Preparations ongoing

This is turning out to be the toughest task of my life before I even get started. The amount of organisation and preparation involved has been truly frightening. My start has been delayed until the spring. I wanted to do it this year but the sensible option is to wait for the weather to improve. Very frustrating but the right course of action if I hope to make it to the finish line. Work have been great and allowed me to alter my absence dates. Just a waiting game now, will get hotels booked over the winter when hopefully the prices will drop.

How I raised the money for the coast to coast

I promised this blog post a couple of months back but have been so busy getting ready that I almost forgot. Not a great way to start this blog! Before I get into the money making method I know so many of you are keen to hear about, a quick update on the tour.
I have all my gear and the trip is roughly planned out. I know roughly the route I will be taking and which motels etc I will be stopping at every day. Some of them are a lot nicer than others!

The bike is in good shape and I have made a few adjustments to it in order to cope with such a long and arduous journey. This was expensive. Why is biking so expensive these days?

Ok so the good stuff. Here is how I made enough money over the last year to give up my job for a bit.

It’s called matched betting. I had never heard of it before but a good friend of mine told me about it. He had been matched betting for over a year and had made close to £20,000! This blew my mind so I had to get involved and I pressed him for every bit of knowledge he had about the subject. When you first start reading up on it, it sounds really complicated but once you get going it’s actually a really simple process that anyone could do. Plus it’s really lucrative so you would be daft not to try it.

In a nutshell the process is backing and then laying bets so that they cancel each other out. You don’t win and you don’t lose. What happens then though is you unlock a free bet from the bookie and we can use the free bet to make some money. Still with me? Sounds dubious doesn’t it. I thought the same but when my friend Rob showed me his profit logs I knew he wasn’t kidding around.

He was using a matched betting service to learn how to do all this. He said it made it really easy so I read a few online oddsmonkey review and I signed up. Once I got inside the members area I was given access to all the guide and tutorials and before I knew it I was making around £500 a month. I gradually scaled this up and started making closer to £1000 per month. 1 year later I am taking unpaid leave from my job to cycle across the country.

Bookmakers are handing out free bets every day and each free bet is a guaranteed profit. All you have to do it place the bets to qualify. To make it risk free we lay all the bets off first. That way you can’t lose money. It isn’t gambling. That was key for me. I couldn’t afford to lose money gambling if I wanted to complete an epic cross country adventure. There are quite a few useful sites out there that will help you with this. I fully recommend Oddsmonkey but if you want to know more first then you can have a read of this website here. It reviews all the latest matched betting sites and it gave me the peace of mind to get stuck in.

Obviously it helped a lot that my friend Rob was on hand to guide me through it all but it really couldn’t be easier. I fully recommend giving it a go. Once I get back from the trip I will be continuing to do it around my job. The extra money every month is going to be a god send. Even though this has allowed me to quit work for a while it isn’t exactly matching my salary so things will still be tight. It has paid for a few hotels and a lot of biking equipment though. I would have been saving up for years yet without matched betting so it really has been great in getting this project underway.

Once I get a start date planned for the trip I will update the blog. It’s kind of nerve racking planning it all and thinking about what I am undertaking. I think once I get started the nerves and worries will disappear so I am eager to get started. The timing has to be right though with my family and I have to think about the weather as well. Obviously I don’t want to wait until winter but I don’t want to be cycling though the desert when it’s 50 degrees in the shade.

There are many things yet still to think about and to plan for but slowly and surely it is all coming together quite nicely. Did anyone grab a copy of the book that inspired me? I mentioned it in my previous blog. If you did let me know in the comments what you thought about it and whether it has inspired you to plan your own epic adventure.

Until next time…

Oh and check out this guy cycling across the Sahara desert!

Biking from coast to coast

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.