London Bike Show

I went to the London Bike Show yesterday which was held at the Excel Center. It was a beautiful sunny day, but very cold. Getting there was very easy and the Excel center is huge and quite impressive. Before booking my tickets I did have a look at the list of exhibitors and there was only 1 that I wanted to see based on my specific search parameters, namely touring, and that was Alpkit. I already have some of their kit, a bivvy bag, a sleeping mat and a dry bag and they are excellent, quality products.

I quickly found Alpkit when I arrived and they were a big attraction, a lot of people were in the stand and around the stand looking at their exhibit – a mountain bike, front wheel removed, standing upside down on it’s seat. tied to the front forks and back wheel was a tarp which then stretched over a sleeping mat and sleeping bag secured to the front wheel on the other side, creating a little camp. they had a big log and some wood chips to complete the look and it looked cool, with another mountain bike on the log, kitted out for an adventure and so annoyingly, I couldn’t take pictures – my phone camera has stopped working!

Unfortunately, their stand was pretty small and they didn’t have much to look at – they had their mug and cooking sets which were nice to feel and they were really light. I wanted to ask if they could sponsor me a tarp but didn’t muster the cojones to ask.

As for the rest of the show – there was nothing to do with touring specifically. Kona were there, but the closest they had on show was their city version – which looked nice, but it’s not what I’m after. Here it seems it’s all road bike, mountain bike and cyclo-cross. One side of the exhibition was for electric bikes and there were some interesting bikes there. It would be interesting to compare a European bike show with this one – I think that touring would feature more in a continental show…?

The idea

So the idea is pretty simple.

There’s a target date: 24 July 2018. I’ll come to that later. Originally, I’d thought of a date much earlier, like March I think it was. At the time it felt too soon…but right now, 24/07 seems like ages away. I think I justified it in mind in that by setting it in July, I could afford the initial expense through a normal salary. Just wondering what the sacrifice of this method is now. Maybe it’s best to “just do it”. Whatever, it’s 24/07 for sure.

So yeah, the idea. It’s a simple one…to cycle, away. Down the west coast of Africa, into South Africa, then up the east coast of Africa, into Middle East and finally Asia. That’s nutshell of course.

I’ve not told anyone, apart from immediate family. Not quite ready yet. Besides, who doesn’t like surprises.

I’ve got the bike in mind – a Thorn Nomad. I’ve already seen and test ridden a Nomad MK I and perhaps, in hindsight, should have paid for it on the spot, but…I did think it was over priced. Anyway, I’ve got time. I’ve got my MTB on eBay and I need to get my car and Cube up for sale too, that’ll cover the cost of the new kit.

Otherwise, I am actually shitting myself. It’s a weird situation – the more I think about, the more it seems like a ridiculous idea…especially when I read other touring blogs…so I’ve stopped reading other people’s blogs, and if you’re reading this, wondering if you should cycle around the world…just do it, seriously. No amount of reading blogs, or whatever, will make the trip any easier…it’s about the journey, the experience…the unknown.