Getting in to the “Groove”

Filed in Angelo Wilkie-Page by on December 9, 2014 • views: 1307

I am writing this blog from my tent in Humboldt State Park, California, completely surrounded by giant redwood trees. At this time, I am the only person in the entire park – it’s still bear season and its pouring with rain.

To date, it has been an incredible journey and I am still trying to find good balance and rhythm. The part I love most about the expedition so far is not knowing what’s coming around the next bend. Every day presents an incredible variety of landscapes and challenges. I don’t enjoy the cities very much, although I found San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge truly remarkable.

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I have found that I am the only cyclist heading north. I pass other cyclists on a daily basis and they are all heading south to a warmer climate. When I tell them I’m en route to Alaska, I get the strangest looks.

People often ask, “Why the hell would you cycle to Alaska in winter?” Firstly, it’s a time saver. If I went in summer, I would miss my window to paddle down the Yukon River and cross over the Bering Sea for the second leg of the expedition. The other reason is cold weather training for Siberia and the North and South Poles.

The weather is getting colder every day and I have been caught out by a few thunder storms, which have forced me to take refuge in unconventional areas and to camp illegally at times.

I have been making steady progress and feel good. All the training has paid off. My only concern at the moment is my raw bum. The equipment is holding up extremely well. I have also met some wonderfully kind people along the way, some of whom have hosted me for a night or two. I still get blown away by how generous people can be.

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The photos on social media don’t always tell the full story. Some of the challenges I face are a lack of daylight hours and incredibly steep climbs. I have now had three days of more than 1 500m of climbing. This greatly reduces the mileage I can achieve in that amount of time. The consolation is, whenever I struggle up a steep climb, I’m almost always rewarded with some kind of spectacular view.

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Some good news is that I have a new equipment sponsor, Chaval, who have sent some heated gloves to Portland. They are the best in their class so I’m looking forward to testing out the gear. I have also been in contact with a US media company and together we will be exploring the idea of a documentary.

 

Everyday I have to pinch myself to make sure that this is reality. I still can’t believe that I’m living my dream.

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