Okay so the event kicks off on the 18th February which is next Saturday and you can follow it here; World Cycle Racing, this seems to of come around a lot quicker than expected but am happy it is finally here, I have been planning this for a while and think it will be awesome to finally get going. I don’t really know what this blog post is about I guess it’s just me talking about my final preparation and the way I am going to do things whilst on the road.

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic ensuring that visas and vaccinations have been sorted and also teaching myself suitable bicycle maintenance so that I can do an alright job if needs be if anything goes wrong. I hope it does not!

The bicycle has been fully put together now, big thanks to Darren at Poundbury Cycle Sport who has put up with me peering at him while he has worked on the bicycle and let me learn about how different parts have gone together and let me generally just see it all happen which has been of invaluable help. I am riding an alfine 11 speed hub on the back wheel which is very nice and have decided to leave from London with ice tyres on. I am using the Schwalbe Marathon Winter’s in case I see some of this Eastern European cold weather. With these tyres though my thoughts have gone from anxious about this section to excited. To tell the truth, I hope its quite snowy, means I will not have to buy water and hypothetically the roads should be pretty clear and no mad speedy traffic. I am sure I can be proved wrong though!

It is getting there!

I have also been sorting out how best to carry my stuff. I am using Brooks pannier bags which are very rugged and look great on the bicycle which I am thoroughly happy with. Have only used Ortlieb in the past so will be interesting to see how they hold during the extended tour but the build quality looks pretty high so I have faith in them. I am also using an Ortlieb handlebar bag just so I can have a few things to hand on the bike. I already have fallen in love with this and wonder why I haven’t used one before.

One of the things I have found guilty though is trying to ease off the training before the start. I want to be fresh for the start and am having a week of eating whatever I like and not doing too much in the way of riding to ensure I am ready for the challenge. This is tough as I want to ride but I guess it’s for the best. With the use of a SatMap Active 10 Plus for my GPS to aid me with my map work I am sure my set up is going to be great. They make a really solid mount for this GPS so I am going to have that on, I don’t want to use it too much as I want to use maps mostly I think it’s a better way to do things but it is there just incase. I have split my route into day by day files (don’t ask me how long this has taken) so this means that I can simply finish a day, get some sleep and wake in the morning load up ‘day 2’ and take off from where I left off I think this will be a good system. BikeRouteToaster has been used for planning my whole route and is an awesome website.

Winter tyres til India!

I have also had to start to think about currencies and what to carry what of. It seems USD is king in most of the world still so this will be my main stash. I want to have a very wilderness experience throughout Europe purely because I am a student on a limited budget and I think it will be good to just get into the swing of things early on. This will involve me carrying a lot of stuff from London. Looking forward to doing my food shop before leaving I am sure the people in the shop will think I am slightly mad in what I plan to bulk buy. I will try and put a picture up of this when I get it!

Carrying the GPS tracker is going to be one of the key highlights of this event. Being able to follow me as I cycle around the world is something I am keen to work. With the other riders leaving from Greenwich Park on the same day I think it will be incredible to have the website with everyone doing their own thing but showing it on the same map. I think this has great potential to increase the excitement in the race and also to engage with the audience. I really hope people enjoy our individual stories of going around the world I am sure it will make a great spectacle.

I think this is long enough for now! Will try and give more of an update within the next few days with everything that’s going on but as you can expect its very busy times. I have got my charity page set up online. I am not going to lie and say charity was the main aim for my trip but I have seen how the two organisations I am raising money for work first hand and know that any donations can make a massive difference and if not just check them out, they do an awesome job and who knows maybe you would like to be involved with one of them! HERE IS WHERE TO DONATE. These are the two organisations; Dorset Expeditionary Society and Okhle Village Trust.