Choosing to cycle from the west coast of the US to the east coast was not an easy decision. For starters it’s not the first time it has been done. Far from it. It’s been done many times by many great cyclists. So I won’t be breaking any new ground.
But that’s not what this is about for me.
I was partly inspired by the book “Bicycle from Sea to Shining Sea”. It’s a fantastic read, you can get it from Amazon here.
I didn’t read this by chance though. I have long had the desire to do this myself.
Choosing a mammoth challenge (for me!) like this was a difficult decision. I have a young family. Specifically 2 young children to look after. Choosing to leave my wife to tackle this on her own for a few months while I go cycling did not go down well, at first.
Like most big decisions in our lives there will always be an excuse to put them off. A reason that now isn’t a great time to do this. There is never a good time to do anything in life. My philosophy is to do it when the idea strikes or it will get put off forever and one day I will look back when I’m too old and say why didn’t I do that. I really wanted to.
That kind of regret is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.
There are of course other things to consider. Financially this is difficult as I have to take an extended leave from work. My work is really cool about stuff like this and they were happy to give me the time off however they aren’t about to pay me when I’m not at work. So that leaves the family financially vulnerable for a while. Fortunately I have a job to return to when I come back. In order to carry out this trip though I would need money, a lot of it. I wasn’t planning on slumming it in a tent. I didn’t really want to do that anyway, I always planned to stop in motels and hotels along the way. It was a condition laid down by my wife though. It’s not safe to camp everywhere, she’s right about that. Plus it gives me scheduled stops every day. So people always know where I am and in the unlikely event something happens to me they will know from my schedule which hotels I am in between and therefore narrow down the search to 100 miles or so of road.
I have managed to raise the money I needed to do this and I will explain how I did that in a future blog post. It’s something anyone can do to earn a bit of extra cash and save up for their own epic journey.
I also needed equipment. A decent bike I already had but I wanted a new one. Something that was going to stand up to the punishment of doing 100 miles day after day. Week after week. I also needed a backpack to carry equipment. Food, spare tyre innards, water, sat nav etc. Nothing particularly special but it all adds up.
So mentally I am prepared for this and equipment wise I have every thing I need. I am starting this adventure on August 1st 2017 and will hopefully update this blog every day with my progress, if I have the energy.
In upcoming posts I will outline my planned route. I’m not planning on going in a straight line. I want to see the sights on my way. See the things I have wanted to see since I was a child. I might never get this chance again. The route isn’t set in stone but it could look something like this:
So I have a couple months left to get some training in and prepare my legs for the upcoming onslaught of pain and lactic acid.