Friday, 14 August 2009

The Route

In two weeks time I'm going to ride my bike from Canada to Mexico. I should cover around 3,000 miles and take about 4 months. I'm going on my own and will be camping every night in forests, deserts and perhaps sometimes on the beach. On my bike I will be carrying all I need to live for the duration of my trip. Every last gram has to be accounted for, so if it's not completely necessary then it stays at home.

A year ago I couldn't have imagined taking on a trip like this. I've never had a great interest in travel or physical excercise. All this changed last November when I bought my first decent bike. It changed my whole view of the world, making everywhere seem just a bike ride away.When I think about it now it seems strange how quickly the urge to travel the world on my bike grew within me. Taking a journey like this seemed impossible six months ago but I knew I had to find a way to do it. Thanks to my very understanding boss I've managed to take 4 months out from my job in London and go for the biggest bike ride of my life.

My route begins in Vancouver and follows the Pacific coast south through the US and then ends in Mexico at the end of the Baja peninsula. Click on the map above to see my planned route, I've highlighted potential dangers along the way. The route seemed obvious to me from the start. I'm fascinated with the protected wilderness and wildlife of North America. Growing up in England with its tightly-packed population and lack of open spaces leaves me in awe of the endless forests and mountains that can be found across the Americas. England also lacks the deadly bears, cougars and snakes which fascinate and frighten me in almost equal measure. My timetable is loose and my route may well vary massively. I really see no reason to plan more than is absolutely necessary.

There are so many things about the trip that could be a huge challenge. Spending 4 months, day after day in my own company without friends and family. Finding a safe place to sleep every night in a one man tent in a mixture of scorching and freezing tempteratures. Cycling between 50 and 80 miles every day and finding enough (vegetarian) food and water to keep me going. However, none of these things worry me enough to have even the slightest second thought about going.