Hello, fellow Tokers! My name is Roger Boyd. Well, actually it isn’t, but that’s the pseudonym I use for the project I’ve been working on since October 2013, healthystoner.com. The fake name was given to me by an American journalist called Bart Blasengame in his article in the November 2014 edition of Details magazine and I decided to just go with it.[caption id="attachment_16331" align="alignright" width="1366"] Do Not Adjust Your Set: Arizer Solo against Leaning Tower of Pisa[/caption]
I had a myriad of reasons for starting HealthyStoner.com. I was disheartened at the way I felt people judged me for enjoying cannabis as my primary substance of choice over alcohol whilst also feeling like alcohol was by far the worse of the two substances in terms of its potential to damage my own personal health. I was bored at work and wanted a passion project to really get my teeth into. I’d recently quit smoking and was amazed at the difference vaping had made to my lung health in a very short period and on some level I wanted to evangelise about the difference quitting combustion had made to my health. But perhaps the biggest reason of all to start the blog was that I wanted to showcase my passion for combining Cannabis, Adventure and Exercise.
Mum says I used to talk about cycling around the world as a young kid. I don’t really remember that but I do remember loving my bike like nothing else, playing ‘Top Gun’ with my mates (dog fighting on bicycles, quite fun) and roaming the 1980s English countryside before the high pitched beep of my Casio signaled it was time to head home for dinner.
I’m telling you this is so you understand that a love of cycling and adventure were present in my life way before I discovered cannabis at some point in my late teens. It wasn’t until my mid to late twenties that the idea for a cannabis-themed world bicycle adventure really started to take hold. After a fair bit of preparation and a lot of knuckling down, living lean and saving, I’d bought my full camping kit. In August 2015, I quit my sales job and hit the road! I decided to take my Arizer Solo portable vape with me because it had great battery life, it was easy to maintain and did the job well. I’m in no way paid or sponsored by them but once they saw what I was doing the good people at Arizer did send me out some free vapes to keep me going which was a nice surprise![caption id="attachment_16332" align="alignright" width="1366"] Very, Very High in the French Alps[/caption]
I’ll never forget that first day in France, riding off the ferry and not really knowing what to expect. What I got was a good old fashioned baptism of water as the heavens opened and poured forth its miserable wrath. I can still hear the rain on the canvas, lone dog barking and the church bells as I wild camped on the side of an innocuous field somewhere in North West France on that first night as recovering from an absolute drenching. Earlier that day a farmer’s dog bit one of the pannier bags attached to my bike. Welcome to cycle touring, lads!
My initial route took me down through the middle of France, across the Pyrenees into Spain and down into the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a true weed mecca. Then back up to the French Alps where I’d lined up a job in a ski resort to see out winter (read as 'plenty of getting high on chair lifts'). The following spring I set off again, spending a magical month touring through Italy baked to raisins on some delicious Amnesia Haze from a friend in Turin before hitting the Balkan countries of Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia where friendly internet strangers were keen to show me the canna-culture in their respective countries. I made some great friends here. Republic of Macedonia and Greece were my final European destinations before I loaded Rhino (my bike) and all my kit on a flight bound for the southern Indian State of Kerala.[caption id="attachment_16333" align="alignright" width="4000"] Rhino in the Southern Ghats (India)[/caption]
I had already done some bicycle touring in the UK so I wasn’t totally ‘green’ and I’d encountered challenges on my European adventure but India was upped the difficulty to Expert. I'd visited India before on holiday but biking their highways along with the mopeds, motorbikes, cars, trucks, pedestrians, cattle, dust and, yes, elephants was simply a terrifying experience. Each evening I was elated to have survived another day of this hazardous terrain and naturally began to wonder what the hell I'd gotten myself into. Weed undoubtedly helped me get through this, it made me more cautious and aware of the danger from the ‘unfamiliar’ road rules. Six months of biking a 5,000 mile ‘lap’ of India and Nepal later and I knew exactly how to react when autos zoom towards you on the wrong side of the highway. Six months of vaping the various native Indica strains (along with a healthy helping of Planet Earth's best hashish, of course) eating their incredible cuisine, and connecting with their culture left an indelible mark on my soul. Leaving was emotional.
From one of the most populated areas on the planet I flew to one of the least: New Zealand and Australia. India had been all about the human experience of adventure, Australia was me vs. the landscape. Even in populated areas, large expanses of nothing existed between towns where it was up to me to make sure I was carrying enough food, water, weed and battery charge on my Arizer. I camped in designated areas, cooking myself dinner (and then breakfast) on my stove before setting off, relaxing in the evening with a vape and an episode of Game of Thrones on my laptop. You’ve got to allow yourself some luxuries! After six months in Asia it was great to indulge in some high quality ‘Western’ cannabis again. I had no problem finding delicious ‘Hydro’ whenever I needed it in Australia, but New Zealand was more of a challenge. Too many hungry cannabis consumers here and not enough being grown!
My bicycle ride across the world was everything I hoped it would be and more. It cemented my love of adventure, cannabis and exercise and I’m already itching for my next ride! Such true, pure freedom. With so many US States (not to mention Canada) decriminalising cannabis it might be possible for me to plan a 100% legal trip sometime soon, so I've got my eye on North America next. Or maybe I’ll just stick to the illegal states! Nothing wrong with a little thrill, eh, Gentlemen?
Read more from Roger Boyd on his website HealthyStoner.com and watch video of his adventures on YouTube!