Hot Hot Heat and Bad Wind
No, not the distinctly average Canadian indie rock band and the inevitable off-shoot from a good feed on the Mancunian curry mile but in my opinion the two biggest challenges facing us on our 3000km bike ride across Europe. This may sound a little ridiculous given the 130km/day trial facing us but these two things combined could potentially push the already taxing physical excursions from “good god this is painful” through “oh sweet jesus” all the way to “#!* of a #!?##* #!#!!** #!*##” on the Woodsmith pain Scale-o-meter™.
Never one to deal well with excess heat the average temperatures across eastern Europe peak in July and August and never one to shy away from a good graph can be nicely visualised here. One may think this should be fine when rocketing along on a tandem bike one may think but I can only envisage onlookers thinking that we are aquaplaning our way down the cycle path as a constant stream of sweat is jettisoned from the back of the bike whilst I am furiously peddling away. On the route across the UK so ill prepared for nice weather were we that Tom even managed to get mild heat stroke on the first day and couldn’t even finish his lunchtime cider in Cornwall, bad times all agreed. This time we should be better equipped and plenty of water taken with us on route but we will hope for mild days and returning as bronzed gods is not going to be high on the list of priorities for this cyclist at least!
Whilst the heat is a manageable concern I have started to come up with a plan to attempt to please the wind gods to give us a healthy tail wind for the duration of our trip. This mainly involves a daily chanting ritual but i’m starting to think that an appropriate dance may be the best way forward short of some form of sacrificial offering. The tandem can race along when its up and running but from experience any form of cross wind can, and will, throw us from side to side and a strong head wind can give the feeling of cycling in quick sand, with square wheels, whilst giving a free ride to a passing Romany gypsy on the back of a bike. Given the increased size of the thing this it is an unfortunate inevitability that we will feel we’ve raised the main sail in the wrong direction at some point but hopefully we will strike it lucky. If not endure the winds we shall and plod on regardless and slow progress is still progress made but I can only hope the wind gods (pick one from any of these you like, Pazuzu being a personal favourite) smile on our tour as they have before.
Just thought I’d muse over some of the trials we face but these two slights concerns aside its all go go go with only 5 weeks left before departure date some hard training is going on to get in a fit enough state to attempt the task in hand. Seeing Europe slowly pass by in glorious summer weather and hopefully raising a decent amount of cash will more than make up for any cramping in the legs and stiff breezes endured in what should be one hell of an adventure.