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pedal plenty

notes on a north american cycle trip in 2008

Archive for December, 2007

Upgrade.php …

… dontcha hate anything that ends dot pee haitch pee.  It usually means put on the silly hat of geek.  And if the dot pee haitch pee is preceded by the word upgrade that means you are going to make one gigantic mess of your website.

So I donned the silly hat, took a deep breath and a swig of Hogmanay celebrating fizzy wine and this post proves that I am indeed wise in the way of tech and did not screw up dearest Pedal Plenty (yes that is a circular see).

Need a webmistress?  You know who to call!

Posted by me on December 31st, 2007

Administrative chores part 2 …

Cash ….or how to become poor before leaving Britain.

.. first there was the pocket emptyingness of the United States non-immigrant visa application and then Le Chef ever wise on actuarialness and risk aversion Did you buy insurance yet ?

Good Grief. More Money. £245 for 5 months.

I’m off to sulk now.

Posted by me on December 26th, 2007

Administrative chores ….

US State Department

The big sum of mathematical calculationess says She’ll be noodling around in North America for quite some time.

The United States Visa Waiver Program says You may noodle around the United States for 90 days then we’ll set the dogs on you (well hardly but you know what I mean).

So I said to Le Chef who is wise in the way of mathematical calculationess, cooking, fiscal policy and international border control, But I won’t be in America for 90 days in a row coz I’ll go to Canada and come back in on a new Waiver.

He sighed, in that long suffering way, and pointed out, What are you going to do when you stand on the Canada / USA border with just 150 miles to complete the trip and they don’t let you back in ?

I then sighed in that equally long suffering, I better do as he says coz he’ll only say I told you so later way and went on the USA Embassy website where I learned:

  • Visas are expensive ! $100
  • and then another £14 to have them send your passport back
  • and you have to be interviewed ….
  • interviewed in the Embassy in London
  • which means that you have to go to London obv
  • which means that you have to go on the plane to London except you can’t
  • coz they’ll keep your passport and you need that for the plane
  • which means that you have to go on the train and we all know that costs a gazillion quid

I have little choice though so I’ll be on the phone tomorrow to the Embassy folks (that’s on the phone at £1.20 a minute to the Embassy folks).

Oh and then the Embassy want to see proof that I have enough money for my trip. Well I’ll be bankrupt after paying for my visa.

Posted by me on December 23rd, 2007

Kissy, kissy Google maps

Mmmmmmwwwwahh!


View Larger Map

And a URL thingie for it too

Posted by me on December 9th, 2007

Doing sums ….

Red shoesSo today I was thinking about booking my flights for the trip. It was the usual, I’ll mosey out West sometime in May and come back, oh, I dunno whenever. But then I saw the price of flights and thought Hmmm better planning is needed. Out came the online calculator and the lovely Google maps (now with added route twiddling tools) and a big sum was calculated:

  • 4,328 miles in 4 days and 5 hours (aye by rocket ship!) said Google maps
  • let’s make that 4,800 miles once we’ve taken into consideration a certain amount of dithering, getting lost, finding quieter routes
  • The constants I have are:
    • I can consistently cycle 65 miles a day, even uphill as long as there’s some down
    • I must be in Quebec City on 8 August at the very latest
    • Realistically I should start about 17 May
    • I need to be back at work early to mid September
    • I probably want take 7 full days off to visit with friends
  • The big calculator says:
    • if Quebec is a generous 4,500 miles away it will take 70 day of cycling to get there (and we’re not doing all that in a oner, Oh no siree)
    • if I leave on 17 May there are 84 days until I have to be in Quebec City
    • 4,500 miles in 84 days averages at 54 miles a day (easy peasy)
    • if I maintain my average I can take 14 days off (woo-hoo holidays!) but I need to keep some as contingency (can’t you tell I’ve been to project management)

What does it all mean ?

  • I can start my trip on 17th May and make it to Quebec City and I can book my flight home at the end of August / start of September
    • Caveat: as long as I don’t
      • get too lost (how could I with my Google map?)
      • suffer horrid headwinds
      • fall foul of some hideous disease or maybe just a bad cold
      • get sent to the detention centre for speeding
      • be whirled away to Oz by a tornado

Posted by me on December 9th, 2007