I knew I wanted to leave home after handing in my dissertation on August 31st. I knew I wanted to be home for Christmas so that gave me just shy of 4 months to go off and do something epic. I didn’t want to do another walking challenge, as I’m a bit over walking at the moment, and I wanted a different type of physical challenge, one which wasn’t as time pressured, I want to be able to connect with more people and build longer term relationships. The weather is important to me, as I don’t like the cold, so I wanted to be going somewhere, warm and ideally hot!
Not walking (or running)
A physical challenge - not driving a car
Not time pressured
After lots of thinking, cycling just seems to keep popping up - I think it was speaking to Faye Shepherd and Anna McNuff in quick succession about their South America Cycling Adventure, which inspired me!
Cycling is something I’ve never done before, I haven’t been on a bike for about 14 years!! But I’ve been fascinated hearing the stories of women from the tough girl podcast who have gone on these long cycle journeys. It also seems a great way to see the world, at a quicker pace than walking, I’d also be able to cover more ground, and not destroy my body in the process.
I’d heard of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and seen stunning pictures, and once I started researching it, it all started to came together, as the perfect time to start the PCH from Vancouver is early September when the crowds are gone, the weather is still warm, but there is not so many people doing it.
However, my next issue was time, it only takes approx 40/45 days to cycle the PCH. Which would not be long enough - so what else could I do? I didn’t want to spend 4 months doing the route - that was just too slow!
I was chatting with Faye Shepherd after our podcast interview and talking about wanting to cycle the PCH in September, but explaining how it wasn’t long enough…. and she asked me if I’d heard about Baja Divide?
Which I had never heard of before, I quickly googled it while I was on the phone to Faye, and realised in that moment, that was it, that was the next part of the challenge.
On the first webpage I looked at - it said, the best time to cycle the Baja divide was in November as the weather starts to get warmer. It also takes about 40/45 days to cycle. So by doing both the PCH and the Baja divide, I will get exactly what I want. A super long physical challenge, which will be a challenging ride, but not challenging enough to destroy me, the weather will be great and it is the perfect time of year to be both.
This was the perfect challenge to do in 2018!
Now I just needed to firm up the details!
Watch the launch video here!
Click below to read more about how the challenge came about!