So yesterday morning I woke up and had a little panic, I have 5 weeks left and I still haven’t settled on a route. I was debating whether I should leave from LA rather than try and get a train down to San Diego with my bike. The problem with LA is you’re stuck on the wrong side 9,000 ft climb on day one. In my panicking state I decided to tweet adventuring legend James Ketchell who’s not only cycled the same southern tier route of America which I plan to do he’s also rowed the Atlantic solo, Summited Mount Everest and is currently planning his world cycle for later on in the year. We exchanged a few tweets and then he mentioned he’d be in Richmond park training later in the day. How could I turn down the opportunity to meet an adventuring legend and get valuable advice.
So I went down to Richmond park and met him for a drink post training. This is by far the calmest I’ve been about the challenge. James has lent me all the maps covering the 3,058 mile route produced by the Adventure Cycling Association. They’re fantastic, they’re compact and provide step by step directions, camp sites, bike shops, and pretty much everything you will need to get you to the other side. I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know until I started going through them when I got home. So I woke up in the morning without a route, panicked and unsure what to expect and came home that evening with a well defined route, maps, tons of advice and a whole lot calmer and actually beginning to feel like this is doable.
If you haven’t heard of James I recommend you check out his site now, he’s very inspirational and really down to earth. If I’d accomplished half of what he’s done I swear I’d have a T-shirt printed with all of them written down so everyone knew. He’s given me so much advice on food, clothing and especially water which I was unsure of before. Hopefully in the up and coming weeks we’ll get a few training sessions in whilst I prepare to tackle America by bike he prepares to tackle the world.