Author: tomdaviesrtw

Book Update – Sept 2018

Hello everyone…

Unsurprisingly, this post comes a lot later than I had initially said it would. Thank you to anyone who reads this and is still subscribed to this blog. This is just a short update to let anyone interested know that things are finally in motion.

Finishing my book took much longer than expected. I wasn’t lying when I posted on here 10 months ago saying I had finished the book and I was happy with it. However, since then I have done countless rounds of edits and I quickly learnt that it’s a process that never really stops. It has become clear that striving for perfection with something like a book is an endless task; there’s always something to change, add or remove, even if it’s a seemingly insignificant word or sentence. I had to draw the line somewhere though, and that is why I am now able to say that the publishing process has started. The ball is finally rolling and the time to release is now largely out of my hands.

Over the coming weeks/months I will elaborate on the publishing process I went down, why it has been so difficult and why I have ended up where I am. I want to be transparent about the publishing hurdles I have encountered in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation and looks to this website for advice (very unlikely and not something I’d recommend). I will also discuss when and how the book will be released as it’s not as straightforward as I had expected. For now, I’ll cut a long story short and say that I’m hoping to have the book available to buy in December or January.

As mentioned, I will explain details further at some point before release but I just wanted to let you know that I have actually been working on it since my last post. I didn’t give up or go off the idea, it just took much longer than expected. I’ll have the next post up soon*.

Thanks everyone.

 

*it probably won’t be that soon.

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An Update – 2 Years Later

My previous blog post was written the day after I finished my trip. In it, I said that it wouldn’t be my last. I did not deliberately lie about that. I had every intention of following it up with a summary of the trip. However, when I sat down to write it, I had no idea what to say. Two years later, I feel I’ve just about got to grips with the experience; and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve written a book to represent that.

It still needs a few final touches, but I’ve got down everything I want to say. I don’t know when a release date will be yet, as I still have to navigate the potential problems that come with publishing. It’s been over two years, so I’m sure a few more months won’t make too much difference.

The dust has long since settled, and I’m sorry it has taken me so long. I wanted it to be right. I tried writing it a number of times, and it was difficult to figure out exactly what I wanted the book to be. I have finally got it to a state that I’m happy with. It’s not yet perfect, but it’s something I’m proud of, and I think a fair representation of both me, and what I went through.

I have deliberately steered away from a day-by-day synopsis. You can already read that side of the story here, on my blog. Instead, it is closer to an unapologetic collection of my thoughts from around the world. There is some structure to it, and obviously a cycling theme, but I truly hope that it’s something anyone can enjoy. I hope it’s interesting at points, I hope it’s amusing at points, and I hope it gives you an idea of why I did what I did. I have tried my best to keep it as authentic and un-sanitised as possible. That may come with a few risqué topics, but I spent over 1000 hours in a bicycle saddle, so what else would you expect?

I’m not sure who will see this post now. Seeing as I’ve been quiet for 27 months, I wouldn’t expect anyone to still check this website. Regardless, this should serve as a sufficient update. I will endeavour to keep you informed on here as things progress.

Thanks everyone!

 

PS: on a completely unrelated note, after I finished my trip, my email (tomdaviesrtw@gmail.com) got hacked. I haven’t been able to access it since, so I apologise if I failed to reply to anyone. I know that was the case with a couple of people. If you need me, get in touch on here or via Twitter.

Day 174 – Winchester to London – Final Day!

This is more of a general update than anything else as I’m afraid I’ve been rather busy since returning and I can’t even begin to digest what’s happened; let alone write something worth reading…

I will post something more interesting (hopefully) in the next few days. Briefly though, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has offered support, encouragement, and/or congratulations at any point, it means the world (no pun intended). Also to everyone who came to welcome me home yesterday. It really meant a lot to see so many of you and I apologise if I didn’t get to speak to you.

One other thing – for all those that are congratulating me; at the end of the day, all I’ve done is turn the pedals. The amount of work done by my parents behind the scenes has been phenomenal. This trip would never have been more than an idea without them, and if it had, I wouldn’t have made it past the second day. It’s impossible for me to convey how much they have done in a blog but they deserve as much, if not more, credit than I do.

With regards to yesterday – it was really good, and I can’t think of anything else to say right now. The last 48 hours have been a bit surreal. (I’m currently in Manchester and am (potentially) going to be on BBC tomorrow morning)

Distance: 74.8miles / 120.3km
Riding Time: 4:19:45
Av. Speed: 17.3mph / 27.6kph

Day 172 – Fougères to Cherbourg

A bit of a milestone today really. Ok I haven’t ‘officially’ cycled around the world yet but I’m now leaving France and it feels a bit surreal.

I am now in Poole and the ferry got in rather late, so despite a short day tomorrow, I’m keen to get to bed. (I probably should have written this on the 4 hour crossing but I didn’t because I’m really organised like that).

The ride today was really good, far from flat, but much faster than normal; a good day to finish off France.

A couple of things to mention; firstly, we saw a couple of people taking some ferrets for a walk which was a bit weird. No offence to any ferret owners out there, but you’re probably a bit odd.

Secondly, a woman on the ferry literally pointed and laughed at my sock tan lines. Subtlety clearly not one of her fortes.

Anyway, I’m afraid that’s all I have time for right now. I’m not entirely sure if I will have time to write a blog tomorrow (or the day after) so consider this a heads up. If I am too busy, there will be one on Monday or Tuesday, so this won’t be the final one…

Distance: 102.9miles / 165.5km
Riding Time: 5:59:39
Av. Speed: 17.2mph / 27.5kph

P.S: Thanks to all those who have come to welcome me back to England!

