100 days to go (is ice skating a good idea?)


Today marks 100 days to go before we begin our 2,000 mile bicycle ride down the length of the USA’s west coast.

Milestone’s have a habit of altering the way you think about life, whether it be a birthday, anniversary, or a countdown to a brilliant bike ride.

Suddenly the trip seems very real. What started as a daydream and later became a far off adventure, is now very much a reality.

A sense of urgency has entered our planning, with those chores we put off to do ‘nearer the time’ needing to be done now.

And unexpectedly, a feeling of self preservation has appeared, most strongly felt when I (James) went ice skating, despite not being able to ice skate.

As the blades made their first cuts into the ice and my outstretched arms scrambled for the side rail, I suddenly felt a surge of panic.

What if I fall and break a leg, arm, face or other part of my body that meant I couldn’t ride my bike this summer? What would I tell Pierre?

“Sorry dude, but I’ve ruined our bike ride by trying ice skating a few months before the trip of a lifetime that we’ve been planning together for a year.”

And the other day, as Pierre weaved in and out of traffic on his motorbike, he too felt a moment of panic, released the throttle a little and rode the rest of the way home following the cars in front, rather than overtaking them.

So is ice skating a good idea? In general, for most people, yes, it’s a great thing to do. Is ice skating a good idea for a complete novice with 100 days to go before a bike ride from Canada to Mexico? Probably not.


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