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Monday 2 May 2011

One Week till Departure!

Its been nearly a month since I made my last entry and things have moved forward. Firstly some good news, Pam and I just went on a two week tour of Israel - but on the first day of the holiday I got a call offering me a new job. Even better news was they had agreed to a start date of 8th August, this was certainly a weight off our minds.

We had an amazing trip round Israel. We stayed in Galilee and cycled round the entire lake (over 38 miles) - this was a good bit of training although doing it on a mountain bike was tough. I had some fish for dinner :) We popped in on Nazereth and then headed to Jerusalem for my 30th birthday. Lots of religion in Jerusalem, its such an eclectic mix of cultures. We were lucky enough to get invited to a Shabat meal on my birthday which was a great experience. From there we headed to the dead sea which was amazing. I had quite realize how dangerous hyper-saline water is; there is no splashing allowed which is a nightmare for parents. From there we headed onto Eilat next to the Red Sea for 4 days of relaxation with brief day trips to Egypt and Jordan. After that we returnedd for a couple of nights in Tel Aviv - its an awesome city even if I did get a parking ticket. This is supposed to be a blog about biking anyway so I'll move swiftly on and leave you with the clichéd dead sea floating photo..

Since been back off holiday I've been making final plans and preparations. The all important Brooks saddle is on its way over and should be with you by tomorrow. The Saddles are made in the UK but bizarrely all sales are shipped from Italy. I've got for a B17 Aged which apparently moulds to your bottom a lot more quickly, I look forward to hoping that's true!!
I've also sorted my technology out for the trip. I did consider taking a netbook of some sort but I really didn't want to carry that extra weight so I've taken the smart phone route. I wasn't so keen on this till I found a company called i-connex who make mini full sized keyboards! The screen on my phone should be good enough to type up blog posts. I've got 6 batteries and three chargers - I'm estimating I'll use a battery a day and then when I stay on hotels I'll do some mass battery charging. Fingers crossed :)

Last night I went through the touring guide book I have been using as my cycling bible to figure out what things I still need to get for my trip. The list was longer than I expected!! And is as follows:

  • Spoke tuner (although changing spokes is going to be hard with disc brakes)
  • Wet lube
  • Lights (I have a set but might get some new ones)
  • Helmet (had my current one since 2000)
  • Handlebar bag (with space for maps)
  • Multitool
  • Bear Spray (for humans as well - to be purchased in US)
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Burning alcohol (meths)
  • Mirror (just a small one)
  • Lock (I have a cable - debating if I need a D-lock)
  • Pump
  • Plastic bowl and cutlery
  • String and Bungee Cords
  • Water purification tablets
  • Spare cable
I'm thinking I'll get most of this in the US, but I'll be having a look round this week if I see anything I like for a pre-departure purchase. One piece of software I found this week was mapdroyd - which is going to be awesome. Google maps is great but it doesn't work offline. I'm planning on taking lots of directions, but ultimately I need to know where I am. With mapdroyd I've managed to download maps of the entire US and with my GPS on my phone I'll be able to quickly work out were I am. This could be a life saver if I get lost.

Anyway I still have a huge list of other things to sort out like travel insurance, declaring my car SORN, finalizing wedding clothes.. blah blah.. so i am going to get off the blog and back to sorting things out. This maybe my last blog post this side of the Atlantic so next time I am writing it will be go time. 

I'm at the halfway stage with sponsorship so please keep it coming in :)


  1. You forgot duck tape, zip ties, first aid kit, spare inner tubes, and a sugar boost of some kind!

    I've been using AlpineQuest on Android for offline maps for MTB'ing - works great with OS maps or OpenStreetMap - but you have to generate your maps before hand at a chosen scale. Will check out mapdroyd and see how it compares

    I use my old G1 with the massive comedy battery - even when plotting GPS routes with MyTracks that thing has lasted 8 hour treks round wales and only down 50% battery. Might be a bit late to sort that out now though!

  2. So excited to see the first post with your bike all set up and ready to go! Have a great first ride, hon!