Day 171 – Cholet to Fougères

After almost 7 months, this is my last full night abroad… And I intend to spend as much of it as possible asleep… So yeah, you get the idea.

I haven’t quite got my head around that, maybe it’s because I still have to cycle 100 miles tomorrow, and maybe something will sink in when I get on the ferry, but for now I’m still on the road. And quite frankly I feel like I have finally got used to it! Better late than never I suppose.

The ride today was really nice. Shorter than the last couple but no fewer ups and downs. In general though it felt fairly relaxed. Despite the ‘support vehicle’ having a bit of a tantrum.

The last week has been brilliant with the company I have but I still can’t wait to get home. Whilst it has been easier, the pressure (much of which is self-inflicted) and the stress is still there and I don’t think I have felt completely relaxed for almost a year.

In many ways, you would think that the freedom one has when ‘cycling around the world’ eliminates these problems. But unless you are taking years to do it and don’t mind taking a week off every three days (i.e: you don’t have a set time frame) then I think stress is pretty unavoidable. At least it has been for me… And I think that is what I’m looking forward to getting rid of the most.

That all sounds a bit mature for me but I’m going to leave it as is… Last time I wrote something that required thought I decided to lower the tone by finishing with a joke and ended up upsetting a few people. Hope you don’t mind.

Distance: 105.4miles / 169.6km
Riding Time: 6:52:24
Av. Speed: 15.3mph / 24.6kph

Day 170 – Pons to Cholet

Not an overly straightforward day today; and rubbish service at lunch meant we finished late and has therefore meant that I am also very late now as well.

The ride today was good. Despite a few minor mishaps with the route heading off-road, it was enjoyable. I’m afraid I am beyond tired and my brain has decided that it doesn’t want to work tonight; so this’ll be quick.

I shall however finish on a couple of positive notes:
1 – I have four days to go, which is just ridiculous and something I really cannot get my head around
2 – All of those four days are shorter than today
3 – My knee is feeling much better *fingers crossed*. I have not really felt it at all since Lisbon which is a very welcome surprise. I’m not really sure what has brought this about but the only thing I have changed from America is that I have started taking Pomi-T… placebo effect? Perhaps, but either way, it’s good.
4 – As I mentioned, my brain isn’t functioning very quickly this evening so it’s good that I have company. Since I am struggling, Henry (my cousin) has kindly offered to help come up with something to write… he has said that I should end with ‘‘Henry is a legend’’… so there it is, cheers for the input Henry!

Distance: 125.6miles / 202.0km
Riding Time: 7:39:45
Av. Speed: 16.4mph / 26.2kph

Day 169 – Mimizan to Pons

I had the first rain of Leg 8 today. It wasn’t too bad but it was far from the temperatures I faced a few days ago.

The day improved as it went on really. Around halfway we hit Bordeaux, and whilst there were some very nice bits, it wasn’t quite as pretty as expected.

The final third was a lot more pleasant and once away from the city and amongst the vineyards, it was really nice riding. The sun even made an appearance for the last couple of hours which was nice.

Speaking of the last two hours – they were fast. Probably the fastest I’ve ridden without a tailwind in about six months (on the flat anyway).

We’re now in quite a nice village not very far from Cognac… I wasn’t a big Cognac drinker before I left, and I can confirm that that has not changed over the course of this trip. The others didn’t completely waste the opportunity mind.

I’m tired now so I’m off to bed…

Distance: 125.4miles / 201.8km
Riding Time: 7:28:23
Av. Speed: 16.8mph / 26.8km

P.S. I’m sorry pictures from America still aren’t up , but I haven’t had the time. I shall try my best to get them on here before I finish in London!

Day 168 – Zumaia to Mimizan

Today has been a good day, although not everything went exactly to plan.

The morning was fantastic, riding with someone else pretty much reminded me why cycling is so good. The scenery was, for the most part, very good as well.

Riding through San Sebastián was pretty stunning but unfortunately I managed to fall off my bike… I don’t think I need to be overly elaborate but I can’t really blame anyone else, and it all came about because of wanting to go and look at a cathedral – and I’m usually so good at steering clear of culture!  Long story short – I landed very hard on my head and it’s very lucky I was wearing a helmet (which is now useless, so I’m using a different one). The bike is fine which is good, my wrist and shoulder are a bit jarred, but all in all, I’m fine.

To be perfectly honest, I’m more annoyed than hurt. I’ve ridden so far and through a lot of very sketchy moments without crashing so this just feels a bit stupid (it was all a bit embarrassing and extremely unimpressive).

Admittedly, the next half hour or so were not that great as I was still a bit grumpy but apart from that, the rest of the day was really good. I’ve now finished Spain and am in France – very different temperatures to when I was here six months ago!

This evening has been really good. The difference having some company makes is incredible and despite being a bit sore I’m hoping for a good last few days.

Distance: 114.6miles / 184.7km

Riding Time: 7:55:18

Av. Speed: 16.6mph / 26.4kph

Day 167 – Briviesca to Zumaia

Today has been a really good day. My legs took 80 kilometres to wake up so the morning was bit slow, but after that, it was brilliant.

Spain suddenly became a very nice place to ride and I’m almost sad that I’m leaving it tomorrow… almost.

I have now been joined by my Dad and cousin so that’s made for a much better evening. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the last few days; I’ll be home in a week!

Distance: 104.4miles / 167.9km

Riding Time: 6:46:01

Av. Speed: 15.4mph / 24.8kph