Absolutely loving SF. Had a leisurely ride over the bridge today (which didn't disappoint) as well as around golden gate park, presidio and down to the beach and the Pacific Ocean. I didn't dip my rear wheel in the ocean as is tradition for some cyclist riding coast to coast. Just being there was symbolic enough for me as the starting point of the journey.
Morning news is on, sun is coming up. They says its inseasonsbly warm in California :)
Flight in was pretty smooth with little or no turbulence and was overall pretty perfect until 600 ft from the ground when the pilots aborted the landing and quickly put the power on and pulled up. Was pretty bloody scary not knowing the reason. Seemed to take him ages to come onto tanoy to explain but I guess he was focusing on flying. Came out with a pretty good excuse in the end in that another plane was still on runway! Hmmm
This photo was my first glimpse of San frans most famous landmark.
Glad to report my mode of transport for the next few months came out of its box in pretty good condition. No problems :)
Finally at airport. Bags and bike checked in. Virgin airlines took a heavy bike box at no extra charge. v inpressed. Very strange feeling being here. Sad to go but super excited.
Rode to Bath again to re visit my bike shop, Cadence, who have been fantastic in helping set me up with my bike and gear.
My power plug which connects to my dynamo hub seemed to be playing up as when I tried to power up my phone it kept dropping out and wasn't charging properly.
It turns out there is nothing wrong with the power plug and actually it is me that is broken.
I need to ride faster to get it to charge my phone!
The power plug manufacturers say it charges at low speed. I guess 'low speed' is open to interpretation. With all the weight I'm carrying I'm only going achieve the 12 mph required, and charge up my electronics when I'm going down hill or travelling with the wind behind me.
It was an amazing day to ride today though - I actually managed to get sun burn, in England, in April!
90 miles done in the last 2 days on a fully loaded bike. Day off tommorrow before riding 2 x 60+ mile days on Thursday and Friday. That will be my (minimal) preparation complete before packing up and flying Sunday.
Getting very real now. Finally finished my job of eight years on Friday!
Followed this with a weekend of leaving drinks with friends and colleagues. I traded in my car and now my only source of transport is pedal powered. Office keys given back, goodbyes said. My life seems to have been turned upside down but for the better I'm sure.
Liver is now in recovery. Time for a week of training in the English countryside before departure a week today.
The week gone was my first week of training proper. Clocks have changed and this has given me the chance to ride to and from work (on 2 out of 4 days) either side of a full 10 hour day. The commute is 20 miles each way and takes me between 1.5 - 2 hours depending on the wind and the strength left in my legs. I have been waking at 6am when it is still dark and I can hear wind howling outside. Arriving home at 8pm just as it is getting dark. The worst part is just getting out of bed and getting going but once you are going things quickly improve. I have managed 150 miles in 7 days with a half loaded bike! Pretty pleased with that.
I have just attached my front Panniers to the bike and this week I plan on riding virtually fully loaded (weight wise) with tins of food and large bottles of water to slow me down and help build more strength and stamina. Think my average journey time may increase a little.
2 more weeks of work before a week off and then a flight out of here!
Training for the journey has finally begun and what a relief. A short 15 mile ride yesterday followed by a medium 42 mile bike ride today. Thats nearly 5 hours in the saddle in the last 36 hours and my ass feels fine. Good news!
I have also learned 2 things;
1 - Wind in your face is a bastard but it is made much worse when your bike is loaded with Panniers. They act like sails working against you. The first 20 miles was pretty flat but it felt like I was going up hill all the way. My fingers are crossed for good fortune with the wind gods!
2 - I'm never going out again without some food or chocolate or something to boost the energy. I didn't eat enough before setting off and whereas my muscles were fine, I hit a wall after only 15 miles because my energy levels were rock bottom. As soon as I ate a couple of sandwiches and a chocolate bar I was fine though.
I have worked out I need to ride 62 miles a day for 40 days with an additional 16 rest/being a tourist days to reach my first deadline. Kansas City for the 26th of June!