I am so pleased to announce where my bike and equipment will be exploring over the coming few months. After writing this blog and offering my bike out to the nation, I had various applications. I whittled it down to three individuals to use my bike at times that worked together. Unfortunately one of those people has since become injured so there will only be two people making use of this oppurtunity.
Here is a little info about the final two. I'm sure they'd love you to give them a follow...
Adventure is not far away
Getting away and having an adventure doesn't always mean a complete change in culture, climate and cuisine. I usually think it does, but this weekend I have discovered something new... there is a lot of fun to be had within hours of your home!!!!
There were multiple reasons for my first lone cycle-tour adventure, but the main ones were to get out on my new bike and learn all about it, and to have some time to myself which seems to be a rare occurrence these days.
Mountain Bike Transformation
My trusty little mountain bike has been completely abandoned and left alone in my shed for the past three or four years. When beginning to plan my ride to the Dolomites I was intending to buy components on ebay, and create an uber cool, retro and cheap touring bike. When I started to look at other bikes, I suddenly felt like I was cheating on my little, old bike. I felt deceitful, naughty and mostly guilty. So, after having a brief look at a few other long distance cyclist's bikes, I have come to the decision that I can adapt 'Mary' to do the job. Mary is my bike, a Marin, Coast Trail. I think almost everything is still as it was when I bought from the shop about six years ago.
Cycling to the Dolomites
Whilst going through some pretty testing times on my run across Africa, myself and Mike had to find positive things to occupy our minds and prevent us from killing ourselves or each other. We decided to plan an adventure for the next year (2015). Our main priorities were that it had to be stress free, and focused around doing things that we love and make us happy. Thankfully, me and Mike are both passionate about very similar things. Coffee, cheese, wine, rock climbing, adventure, the great outdoors, camping, cycling etc. It's a good job we aren’t passionate about diamonds, hotels and spas as we are both pretty skint also!
We decided that we should organise a climbing trip. Considering that we are both very short of cash, it has to be a budget climbing trip. As we are also after an adventure, what better way to get to a climbing destination than by cycling there. I have always wanted to try via ferrata, and from what I have heard, The Dolomites is the best place to go. So this is how our adventure has begun. Many hours of planning, brain storming and dreaming while running/riding across Africa.
As it stands at the moment, there are three main aims of our trip:
So far, the route we are thinking about taking will go to the Dolomites through Belgium, Germany and Switzerland and we will return to the UK going through France. We intend to keep up our climbing endurance on the way to Italy by doing multi pitch routes and via ferrata, hoping this will prepare us for the 29+ pitch climbs we want to get up. Then on our way back, head to some classic locations in France for bouldering and climbing.