Monday, 26 August 2013

Planning progress report

So time is ticking by quicker and quicker and october the 4th will soon be upon me.  The other day I made a list of everything I had left to plan and managedto sort a fair bit of it.
With the time getting ever closer the nerves are well and truly setting in and Im happy to say that it has certainly prompted me to get out on my bike more frequently and get some miles in. I went to wales the other day to cycle with Chris Summerill, a talented guitarist and occasional tri athlete, which meant the drive down was filled with a bit of trepidation about the ride to come, knowing as I did how hilly wales is and how badly I tend to go up hills. Still, it was a beautiful sunny day and we completed 55 miles at a reasonable pace, with chris kindly going slower than he normally would up the hills.
My good mood about how the ride had gone was increased further when I compared the hills with those that I will becoming up against on Route 66.  The climbs on Route 66 are long climbs and get up to a fair height, however most are long meaning that the average gradient is 2 or 3% compared to the 5 6 and 7 % that the welsh hills are made up of.
Socthats the training ongoing. As you might have seen, I also activated my SPOT tracker and set up my Spot adventures page details of which can be found on facebook or  click the following link

This enables me to send a check in/ok message to 10 friends and family every day and allows others to follow my progress on the online map on the adventures page, which is pretty cool.
I also notified the airlimes of my need to bring a bike with me which induced a mini heart attack when brussels airline mistakenly told me that united airlines would not allow my bike on board from brussels to chicago!
Following a suggestion from a friend I am also organising a quiz to raise more money and have had a good response from a local pub with help hosting it. Further details will be available on my facebook page.

Fundraising has got off to a good start with £1000 already generously already raised and names going on the prayer flags.  I hope to reach a target of my £2000 but am feeling the pressure of completing this challenge and not letting all those people down.

I have most of my kit sorted but am debating buying either a small solar charging panel or something like power monkey but time is running our to get this stuff sorted.

The gig at the end of the ride is pretty much there as regards to planning and I will be making an announcement soon about that.

So hopefully the final planning stages will go to plan (lol) and I will be setting out in october with everything in place.
So all that remains is to keep the legs going round and get some miles under my belt.

Regards the above: a few bits and pieces to discuss. I tried out hydro tabs (Mickey,  I think you should get some btw) as an alternative to the powdered electrolytes. And why I am singing their praises, hopefully if you picture the following scenario, you will understand the benefits.

Somewhere in the middle of the lake district, a lady with a touring bike is crouching by the roadside, as she is crouching she pulls out several bags from her panniers, each one filled with a measured amount of white granules.
Now transfer that story to the middle of , lets say, arizona, only this time the cops stop by.
So white powder not the best thing to be carrying about your person, especially in measured amounts in plastic bags, which I did for weight saving purposes.
So 9 months on and I have switched to hydro tabs, do the same thing, 20 tabs to a tube, which even at 2 a day means only 3 small tubes to carry, and no risk of being detained by the local law enforcement!

2nd thing to share is about connectivity. I am worried about relying on my tab to connect to back home, formapping etc but have found a reliable ish means of wi fi internationally. So fingers crossed it works or internet cafes will become my second home whilst away.

So about 5 weeks to go and the nerves have well and truly set in.
But I guess if this were easy, what would be the point.!