CBC Radio, Hating Cycling, Portable Technology in Africa, and Cafe Roubaix

Wearing my Cafe Roubaix shirt I bought after the Specialized controversy last week
Wearing my Cafe Roubaix shirt I bought after the Specialized controversy last week

So yesterday morning my CBC interview aired. The intro and outro were recorded while I wasn’t present and I feel overall the interview ends up having a bit different vibe than I imagined, though it was still pretty cool!

Here’s the link that doesn’t want to embed properly. You can listen to the full interview.

I want to clear some things up for those that did hear the interview: I am not spending my last dimes on this trip, and I did not ‘lose my job’… I know exactly where it is, and it was 100% my choice to leave, haha. I quit to do my own thing w/ apps (Android and maybe iPhone if Android went well enough), I’ve been offered other jobs and interviews in the time since I quit, and I’m not destitute like the interview may imply. I still have money for a down payment on a house when I return if that’s what I end up wanting to do, etc… Don’t think I’m just throwing away the last of my money on a whim for one last chance at life, that’s far from what this is! haha. That said, I don’t blame Chris for the weird tone, he and I didn’t speak before hand and the interview was only 10 minutes long, there’s certain assumptions that were made perhaps, or it provided a more entertaining story for the listeners framed as it was, I dunno… It was still a great experience, and many many thanks to Chris and Jenny for getting me hooked up with that!

I do ‘hate cycling’ though at the moment. Somewhat. I think I’m just not good at it, and as I get better, I’ll enjoy it more. I certainly enjoyed the 3 day tour of the Golden Triangle (Castle Junction -> Radium -> Golden -> Castle Junction) I did May long this year with Caitlin and a bunch of awesome UCTC friends. I was sad when it was over, so logically a 120 day trip is the next bike tour I choose, right? I’m hoping this trip makes me love cycling a lot more and perhaps allows me to sign up for a full Ironman (I’ve been saying I had no interest in biking the number of miles I’d have to bike to train for one). I know my buddy Ian is doing Ironman Canada, perhaps I’ll join him.

In the end, I wanted an adventure that would take me outside of my comfort zone, and something physically challenging. I couldn’t find any 4 month runs, so, here we are! 😉

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the electronics I want to bring on my trip. Too much thought, perhaps, but those of you that know me know how much of a geek I am too, and how I love my gadgets. I’m thinking at this point, something along the lines of:

  • My Sony Vaio Ultrabook w/ extra battery (should be 12+ hours of battery life)
  • Nexus 5 phone (with SIM cards bought in all the countries, hopefully data is plentiful for blog posts)
  • Canon 60D Camera. The N5 takes some sweet photos, but there’s gonna be times I want a real camera… ie. Ngorongoro Crater, the potential and probable Gorilla expedition in Rwanda after the tour is over, etc etc.
  • GoPro Hero3 (for the odd video and/or less conspicuous photographs)
  • Batteries up the wazoo. I’ve got a Patriot Fuel+ USB battery thing and I’m thinking about getting a few more. Hopefully enough to keep my phone charged between break days when hopefully I’ll have some sort of access to a plug.
  • A few portable HDDs to backup the pictures I take with the aforementioned camera devices.
  • A solar panel to trickle charge the batteries or phone on the rides. I hope to mount it to my rear wheel rack and charge under the constant sun of Africa.

Is that too much? I’m, not certain. I hope not! I don’t want to be geeking out all the time in the middle of no where, but there’s going to be a lot of downtime at the ends of rides sitting in camp and I’d love to be able to keep this blog really well up to date. It’s a nice way to look back at the adventure after the fact.

As for now, I just continue to cycle most days (I took a couple days off to rest but ended up running lots and snowboarding at Castle with some old friends on Saturday — really fun! .. but not very restful)… Still not gaining any weight, despite my best efforts loading up on Ice Cream and some delicious double+bacon burgers whenever possible from my friends at Flipp’n Burgers in Kensington. Not to mention chips, donuts, etc. haha. If you’re looking to lose weight, try sweating on a bike 3 hours a day. It’s almost guaranteed.

Oh yeah, and last Thursday I was out in Cochrane going for lunch with old coworkers and visiting Cafe Roubaix. Quite the story with his little shop, if you haven’t heard it yet. Was nice to talk to Dan again, we’d met him a few times last summer just after he opened, it’s great to hear how good this whole thing was for them… He sold something like 1500 shirts last weekend alone… They’re the biggest little bike shop in the world right now!

Charity and Other Updates!

So many people over the past couple weeks have asked me if I’m riding the length of Africa for a cause, or raising donations, etc. Honestly, it feels disingenuous to say that I’m doing this for charity, because I’m not. It wasn’t something I thought of, I just really wanted to do an adventure like this! But, that said, it’s also a great opportunity to introduce people to a cause that’s close to my heart, and a disease that not many people are even aware exists.

My mom suffers from a rare and relatively untreatable (and uncureable) rheumatological disease called Scleroderma, which wikipedia defines as “a chronic systemic autoimmune disease (primarily of the skin -“derma”) characterized by fibrosis (or hardening -“sclero”), vascular alterations, and autoantibodies”… Basically it’s causing a hardening of tissues in her body (skin is the most obvious, but also heart, lung, intestinal tissues), causing other issues such as Pulmonary Hypertension, and other problems with drug interactions to treat that, etc etc.

Anyway, since people are asking, and this seems like a great medium to get more of a message out there about this disease, please feel free to make a donation to the Scleroderma Society of Canada if you’d like. 🙂

In other news, I’ve been training lots… 2-3 hours a day on the bike watching TV (getting boring though!)… and today I have an interview with CBC about my trip, hopefully to air this weekend. We’ll see! I have no idea what to expect here…

Been tough keeping weight on even with unlimited chips and ice cream and only 3 hours of biking a day… Going to be insane when that’s 5-12 hours and I don’t have ice cream, lol.


Thanks friends, more updates soon!