After nearly a year of logistics, training, and anticipation, Bike the British Isles is all but upon us! It's an epic 300 mile cycling excursion through some of the most rugged and beautiful land Wales and Ireland have to offer.
The trip will bring together cyclists from central Texas, USA and western Wales, UK to grind the gears for over six soggy days of demoralizing riding to promote nevercease.org.
After an 11hr overnight flight, all being well, our plane touches down on the 19th of May in Dublin, Ireland. The Dublin International airport then witnesses the transformation of two non-descipt cardboard boxes from the luggage carousel into fully assembled road cycling machines - equipped with all the essentials for 2 1/2 weeks of life across the Atlantic. From there, it's a ferry ride across the Irish Sea to Holyhead to meet the Welsh pedalers and point the handlebars south. Between us and our destination lies Snowdonia and Ceredigion regions - and all the mountain roads that come with the most rugged part of the Wales! Lonelyplanet.com recently placed this coastal region of Wales in their list of the top ten places in the world to visit - and placed it right at #1! The natural beauty of the area is unparalled - embracing sublime mountains, enchanting forests and awe-inpiring coasts. All this, however, doesn't come without a cost to the cyclists. Our first day in the saddle will require almost a mile of elevation climb, dwarfing even the toughest road routes in Texas. The following day all but matches it foot-for-vertical foot.
We've already had plenty of struggles, put in hundreds of hours and perhaps thousands of miles in the saddle; planned and replanned each portion of the trip; and researched and reviewed and purchased (or not) more cycling gear than I knew existed. While the Welsh cyclists are certainly acclimated to the weather we expect, the damp, chilly climate of the British Isles is far from the dry heat those of us from Texas have been training in.
With less than two weeks until the trip, I've just received news that one of the two riders from Wales has a shoulder injury that will keep her from doing the ride. She has graciously decided to bring a vehicle along for support and to participate in parts of the ride that she can. It is one of those instances that underscores our own frailty - even a healthy, althletic rider in the hieght of her life is subject to the fragility of the natural body. It is a statement to the omnipresence of human need for deliverance from the natural progression of weakness, death and decay. No amount of medicine or technology will keep death's knock from our doors - but there is a way of deliverance. It's what nevercease.org is here to help you find, and find for yourself.
I hope you'll continue to follow our journey, and perhaps begin your own between the covers of your Bible at nevercease.org.