Last week we had a great photo shoot with Con on Bray Head. He was a picture of professionalism, patience and good cheer with his two wooden subjects.
I don’t think Calvin Klein will be offering myself or Si work any time soon; )
The photos are on the way, and we can’t wait to see them. The video above is a brief teaser.
Also, a big thanks to Marina for maning the B camera and doing some stunt driving on the day.
Alastair Humphreys, who’s a bit of a hero round here at Revolution HQ, has an interesting post on co-dependency and motivation today. He’s currently preparing for a very ambitious expedition to the South Pole with his mate Ben Saunders.
With over a year until our expedition begins, and the mornings damp and grey, I sometimes find it hard to enjoy the daily 6am alarm. My wife is unsympathetic. She boots me out of bed and sleeps sensibly, contentedly and undisturbed for a couple more hours.
Insidious thoughts worm into my grumpy mind. What difference will one training ride or one gym session make? There’s over a year to go: roll over and go back to sleep…
Almost always I overcome these devils, and by the time I have splashed cold water on my face and stepped outside I am awake and smug to be awake and I am ready to train.
I know that every session I do will help me get to the Pole and back. It’s not so much the physical fitness increasing fraction by fraction. It’s more the memories in the mind, the strengthening of resolve that each weary awakening gives me.
Sometimes though it is still not enough and I just cannot make myself care. I know that I will regret it in the end, but I just don’t worry enough about letting myself down. This week, however, something dawned on me. Every time I get out of bed to train it increases Ben’s chances of a successful expedition. Every time I don’t bother, or cut corners, or make excuses to myself in the gym; all these times I am reducing Ben’s chances of making it. Our futures and our dreams are bizarrely intertwined for the next 18 months. And it seems that, even if I’m willing to let myself down, I’m not willing to let down somebody else. So I get out of bed.
And on which note, it’s time for bed: it’s swimming in the morning and I hate swimming.
Have you ever actually thought about the shape of the Earth? I mean really taken time to consider the shape of the big chunk of rock that we live on?
Not surprisingly, planning a circumnavigation of the globe makes you think a lot about the shape of the world. Common sense dictates that you just accept that the world is round, that its basically just a really big ball. When you actually think about it, its quite fantastic. Just a big ball with a forty thousand kilometre circumference- revolving once a day.
But how do you really know that it is round? How do you really know that the world being round isn’t just some story that they tell you in school to fill out the geography curriculum.
The first guy to suggest that the world might be round was a guy called Eratosthenes who lived in Egypt in the 3rd century BC. He also worked out the circumference of the Earth to within 400km using the angle of the sun and a stick! We did our Dry Run cycle last September to pay homage to his big thinking.
Ferdinand Magellan and his crew were the first people to prove him correct 18 hundred years later when they became the first people to circumnavigate the globe in 1523.
Then, in 1972 the crew of the Apollo took the familiar yet still awe inspiring Blue Marble photo. Proving once and for all that the world is definitely round.
However, being curious types we still aren’t convinced so we’ve decided to go out and see for ourselves. If the world is just a really big ball then it should be possible to cycle west and eventually wind up back where you started.
As I’m writing this its lashing rain outside and even the ducks are knocking on the door trying to get some shelter from the torrential outbursts. The thoughts of potentially spending days on end in this kind of weather doesn’t make me feel too cosy, but nonetheless, since we’ve been working with Great Outdoors for over a year now, we’ve finally come up with the ultimate camping package.
Our camping equipment will include plenty of kit from MSR such as their highly rated Hubba Hubba tents, XGK EX multi fuel stoves and Sweet Water water purifiers which will ensure that we can be self sufficient throughout the course of the expedition.
It’s good to know that at least in our tents we’ll be nice and dry, perhaps the ducks might pay us a visit.
It seems to be a either a feast or a famine here at Revolution hq. After a quite(ish) start to the week today turned into a quite a feast.
We spent the morning with the folks at East Coast radio, on Declan Meehan’s Breakfast Show, chatting about, among other things tomorrow’s triathlon The King of Greystones. I’ll be riding Simon’s 1970’s Triumph for a laugh. So make sure to give me and my wicker basket a cheer if I pass.
The afternoon was spent talking to two new sponsors; Spot Messenger and The Cycle Inn.
Spot Messenger will be ensuring that the google map on the route page is automatically updated every hour so that you will be able to follow every Kilometre of our progress around the Earth’s surface.
The Cycle Inn will be providing us with their skills and expertise ensuring that we choose the right equipment for our expedition. We are also in talks with them about another development with a high end bike manufacturer that we’re both very excited about, unfortunately we said we’d keep it to ourselves until things are confirmed.
Lastly, congratulations to the Bike to Beijing lads who’ve just finished their unsupported cycling epic from Dublin to Beijing. They crossed some of Central Asia’s bleakest landscapes with impressive spirit and resolve. I’m looking forward to buying them a pint when they get back to Dublin. Their best blogs are on their Bebo page.
We had our first meeting with Kate Kirby our sports psychologist this morning. Kate will be helping us prepare for the stresses and pressures of being on the road together for a year and a half. Focusing on individual goal setting and working together as a team.
For me two interesting things arose from our chat. Firstly, that both myself and Simon’s answers to the questions “why?” and “what do you hope to acheive?” were very similar which is reassuring. And, the fact that both of us feel that the biggest challenge will be dealing with the lack of craic and banter in the down-time away from the bikes, it will be hard to let off steam and take our mind off the project in some of the remotest places on Earth with little to distract us from the task. It will be hard to talk out a days frustrations with each other when we’ve both been doing the same task. And obviously there won’t be anyone else to help. We both agreed that the blog will probably end up as the repository for our outbursts and elation’s.
The last point really brought home the importance of talking, and how important it is to talk about frustrations and pressures to help with stress and mood. It also reminded me how important Aware’s work is getting people to talk. As our mood depends heavily on how well we can communicate and deal with our emotions.
I recently met Sarah from Patagonia and received the last of our expedition clothing. We’ve got all sorts of bits and bobs, from down jackets to lovely toasty socks, from thermal layers to cooling layers. We tested some of their capilene 1 tops while on our training cycle in Egypt and they came through with flying colours. In August we’re off to the French Alps and will be testing out the down and waterproof jackets in -20 degrees or so.
Ferg and I are doing a presentation in their Dublin shop so you can come on in and give us some support. Date isn’t confirmed yet but we’ll keep you posted.