Apr 21, 2011 – the Ronseal of blog titles. I took far too long umming and ahhing about the name this blog. Firstly I was thinking something along the lines of ‘souslesetoiles'(underthestars) – something i saw on an old Frenchtek flyer. This really captured the spirit of what this trip is about. For the most part I will be wild camping, sleeping under the stars, and ‘souslesetoiles’ also nods to the mystery and adventure of the forthcoming weeks and months. When I realised that blog title was already taken, I started thinking of an English equivalent, something along the lines of ‘openskies’- alas already taken! My Dad came up with the corker ‘biketentorient’ and for a while I was going to go with  ‘’, but in the end I just settled with adventurecycletour…

I wanted to say a big thank you to the people at Bristol Bike Workshop for their time, advice, and patience. Thanks also to the LifeCycle team where I picked up my Rockhopper frame. Chaos Cycles down at St Nicks, and Jakes bikes in the Bearpit also get a mention for their time and advice. All that I could buy secondhand i did, but I know that it would be a false economy investing in cheap parts. I learnt the hard way doing John o Groats to Landsend on a £30 bike and ended up having to pay over £120 in repairs along the way.

I spent £300 on vaccinations to get myself protected myself against the most common diseases people have been known to pick up doing this kind of activity. These include Polio/Diptheria/Tetanus/Hepatitis A/Typhoid (all free on the NHS), and Hep B Tick Borne Encephalitis, and Rabies. Everything for this trip has been a compromise (route: difficulty vs beauty, kit: weight vs cost, Bike: strength vs weight). This has been true of the choice of injections too. For example 2 courses of Hepatitis B at £60 gives you 60-65% coverage (it would have been nice to know all these percentages before handing over the money), whilst the accelerated course of 3 at £90 gives you 65-70%. So for an extra 30squids you might get no extra protection! And for TBE  2 injections at £55 each gives you 97% while 3 at £150  gives you “100%”. Better safe than sorry but for most of these the time required between the jabs dictated what I went for. All these injections so close together has left me feeling pretty groggy over the last few weeks but I hope to cycle myself back to fitness.

I already feel like the pressure is slightly on in that I am probably already two months behind schedule. Most people who do this trip set off around Mid March in order to avoid harsher winter weather further down the line. It feels awful thinking about the winter before the summer is even upon us here in Britain but I just have to be thinking that far ahead.  I don’t want to arrive in India too early because of the Monsoon season, and can’t arrive too late going the route I want to go because of any impending snow in the mountains. I may end up cheating a little further down the line in order to stay on target.

I’ll do my best to update this blog from time to time but it all depends when I will have internet access of course. I may set up a Flickr account too to load up photos…Whatever works easiest on the road really…

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7 Responses to Offski…

  1. Jet says:

    Bon voyage Talan. You will have an incredible time. A couple of rain downpours might help the Brooks saddle moulding by the way!

    Sweet tailwinds. Go for it!

    Jet (handed on the baton on Easton High Street)

  2. sophie bate says:

    ah Talan!! have a brilliant time, wish i could be a fly in the wind to see all your incredible adventures! it will be amazing, am sure at times also the opposite, but what is a little adventure without a few mishaps!! ooo you have made my feet start to itch again! i just cant imagine all the wonderful experiences you will encounter! take care and try to be safe! sophxxxxx

  3. emily says:

    opinel. essential n’est pas

  4. Caroline Brown says:

    I’m going to put markers on Oscar (my son’s) world map to show your progress – he’s got a colour code already for places he’s been and places he’s going to, so perhaps somewhere along the line your paths will cross! good luck, I know you’re going to solve any problems you find along the way, and send my blessings for your journey and the people you’ll meet. Cxx

  5. Ele Bell says:

    Buen viaje mi amigo! I am envious to say the least! But for now I will have to live my dreams vicariously through you – so make sure you have a bloomin’ good time, yer hear?! Take care on your travels, keep you mind and heart open and your wits about you. Loads of love. xxx

  6. Tom ,Lou and Charlie Henderson says:

    Met Talan today for the first time here in Bulgaria . He is heading for Madara just outside Shumen, then onto Varna to hook up with somebody he met on the way to continue his trip. Seemed to be in good sprits!!

  7. Caroline says:

    Well it’s August and nothing since June – Talan are you there? And if so where is there?

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