Friday, 30 July 2010

They say the first step is the hardest

That is me a week into the ten month expedition and things are starting to settle in. I considered this a practice week if you like. Time to get used to the bike, the weight and the idea of being on the road for 20,000 miles. Also to see if anyone would join me for five miles. So far so good.

However during the ride I have been wondering what exactly is the first hard step? At what point does it happen? For me would it have been the stage when the idea was formed in the Himalayas? Strangely that was almost a formality for me. It was decided in a instance and I continued my trek without a second thought. Certainly it did not seem a hard step.

Would it then have been the stage when I got home and had to come up with the 'plan' of how I would do this? This resulted in numerous challenges. Like learning how to build a website, use social networks, creating a blog, getting in the media, make contacts with many organisations, researching and sourcing equipment, training, route planning, sorting out visas and the hardest challenge of them all the funding. These were all tough and I have been more successful at some of the tasks than others. But I would not consider any of these tasks as the first step and everything else fell into place after it.

Maybe it was the first 5 miles of pedalling away from Glasgow? Nope, this had a feeling of relief more than anything. The weeks building up to the start were unfortunately stressful. I still needed visas, equipment and doubted anyone would like to join me. Add to this the challenge of working seven days a week. So that first pedal out of Glasgow's George Square with five other cyclists was a great moment.

Maybe then the hardest step is the last. The challenge involves huge commitment and sacrifices and then it finishes and you are left with the question- What next?

For me obviously this is not a concern. What is next? The answer is easy: Ride 20,000miles, raise money for UNICEF and get as many people as I can to join me for 5 miles.

Thanks so far goes to Ken, Iain and David for riding with me in and around Newcastle. To Ellis the kind cycling fanatic that treated me to beers, steak and a night indoors. To Dan MArtin for a great night. Thanks to all his stories of adventures I certainly have a lot to think about!

So tomorrow I set off to Harwich and then Holland. The long ride to the next commonwealth nation begins and maybe a conclusion on what is the first hard step.

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