was watching the weather do its best to drown a bee in a plant pot outside my window.  I went onto the Internet and had a look at a web-cam in Barcelona. The sun was shining.  People were walking down the road in shorts and t-shirts. I could almost smell the Tapas bars.

I looked over at my motorcycle, a stealthy black Suzuki GSXR750.  I think it almost smiled at me when I declared out loud my intention of riding it to Barcelona.

I was nineteen again. I packed a pair of flip flops, a book, a spare pair of jeans, my MacBook and my mobile phone and set off at 5AM from Binfield, Berkshire.

I remember looking up at the sky praying that it would not rain on my trip down to Plymouth.  I recall feeling that it was almost rude to shatter the early morning silence.  I looked out across the fields, at the fine mist that lay across them, swung a leg over the bike and smiled. I blipped the throttle and raced down the lane, accelerating between the speed bumps and yelled for joy inside my helmet. To hell with the early morning silence my neighbours were on holiday.

The ferry ride from Plymouth to Santander was fairly boring.  I spent the time reading the book I had packed, drinking beer, people watching and keeping an eye out for dolphins beside the boat.  I never saw one.

I am in Barcelona now.  The sun is still shining and the food and scenery is great. Life is about to start a new chapter and this time I have decided to write it all down.  I am going to write a book.

I am told writers never tell people the name of the book before it is published.  I am not sure if that is true but because I don’t know the answer for sure, I’ll keep it secret for now.

The story will start in Hong Kong.

Where it ends is anybody’s guess. You might as well join me for the ride, who knows, you might end up in the book.

Eduardo A dos Remedios

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10 Comments

  1. Well what a adventure i thought i have had a great life so far but yours is fantastic so do you have plans for tommorrow.Any plans to come to Australia on your bike.
    I will follow your progress

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  2. wow! i’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures. and i must say your blog is a fantastic read. thank you for sharing your stories.

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  3. Wow! You are an incredible story teller … and you’ve got an incredible life story to tell! What an adventure your life has been thus far! I so SO envy people like you who are brave and adventurous to the core! You really seem to be living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment of it!

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  4. WOW!!

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  5. good stuff

    you should definately write a book. I live in badalona, love the local fitness scene, running and biking, and everything about the area, except the difficulty speaking the lingo!

    good luck and keep writing

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  6. I didn’t realise you had handed over the bike shop in the UK, but I know your plans include bikes in Barcelona! Once a bikehead, always a bikehead, right?
    All the best with your book writing – you have always had a gift for spinning a yarn, and I am sure the book will be a great success.

    Good luck with your road to fitness – I shall try to find time to read the whole thing. Interesting stuff!

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  7. Good luck with book, it’s sure to be a winner!! I had hoped to catch up with you sometime at the shop but maybe i have further to venture now!!

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  8. Ted! This is brilliant. I have only read the “About Me” page (have to try and pretend to work at some point…) but it is good to get an update on your life in a succinct format. So interesting for those of us just getting back in touch. Sounds like you have an amazing life. Well done!

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  9. Just checking in on your blog–I love your last entry! 🙂

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  10. Hola Eduardo, que tal? Are you still in BCN Did you write the book? My story is quite similar, would love to read yours!

    Like


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