Round The World Cycling Logistics
22 December 2011
Sorry its been a while since my last blog...
...but nothing too exciting has happened really. I am cycling A
LOT and that's about it.
As some of you might know planning a round the world cycling record attempt is more than just being able to cycle fast and far. There are so many things that need to be planned in advance. I hope to give you a little insight into what goes on in the background.
Route - This takes a great deal of time and many, many hours on Google Maps trying to find out how to cycle around the world in exactly 18,000 miles. You don't want to come short, nor do you want to cycle any more than you need too. This is made even more difficult by adding places to sleep, find good food and avoid big cities. I have managed to get my route to be 17800 miles which allows for some detours along the way.
Flights - I have to take 8 flight so have booked a round the world type ticket. This does mean I have to guess roughly when I am going to be at each airport. I don't want to have too long a delay at each airport otherwise your muscles get tired and stiff. I also don't want to miss a flight because if I miss one flight I might then miss all the others after it. Along with each flight comes the difficulty of finding a bike box to transport my bike in. This means contacting a local bike shop in each country and hoping they can help.
Speed v Comfort - What do I take with me?? I need to keep fast but if I am uncomfortable then that will result in being even slower. How often will I be camping? How often will I need to carry food? How will I navigate my way? How often will I have to change my clothing and have a shower? All these questions result in an infinite variety of equipment options. I still don't have the answers but am slowly narrowing down my options as I find out more and more about my route.
Keeping in touch - Seeing as raising money for Solar Aid is one of my main objectives, I therefore need to keep everyone up to date with my attempt while being available for some PR along the route. This has to be a fine balance between not loosing speed while managing to spread the word about my attempt.
Navigation - There are so many options to get me round the world from fancy iPhone Apps, dedicated GPS systems, Google and good old fashioned paper maps. I am going to have to use a mixture of all of the above depending on each country. The main stretch of good old fashioned maps is my South American leg. I have bought a very long and very thin map (3m by 10cm) of the entire West coast. I don't want to have to rely on technology. I like maps, they tell a story at the end.
Visas - I need a few Visas but some are valid from the date you get it and not the date you enter the country. This means I need to work out the best time so that it doesn't expire by the time I eventually reach the country.
Those are just some of the things that keep me up at night.
I am sure I will work it out eventually.