Change of plan!!
Trip Start Jul 31, 2007
32Trip End Oct 10, 2007
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So thank you Bruce for your advice, it has put to rest a few worries that I had about the temps and now realsie why the route is not advocated to be ridden during the months of May through September. So apart from some now redundant maps (they will see themselves on ebay in the coming months) the Southern Tier was no longer part of the plan. But to quit and not do any cycling and not complete a challenge worthy of the sponsoring so many of you have been kind enough to pledge was not on the plan either
1) although its still the summertime and the US is hot everywhere, especially right now during a heat wave, that the temperature would be manageable, decreasing a little with northern lattitude and would not be life threatening!
2) unlike the Southern tier, there would be far fewer if any major cities to negiotiate and hence insane levels of traffic
3) there are many more campsites along this route and infact services of all types, ie no stretches of 100 miles without anything like it would have been in some areas of Texas
4) the scenery and history are unparalleled, changing and beautiful, not monovisual and hence boring such as the desert would have become
5) it is, for a large amount, a coastal route (I like swimming)
6) it sounds safer than the other route for lots of reasons and I have friends midway!
So I was sold on this new idea. He very kindly sent me the maps that he owned for this route and the remainder I need for Virginia to Maine I shall order and collect from a friends place in North Carolina, a state close to my heart and one that I will cycle through on this new route. So the departure point remains the same but the destination (Bell Harbour, Maine) is a littel different from San Diego. The distance is less than the coast to coast event would have been but to ramp up some more miles I will most likely take a detour and ride some of the Blue Ridge Mountains, apparently
a stunning 400 mile run
So other than that I have all of the gear ready to leave and would have done on Friday if the new maps from Bruce had arrived here in Atl in the morning. They didnt arrive until midday, too late to for me to take the bus and I was tempted into a weekend of relaxing at my lovely hosts' parents place on the shore of a huge lake 45 mins outside of Atl. THis was perfect prep for the ride as swimming, great food and water skiing are all things that put me in the right frame of body and soul to get on and cycle. So tonight I leave FINALLY to Florida to build my bike and head off on a new trail. I think things, although longer than anticipated in terms of getting off the ground, have worked out for the best and after looking at some other blogs from people who have also cycled this route, I am feeling excited aswell as a little anxious. THat I am sure will turn solely into excitment as the nest few days unravel and the day to day schedule of events and American roads on 2 wheels become nothing but second nature.
So, I cant change my website which has lots of information regarding the old route I am now NOT taking, but none about the new unexpected route of course. For info on this please use this link:
and to see some photos of the whole thing and another persons perspective on the whole thing use this link:
(copy and paste these URLs into the browser)
I still have the urge to see the desert and might get a cheap flight once the fundraiser is complete, and go see some of it, minus the bike etc which will now end the trip on the closer coast line to the UK and hence conveniently cheaper for me ship back
SO thats all for now, I am packed and once again ready to go and must take my amazing hosts out for food as a thank you to them for all of their kindness over the last 11 days. Then its 10 of the best on the Greyhound before I find myslef pitching a tent in Florida.........and then hauling myself, my bike and the 40 pounds of gear up the coast.
So thanks for reading and please stay in touch, I will enlighten you all of my latest conquests as soon as is possible, photos too I hope.
Take care wherever you are.