To Quit or not to Quit

Well after 2 1/2 weeks of pain in my neck and arm I have begun to think the unthinkable: to abort my trip and go home. As Dirty Harry once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I guess I have pushed myself as far as I can. To continue in this condition would be pointless: Hauling my bike and gear onto a bus, riding all day, hauling it off, searching for a hotel, and then just laying in bed until another bus the next day. Not much fun.

I can’t say I am too upset about it. I have mixed feelings about Africa after traveling here for six months. On the one hand it is a completely fascinating place. As far culturally from south beach as you can get. Beautiful scenery, nice beaches, interesting people and lots of wildlife. On the other hand, though, it is poor, dirty, and nothing works. People are always asking for money or hustling you. Perhaps it is because I have been on the road for so long, or maybe it’s Africa, but lately I have found myself saying a lot,  “God, it will be so good to get home.” Well God, evidently, was listening.

The other good thing about leaving early is that I still have a few bucks in the bank which I will need to take care of this darn neck injury (I hate to call it an injury since nothing happened to cause it; it’s more like a malfunction) since I do not have insurance. My travel insurance won’t cover it.

So, I am going to give myself another 3-4 days just to see if I miraculously recover. If not, I will have to throw in the towel.

I have not taken many pix as you can imagine. Here’s why.


11 thoughts on “To Quit or not to Quit

  1. JoJo June 16, 2009 / 6:51 pm

    The Doc I work with thought perhaps you had sustained an injury from before and it’s flaring with the ride. I didn’t think you had an injury from what you have been writing. If not, he says it’s just getting older. love to hear that. But you make a good point about Clint. You can do it again…maybe not so intensly (sp?) So, the verdict is most likely surgery, Kev, according to him. take care.

  2. Alix June 16, 2009 / 9:24 pm

    It would be prudent to listen to your own body telling you that it needs to stop what it’s doing! It’s not quitting, it’s more like an honorable discharge!

  3. DAD June 17, 2009 / 1:15 am

    I think you are making the right decision. You have gone on a remarkable trek—take a rest

  4. Kevin Koski June 17, 2009 / 11:03 am

    Jo, no I have never sustained an injury to my neck before. I think your doc is right–it is just age catching up with me. The good news is that many people suffer from this at some point in their lives and it can be corrected, most of the time without surgery. But even the surgery is considered routine. So–I will live to fight another day!

  5. Jim June 17, 2009 / 1:28 pm

    You’re making the right decision, Kevie.

    No, it’s not age…..just all that abuse to the hands holding onto that bar over miserable roads.

  6. Ali Buchan June 18, 2009 / 6:48 pm

    Sorry to read about the early conclusion to this stage of your adventure. I have just returned to EG and enjoying your posts in reverse order to play catch up on your adventure. It is disappointing to have to stop short of your goal due to injury but as most of the posts have indicated, listening to your body and getting some quality treatment and R&R should enable you the opportunity to ride another day and finish this most magnificent adventure. I will miss your blogs which have been interesting, exciting and full of great stories and pictures. I also hope you will do something with the accumulated entries and photographic archive which has allowed many of us to avidly follow your adventure and marvel at your tenacity and focus.
    Take care on your return and keep in touch, hopefully we will be able to get together at some point in the future and you never know, may be able to go for a ride.

  7. Capt. Don Kilpela Sr. June 18, 2009 / 11:09 pm

    Even if you recover momentarily, apparently you need a long term rest and recuperation period and if taken soon before more damage is done, you can probably avoid the knife and save your money for a return engagement later. You have certainly demonstrated that even you, the ironman, can break down at times.

    Without question, Kev, few men have attempted the kind of sustained grind that you subjected yourself to and even fewer at your age. You are nothing short of amazing and you have a tale to tell. We await your homecoming!

  8. Barry Warner June 19, 2009 / 9:40 am

    Like most other posts – sorry to hear you have to cut your adventure short but it seems the prudent thing to do. I have enjoyed reading about your travels and have marveled at your knowledge of the history of all of the places you have seen. My wife and several of her friends have taken to following your journey as well, people you have never met or likely to run across. You have a real talent with respect to the written word, I hope you use it. While you were in EG I told you it was hell to get old, I guess you are feeling the effects of that. It is a funny phenomenum that as I age I don’t seem to view myself as older. Certainly my physiscal ability and appearance tell me it is so but my outward view doesn’t seem to reflect that same aging affect.
    Let us know how things progress with whatever treatment path you pursue. If you need a job Ali is just about running the whole show here in EG.

  9. Nicole June 22, 2009 / 5:15 pm

    Thank God! Bring yourself home.

  10. Brian harry June 26, 2009 / 5:11 pm


    Great job abd well done- Your effort and adventure is an inspiration to me as your friend. Take care of yourself. I know it might have been disappointing to curtail the journey but “all’s well that ends well”. Give me a shout when you have a moment and we can catch up.

    Peace and Love

  11. Laura O June 28, 2009 / 10:03 am

    Hi Kev,
    Sometimes strength is knowing when to stop. Kinda sounds like a herniated cervical disc. TLC and time (maybe some steroids ) sounds like just what you need. Thanks for letting giving us a clear snapshot of the world through your eyes and ears, allowing us to experience places we’ll never get to see.
    xox, Laura

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