Latest Update (as at 30/1/11):

Location: London. Back.

Total Distance Cycled: 10,325km
Days Biking: 140
Longest Day: 174km (2/12/10)

Thursday 14 January 2010

Depleting London's expedition stocks

Two weeks into January, and Liz and I are getting a definite sense that we are nearing D-day.  It's now less than 3 weeks till we fly to Argentina.  We have been having to divide and rule with the task list, as Liz is still working (snow permitting...).  I have been spending the days getting really stuck in to buying up most of London's cycling and outdoor kit.  We always knew this would be The Expensive Bit, but wow.  The lesson to learn is that it hurts less to make one big outlay than several really quite big ones!

One way or another, we are now at the stage where we are missing a few items, rather than owning a few items plus an endless list, as was the case a fornight ago.  We've struck some decent deals - it's surprising how quickly discounts can become a reality when you mention the potential length of the receipt.  Evans Cycles have been especially good - we spent fully 6 hours in their Gatwick branch/warehouse last Saturday, surrounded by deep arctic tundra, and were rewarded by a 20% discount.  And anyone finding themselves near Covent Garden in the last week or two would have stood a good chance of running into at least one of us as we flitted from one outdoor shop to another, trying not to get fed up with trying on kit and comparing prices.

So far, team spirits and coordination are holding up well as we motor through the lists, ticking off innoculations, insurance, route planning, flat rental, bike setting up, tax returns, mail redirections, website preparation and all the rest.  We are cutting it a bit fine, admittedly, but I reckon we should be on top of things by the time we fly.  I'm tempted to say we're even becoming quite organised.  Actually, that might be pushing things.  But the hope is that this is the complicated bit.  From everybody we've spoken to, it seems that once you're out on the road, life becomes very simple.

Which will be a relief after January.

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