Tag Archives: plans

… 24 hours to go!

The days since our first post have been some of the busiest of our lives. Between all the deliveries, route planning, haircuts, emails and packing, we surprise ourselves in finding time to eat and sleep!

The most significant recent development wasBrendan builds a wheel the completion of our amazing bicycles. My friend Brendan put them together, to call him a bicycle mechanic is true blasphemy; Brendan is an artist. When we put the idea to him, he had already assembled our bikes in his head and knew all the parts we needed. Well almost, he was disappointed that we had to halve the budget he hoped for (pfff went the dreams of Rofloff hub gears!). Nevertheless, we now have dream touring bikes.

We were persuaded by one of Brendan’s colleagues that clip-in pedals were the way to go (when he said “…up to 40% more efficient”, the idea was sold). So now we have to get used to the clip-ins. I by-passed the getting-used-to part of our clip-in experience and instead learnt the hard way- during a moment of intense boredom in the opticians, I decided to screw the cleats into my shoes to pass the time. Later on that evening, not taking heed of the warnings from Mikaela, jumped on my new bike on what would be its maiden voyage from Islington to Waterloo station. Six to eight metres later my shoes automatically clipped in and in a moment of panic I attempted to unclip, but instead my fully-loaded pannier-clad bike and I took a tumble. Not surprisingly, it did not take long for Mikaela to see the humour, I’m still not laughing.

On a side note, Mikaela finally succumbed to my diabolical ways: while walking through the supermarket, we ‘accidentally’ ended up in the biscuit aisle. After some deliberation, she uttered the words I’d been longing to hear, “well at this point, it won’t make a difference how many biscuits we eat.” Whoop!

Backstreet BoyAlso, following my first visit to the hair dressers in about 3 years, I ended up with clippered hair. As the hairdresser cut away I visited multiple decades, first a cropped 1970s cut, followed by a revisit to the 90s with a pair of dashing curtains and finally a brief moment of mullet-dom  before settling with the piece de resistance (semi-baldness). Waves of guilt washed over me as the poor saturday worker repeatedly swept my hair from the floor and onlookers gazed in horror at the lake of locks.

Though it seems we are readying ourselves for an exciting, epic trip, I don’t think we’ll ever be as ready as we’d like (or Mikaela would like). Bring on Portsmouth!

Less than a week..!

So we’re both attempting to get into ‘doing’ mode, but the temptations of working from home beckon us away from the should-be-doing to the absolutely-should-not-be-doing, right now such activity consists primarily of eating. You see, Imran has this theory that we can now eat as much as we like because we cycling thousands of kilometers… the grave reality of waddling across Europe is looming however and I am now parroting the phrase ‘tomorrow we are eating nothing but healthy, wholesome, LOW FAT foods’. It hasn’t happened yet.

But our personal battles aside, practical arrangements are coming together and things are beginning to fall into place. We have a tent, a cooker, sleeping bags, roll mats, insecticide treatment, all manner of medical supplies, a swish GPS thing, but something is still missing, something important… our bikes.

They’re a work in progress, with the emphasis on progress I am told.

In the mean time we have an album to finish, routes to plan and funds to raise… I think I can sacrifice sleep for a few days.

Please donate whatever you can to the Joliba Trust via the Just Giving website.