Each time I mention my project, to a family friend or a complete stranger, I am almost always met with the same three questions. The answers always produce the same confused and worried look, to spill over their faces.
For adventure! And to show that you do not need to have the military training of Bear Grylls or Ed Stafford to accomplish the extraordinary and achieve great adventure. (although they, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, are some of my hugely inspiring, role models)
Q Who are you going with?
No one, just on my own. No support vehicle or anyone else.
Q How much training have you done?
I’m not really even a cyclist. But I have ridden from Trafalgar square to Wales the day after I bought the bike. I’ll do a little bit of fitness but I keep reading that you don’t need to train for it.
It’s true, when I first came up with the idea and cemented the decision, I was reading various articles and emails of advice that I had been sent. Adventurers like Alastair Humphreys and many more, have maintained that cycling around the world is a fitness that you earn on your trip.
So initially, I spent the first few weeks reassuring my parents that I didn’t even need to train. I would be lying if I didn’t then completely doubt this logic, and decide I needed to really train, and train hard.
Well I’m also over that now too. It’s strange how the preparation and a fast approaching date, can alter your perception entirely. Even just the other day I received some more assurance that I don’t need to worry about training.
But honestly I think it’s a personal preference. I have a time scale. I would like to complete it within 9 months. I’m not going for a record. But I would like to cover 100 miles a day so that should require some level of fitness.
Whilst I’m not planning on killing myself to train for it, I think there is always a need to “BE PREPARED”. I can’t think of any better way, than cycling some more before I go.
So, I am comfortable in cycling here and there during the week, and I tell myself I am getting used to the bike and cycling as a whole. I’m not trying to get ultra-fit. After all, I’m not an athlete and that’s the point of this whole project. I am an ordinary human being, striving for the extraordinary adventure, without any special skills.
I’m almost certain, that as I approach the final week before I depart, I will have a mini panic about how much cycling I have done.