Relief, elation, determination and a bucket load of trepidation as the 'Congratulations, you're in' email arrived this evening. Transcontinental 2015 is GO!
It's all about timing, as I come to the end of a major house rebuild in time for us to move in just before Christmas and what I hope will signal a little more space to return to serious training.
I am under no illusion as to the enormity of this challenge. Hey, I still don't have feeling back in my left little toe after last years race. I have already started to plan the first choice route, though will have to wait until the spring to determine the first part of my route through Belgium and France.
I was determined to pick up my route from Kotor, in Montenegro through Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria, but have thankfully discovered what I think is a better route through part of Albania to Skopje. Since last year, so many people took the Albania/Greece route, I will also plan that route in case I get behind on the miles. I have no doubt though that the greatest adventure lies through the old Eastern block countries to the north.
As I work my way through the route, I shall try to outline some detail and add in thoughts on changes to the bike, kit and strategy.
Bonne chance to all those of you whom I hope to meet in Belgium next summer, Safe training.
To everyone else, if you fancy a long bike ride anytime, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the spring I plan to ride home to Aberystwyth and back in 2 days if I can do it, if you want to join me. That's about 500 miles or so give or take. Seriously, if you don't know what hard is before you leave, it will be a shock when you find out on day two in France.
Istanbul here we come part 2.