This last week or so has been quite a busy one for me. With lots going on at my current place of work, as well as at home, it hasn't left me much time to write for Daves Travel Pages. A brief update is probably in order. So, rather than write an article about bicycle touring, this is what I have been up to!
It goes without saying that bicycles were involved somewhere along the line. For the past few weeks, I have been trying out the Stanforth Kibo which has been loaned to me. I've clocked up a few miles now, and whilst I am not ready to write a complete review yet, I'm getting there. I plan to write two more articles about the bike. One will cover what it has been like riding it, and the other will be a review article. There may also be another YouTube video for that, so brace yourselves!
Above, is the un-boxing video I made about the Stanforth Kibo
Whilst I won't go into what has been happening in my day job, two positives have come from it. Firstly, I have only one more payment to make into a Sharesave scheme. This is hugely significant for me, as the scheme is basically funding my next bicycle tour around the world. Fingers crossed the share price remains about where it is in December. At that point, I will need to make the decision whether or not to cash them in. Secondly, I have just completed a stocktake at work. It might not mean much to you, but to me it is significant in that it will be the last one I will do before leaving on my trip. It feels like another milestone has been passed along this journey towards my long term goals.
Returning to a bicycle related theme, I have also been considering what route to take when I leave in May 2015. I thought I had this pretty much sorted out in my head, but an interesting opportunity has arisen. A group of people are trying to organise a bicycle touring festival in May 2015 near Manchester. If it goes ahead, it would make perfect sense to attend. Taking it one step further, I could also tie this in with a Lands End to John O'Groats ride. That would be a great way to kick-start my next trip. It also got me thinking about the European route I might take during the first months of the tour. I have always been planning to head to Nordkapp, but had then intended to head east across the ‘Stans. Now, I am considering if I should do some sort of cycle ride from Nordkapp to Gibraltar. This would be the most Northern point in Europe to the most Southern point. Along the way, I would try to fit in visiting as many European countries as possible. This needs a lot more thinking about, but would make quite an interesting meandering ride across Europe.
Finally, I have been starting to get ready for the TBEX travel bloggers conference in Athens. This takes place towards the end of October, and is something I am really looking forwards to. Last years TBEX in Dublin was an eye opener, and I returned with a new sense of purpose and direction for this travel blog. I am sure that the same thing will happen this year as well. I recently had some business cards printed, and now need to work on a media pack to present to prospective partners. If I can come away from there with a couple of contacts that I can work with when I leave on the cycling trip, it would be ideal. Even if that doesn't happen, the renewed sense of enthusiasm for blogging and travel will help greatly during the seven months remaining before I depart.
And that's it for this brief update. The next blog post should be in a couple of days time, and will feature a few photos of the Kibo bike I've been riding.