Today's ride was flat and calm with little to report and it gave me an opportunity to reflect on some of the conceptual and operational planning behind the project along with the direction of travel beyond South East Asia.
The Original World Route
Here is the original route planned two years ago. It was an approximate idea and whilst Europe, the Middle East and the Asian sub-continent remains faithful to our earlier considerations, South East Asia too without going into China but I lost Indonesia and decided to ride in a straight line across Australia from Per to Sydney. There was a delay to my desired departure date in August to early September and the return date was immovable so giving me a month less to complete the ride. This was a good plan because I entered the Middle East late September, significantly cooler than I'd planned and further down the line India was cooling and drying and Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia would be pleasant. The ride across Australia was always going to be hard riding as I will in the mid summer heat. New Zealand will be warm to hot but better at altitude whilst the US could even be cool and wet unless I'm lucky on a route I plan across the southern states. Sadly, Indonesia had to be dropped.
The Jersey design is by Ashenhima from Indonesia and seemed to reflect the colourful spirit of the endeavour so I commissioned local Wales based photographer Vaughn de Grave to shoot the jersey in action. Seen here climbing the narrow mountain pass to Llanidloes behind from where I live in mid Wales.
And seen here with the boss of one of
my sponsors, John Squire of Squire Locks
Brian at The Jersey Company up in Scotland specialises in bicycle jersey manufacturering and printing and did a good job but for the second half of the ride we've just gone back to the drawing board, with Brian and Ashenhima producing something tangibly more recognisable for the sponsors, who after all are paying for this project to happen. The new jersey looks likely to be unveiled in Singapore and ridden for the first time across Australia.
Adding Camping Equipment to the Ride
To continue the mods for the remainder of the project I'll be adding camping bags onto the front folks. I like to even the weight forward of where I'm seated otherwise the rear wheel takes all of the weight.The Restrap bike packing luggage concept suits my minimalist packing well and the lads in Leeds have done a great job I am beginning to plan to camp across the Nullarbor. The reason for this are two fold: hotel accommodation is costly in Australia and the US but mostly the problem is the schedule.
Camping Across Australia
I'll be entering the continent of Australia about the 2nd February which is the hottest part of the Australia summer. I intend to start at 5am and ride 100 kms by 11am or until I can find a Roadhouse to where I can rest, charge one of my batteries and write my blog. Restarting around 4pm will miss the worst of the heat and I'll continue until 10pm and stop before it get's dark. It's unlikely I'll fall lucky often enough to land on a bed for the night so I can drop anchor wherever I end up, set up camp, cook, sleep and restart the same the next day.