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Tuesday 8 March 2011

Rough Route & Stops

So over the past week or so I have been pencilling out a rough route for my adventure. The aim of this pencilling is not in anyway to plot a definitive route to cycle - rather to mark some milestones and estimations of daily mileage. To plot the route I've used google maps bicycle tool: enter your start, end and way points and off you go. I'm not quite sure about how good it is, my understanding that fundamentally it takes you down quiet routes whenever possible and works best in towns and cities with designated bike routes. It will be interesting to see on the ground with local maps whether the google route stands up.

My key milestones are Boise (to see the blue American football field), Yellowstone and the Titons (no explanation needed), Wichita and Little Rock (friends) and then through the Southern States to Jacksonville, Florida.

My initial end point was going to either be Savannah or Charleston further up the coast, but due to some bizarre flight prices I ended up selecting Jacksonville. Not quite as historical but it will still have a nice beach. I've read quite a on riding direction, and views seem to be mixed. Those favouring the route to the west point out the fact that scenery only improves with the ride, the fact the biggest climbs are at the end and that this route follows that taken by explorers like Lewis and Clarke (I had no idea who Lewis and Clarke were until I lived in the states!) 

These I will admit are very good points, but you will have noticed that I am cycling from West to East and this is solely because of the wind. It blows from West to East in general and I need it on my side! I have a particularly painful memory of cycling from Versailles to Louisville in an Easterly direction with my friend Jeremy. Its a 60 mile ride and we figured and all in ride time of under 5 hours with stops. Anyway it took us all day due to a brutal headwind, and was soul destroying. Since this point I have vowed to ride from the West whenever possible!!

One last thing I wanted to mention was mileage. I've generally gone with the theory at the start or through mountains I'll be doing fairly low daily mileage. Then as I build fitness and the route flattens out I should be able to increase mileage. I've estimated the lowest mileage as 40 miles and top at 70 miles. Rest days scheduled in at least once a week...

So taking all that into consideration my route rout looks as follows:

Status State Miles Cumulative
10/05/2011 Tuesday FLY
11/05/2011 Wednesday Washington 45 45
12/05/2011 Thursday Washington 45 90
13/05/2011 Friday Washington 50 140
14/05/2011 Saturday Washington 50 190
15/05/2011 Sunday Oregon 50 240
16/05/2011 Monday REST 240
17/05/2011 Tuesday Oregon 52 292
18/05/2011 Wednesday Oregon 52 344
19/05/2011 Thursday Oregon 52 396
20/05/2011 Friday Oregon 51 447
21/05/2011 Saturday Oregon 50 497
22/05/2011 Sunday Idaho 50 547
23/05/2011 Monday BOISE 547
24/05/2011 Tuesday Idaho 40 587
25/05/2011 Wednesday Idaho 40 627
26/05/2011 Thursday Idaho 40 667
27/05/2011 Friday Idaho 40 707
28/05/2011 Saturday Idaho 40 747
29/05/2011 Sunday REST 747
30/05/2011 Monday Idaho 40 787
31/05/2011 Tuesday Idaho 40 827
01/06/2011 Wednesday Idaho 40 867
02/06/2011 Thursday Idaho 40 907
03/06/2011 Friday Montana 38 945
04/06/2011 Saturday YELLOW ST 945
05/06/2011 Sunday Wyoming 50 995
06/06/2011 Monday Wyoming 50 1045
07/06/2011 Tuesday Wyoming 50 1095
08/06/2011 Wednesday Wyoming 50 1145
09/06/2011 Thursday Wyoming 50 1195
10/06/2011 Friday Wyoming 50 1245
11/06/2011 Saturday Wyoming 50 1295
12/06/2011 Sunday REST 1295
13/06/2011 Monday Wyoming 60 1355
14/06/2011 Tuesday Nebraska 60 1415
15/06/2011 Wednesday Nebraska 60 1475
16/06/2011 Thursday Nebraska 60 1535
17/06/2011 Friday Nebraska 60 1595
18/06/2011 Saturday Nebraska 60 1655
19/06/2011 Sunday REST 1655
20/06/2011 Monday Nebraska 65 1720
21/06/2011 Tuesday Kansas 65 1785
22/06/2011 Wednesday Kansas 65 1850
23/06/2011 Thursday Kansas 70 1920
24/06/2011 Friday Kansas 66 1986
25/06/2011 Saturday WICHITA 1986
26/06/2011 Sunday Kansas 67 2053
27/06/2011 Monday Oklahoma 67 2120
28/06/2011 Tuesday Oklahoma 68 2188
29/06/2011 Wednesday Oklahoma 68 2256
30/06/2011 Thursday Oklahoma 67 2323
01/07/2011 Friday Arkansas 67 2390
02/07/2011 Saturday Arkansas 67 2457
03/07/2011 Sunday LITTLE ROCK 2457
04/07/2011 Monday Arkansas 55 2512
05/07/2011 Tuesday Arkansas 55 2567
06/07/2011 Wednesday Mississippi 55 2622
07/07/2011 Thursday Mississippi 55 2677
08/07/2011 Friday Mississippi 55 2732
09/07/2011 Saturday Mississippi 55 2787
10/07/2011 Sunday Alabama 55 2842
11/07/2011 Monday Alabama 55 2897
12/07/2011 Tuesday REST 2897
13/07/2011 Wednesday Alabama 55 2952
14/07/2011 Thursday Alabama 55 3007
15/07/2011 Friday Alabama 55 3062
16/07/2011 Saturday Georgia 55 3117
17/07/2011 Sunday Georgia 55 3172
18/07/2011 Monday Florida 55 3227
19/07/2011 Tuesday Florida 55 3282
20/07/2011 Wednesday OFF
21/07/2011 Thursday FLY
22/07/2011 Friday
23/07/2011 Saturday
24/07/2011 Sunday
25/07/2011 Monday
26/07/2011 Tuesday
27/07/2011 Wednesday
28/07/2011 Thursday
29/07/2011 Friday Wedding
30/07/2011 Saturday
31/07/2011 Sunday

Saturday 5 March 2011

Plans and Preparations - My First Post!

It's now early March and I have passed the point of no return. My last day at work is scheduled for March 31st 2011, and on the 9th May I will fly to Seattle from London Heathrow via Chicago.

This gives me over 2 months to prepare, plenty of time you may well think. What I failed to mention is that during this time I am trying to find a new job ("sorry I can't attend the interview I'm in Wyoming"), that I am actually getting married a week after I finish the ride and in addition to all this I am trying to sell my house. these three factors are no easy balancing act!

To be fair the all the big things for the wedding are arranged (venue, catering, dress, bride) and Pam is going to have 2 months of peace and quiet to do the finishing touches. Wedding Venue shown below!


(sorry just testing out putting photos in the blog!)

So I've scheduled the ride to last 70 days - with me arriving in Jacksonville, Florida on 21st July and then flying to Louisville, Kentucky where the wedding is on the 29th July. Pam and I fly back to the UK on the 3rd August from Dayton in Ohio after visiting her family for a few days. This means I am in the States for a whopping 87 days (my old work visa has now expired), which is 3 days below the maximum on the visa waiver!!

As for training - well I haven't done much yet. I'm in training for a half marathon which I'll be running next weekend, after that I'll switch to cycling but should be at a good place to start.

I'll leave it there for my first post I want write a bit about my planned route, the bike I have chosen and equipment I am taking but I think I'll let those have their own entries.

On a separate note I've just finished reading the blog of Ryan Andersen - which was great! Really impressed with his adventures and certainly worth a read Cycle Across America

Oh and before I forget, please sponsor me - Virgin Money Giving