I’ve had my own website for some time now but have never really used it, mainly because I rarely have anything to say and partly because I’m not entirely sure how to use it !!
Well the last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me, firstly in September of last year I finally sold my house and moved in with a good friend (Paul Nash), I then changed my job and took the decision to go back to removals as the job I had was a bit boring and not very physical !
I continued to keep fit by running and cycling and after completing numerous challenges someone suggested that I should enter the Global Bike Race! I quickly decided that I wasn’t fit enough or interested enough but I did find another challenge…….The World Cycle Challenge !
The idea was to cycle round the world,18,000 miles, and following the route that Mark Beaumont took while breaking the solo round the world cycling record. It was to be a fully supported trip complete with chef, doctor, mechanic etc. They would also sort out all visas and travel while all we had to do was cycle 100 miles a day six days a week with a few days off now and again…I paid my deposit and started training like mad as the trip was due to start in September.
We had our own Facebook page and we watched and welcomed each new member to the list of people looking to complete the full tour or join us for one or more of the separate legs, we started swapping training ideas and making friends before we’d even stared the trip………and then my world came crashing down with a phone call from the organisers cancelling the trip. It turned out that not enough people had signed up and the backers got cold feet and pulled out before they lost money !!
I quickly assessed my situation and decided that I still had the money, time and inclination all I needed was a companion !
I posted on the WCC Facebook page looking for a like minded soul and to my relief one of the other full tour sign ups came back with a big thumbs up 😉
For three months myself and Naomi Johnson planned our trip or at least if I’m honest Naomi planned our trip ! It turns out that not only had I potentially found a cycling companion but one that had done some touring before and liked doing the planning and organising, hey she has three business degrees so I guess she’s used to being organised, all I had to do was give her a wish list of places I’d like to go, she then crafted a tour taking in as many of my wish list places and hers as you can possibly get on a round the world plane ticket !!
Our completed tour looks something like this :-
Pacific Coast Highway USA – approx 20 days
Japan – approx 1 month
Lhasa to Kathmandu – approx 20 days
India – approx 1 month
South East Asia ( Vietnam,Louse, Cambodia, Thailand – approx 2 months
New Zealand – approx 20 days
Australia – 1 week rest over New Year
Cairo through Africa to Capetown – approx 5 months
Europe towards home – approx 1 month
Lands End to John O’Groats – approx 15 days
Both Naomi and I decided that although we’d never met we got along well enough to sign up for various parts of the trip and the leaving date was suggested as July 9th 2012, now due to the fact that I’d already booked a holiday in June and also booked myself onto a cycling sportive that was not due back until July 4th and had promised to see my family in Italy prior to going travelling I took the decision to cancel my holiday (lost deposit £175) and booked a flight to Italy to go and see my family.
About three days after cancelling my holiday I got a phone call from Naomi telling me that her mum had been diagnosed with cancer and that the trip may well be off !
Now I’m not completely insensitive and of course I was very concerned not only for Naomi but also her mum, but on the other hand I was totally gutted and thought that my idea of a cycle tour round the world had been scuppered again !!
Now after a few days Naomi called me to say that her mum had seen a specialist and things weren’t as bad as it first seemed and although the trip would need to be tweaked a bit so that Naomi could be home for Christmas it was essentially back on…..whoop whoop !!
I took my returned deposit from the WCC and went to Canterbury to Downs Cycles to purchase my new Touring Bike, mine is the one in the middle !! The photo was taken in Brighton on a recent cycle trip from Stokenchurch over the Easter weekend.
Well that’s it for the moment really, I’ve started my inoculations and we have started to sort our visas. We both continue to sort our gear out ready for the trip while we continue to train hard !
I’m getting so excited now as there really isn’t that much time left and I’ve still got so much to do 😉