It's fast approaching the end of August, and after a couple of weeks off the bike I've had a little time for reflection on the first few months of this journey. It's going to take a lot more than that to fully comprehend everything I've experienced and learned, but it's a start. Definitely worth mentioning straight away that I've discovered just how big America is. It's HUGE. I mean really huge. And it's absolutely full of stories. Whether fast-paced city or tiny truck stop, busy sidewalk or every deserted boardwalk, the places and people I encountered had history, a present and a future, and all these tales are worth of retelling. It's impossible for me to do that, but I feel honoured to have heard them, and I look forward to sharing some of them with you in the upcoming documentary.
So here's where I'm at right now. I've cycled about 3,500 miles from New York to Seattle. In a few days I'll hop back on my bike and pedal from Seattle to San Diego. From there I'll make my way to New Zealand and ride North to South. After that it's the East Coast of Australia, and then finally South East Asia; Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is, that's for sure. However distance wise I've made a pretty good start. 3,500 miles is probably about a third of the overall distance I plan to ride, give or take a few pedal strokes.
I'll use this opportunity to give new readers and old a quick reminder of what I'm trying to achieve.
My passion is the documentary. I'm aiming to make a film combining my personal journey on the bike with the stories of the people I meet. I'm especially seeking to highlight individuals and causes that are working to try and make a positive impact on the world we live in. To donate to the cause for the documentary, follow the link to the 'How can you help?' page or click on the button below:
The other consequential element is that of the charity fundraising. I'm endeavouring to raise £10,000 ($15,000) for the children's charity UNICEF. They work around the world to deliver health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, and rely on voluntary donations. If you are interested, inspired or moved to donate to their cause I would be delighted, and you really would be making a huge difference. You can do so by clicking on the UNICEF logo below
That's all for now - keep checking in regularly for more blogs, photos and videos. I'll be back in the saddle within the next few days, so log on then to see how the next stage of the journey goes!
Don't forget there's plenty of info all over the site to read and enjoy, including the snapshots I've taken so far here, so have fun navigating around!
Today is my last day at one of the film internships I've been doing in New York. While this is a sad in some ways as it's been a great way to get involved in the documentary scene in NYC, it also has it's positives. A major one is that I now have two days a week to devote to seeking the sponsorship and funding that I need to hit the road. This should have been an ongoing thing, but I let it slip quite badly when I moved to NYC, getting completely swamped by new jobs and lifestyle in the Big Apple.Thinking about how best to promote myself and the expedition, I've also started pondering how well this website is working. So I'm going to ask you all two things to help me out.
Time for some updates. I'll post them in installments so that the excitement isn't too much for you.
Due to an imminently approaching departure date (watch this space) my search for sponsorship and funding has begun again in earnest. I've said it many times before on this site, and it's true that whatever happens, this expedition WILL happen, and soon. However, a little money and supplies can make a huge difference. For instance, the better my bike and camping equipment, the less chance there is that I'll freeze to death or get eaten by a bear. Actually that's exaggerating a little, but the premise is true. Higher quality gear (and the correct gear for the task) will vastly improve my chances of my safety and success. Company sponsors are keys to this - and I can offer them a lot in terms of publicity and profile in return for the goods they supply me with (see the sponsorship proposal pack for more info.)
Everyone I've spoken to about my trip has been amazingly supportive and helpful so far, which I'm really grateful for. Something I've especially enjoyed has been when people have offered to put me in contact with friends and family of theirs along my route. This kindness still surprises me (although it shouldn't, because the world is clearly full of lovely people!) Anyway, I decided to now take a proactive step in this direction, and make a unashamed APPEAL FOR CONTACTS!
So if you know anyone along my route who you think wouldn't mind talking to me, giving me advice on roads etc, perhaps even giving me a place to stay for a night, then please let me know! Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the 'contact me' section on the website here, or leave info on the facebook pagehere.
The googlemaps version of the route can be accessed from the expedition outline drop down tab here, but as its not 100% definite (and probably won't be until I'm actually cycling) I'll also leave a list of the major towns and cities I hope to pass through here. It's a little vague, sorry. If theres someone really nice that you recommend I meet who lives a little off my track, I can always detour! Cheers everyone, heres the list (bold indicates larger places where I hope to spend a few days)
New York City Scranton Buffalo Toronto Hamilton Detroit Chicago Cedar Rapids Sioux Falls Great Falls Kamloops Vancouver Seattle Portland San Francisco San Jose Santa Barbara Los Angeles
New Zealand (North Island)
Auckland Tuakua Hamilton Rotorua Murupara Napier Hastings Waipawa Masterton Martinborough Wellington
New Zealand (South Island)
Blenheim Nelson Kiwi Westport Greymouth Darfield Christchurch Ashburton Waimate Palmerston Dunedin
Sydney Newcastle Port Macquarle Coffs Harbour Lismore Brisbane Gladstone Mackay Townsville Cairns
South East Asia
Anywhere! My plans beyond Australia are vague - if you have any suggestions, or people that would make visiting somewhere worthwhile get in touch!