Hi, Welcome to the site,
On 1 June 2009 I completed a solo unsupported trip across North America, following the famous Transamerica trail – becoming, at 19, one of the youngest people to do so. It was an incredible trip – I covered 4500 miles in 44 days of cycling, going from Yorktown Virginia to Astoria Oregon. Not only did I get to see some of the best scenery the USA has to offer, but I was hooked on the experience. I enjoyed the physical and mental challenge, covering up to 145 miles in a day.
That is not to say that the entire journey was smooth sailing, and suffice to say I learned some valuable lessons. Despite all the research I did I was sold the wrong bike by my local bike shop – trust me, a carbon road racer isn’t a good touring bike! I had issues with the rack bending under the weight of my panniers, and went through 3 rear wheels. It was a steep learning curve – mechanically I had to get used to replacing everything from spokes to cassettes, but I also had to get to grips with the daily logistical challenges the trip presented.
Over the last year I have built on this experience, working in bike shops has given me a far greater depth of mechanical knowledge – seeing the mistakes other people make on a daily basis is a good way to avoid making them yourself! Despite doing a bit of road racing I haven’t been able to ‘scratch the itch’ to get back out there and do something far more ambitious. When I finish university in 2013 I intend to have a bash at Vin Cox’s round the world cycle record. This currently sits at 163 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes – an average of about 111 miles a day, something that I feel is beatable. Between now and then I intend to build on my experience of long distance touring: In 2011 I intend to cycle from the Northernmost point in Europe to the Southernmost, travelling from Nordkapp, Norway to Punta de Tarifa, a journey of around 4,300 miles. In 2012 I will hope to carry out a longer expedition in preparation for my attempt.
I’ll keep this blog updated as I complete my European Odyssey south.