Maiden Voyage

Since the last post I have got my bike, bought panniers, new shorts, completed a 75 mile test ride, bought some flights and got my esta sorted.  I’ve even managed to add a countdown to this blog site although can’t change it off months to show the fast approaching 117 days departure! SJ (Sexy Jack) & Ash have bikes they’ve used for their previous rides but needing something myself I did a bit of research and found Oxford Bike Works (namely through Tom’s Bike Trip.com) and bought from there.  I was very impressed, Richard the owner was a top bloke and we talked through the ride before having a go at spec’ing the bike.  A few weeks later I’ve collected and taken it for its first outing along with a new Garmin Edge 510 GPS.  Simply following an arrow makes navigation an absolute treat and much improved to previous mincing with the phone GPS maps. 20150509_152313Yesterday I set off at 8am for the maiden voyage, a bit overexcited I deleted the route from the GPS and lost 30 minutes before I’d even begun.  Setting off for real I headed south and realising the route passed by CrossFit Aldermaston, popped in to show off the bike to Jack who, I think, had taken a rest day (another 30 minutes lost).  Passing through Tadley the GPS beeped to tell me I’d hit a Race section, I sped up to be beaten by the racer by 6 minutes (probably on a 2 mile stretch); I’m not winning any races with this bike!  It wasn’t the best of starts to the long ride. 8 and a half hours, 5 litres of water, 2 lunches and whole lot of flapjack later, I finished some of the most (generally positive) emotional miles I’ve had on a bike. The calorie count was massive and highly enjoyable. I still feel I need to know a lot more about the route though to prepare mentally as well as physically, plus I’m not forgetting about these guys… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32679992 …and some American told me about dangerous bumble bees? T-117 days Iain

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