Last two months of preparation

Today I checked the calendar and I was amazed to see how close to the departure date we are: we have pretty much two months left before we get on a plane to Tokyo. While most things are under control I feel I am still not quite prepared. Here is what is on my mind at the moment:

1. Getting fitter

We have 31 days from Tokyo to Tokyo and if we count the days to get to the starting point and from the finish line we get down to around 29 days of cycling. Well, that doesn’t leave us much time and we are going to have some quite long and demanding days with a couple certainly going over the 100 miles (~161 km). The normal day, however, will be around the 100 km mark which we would really like to finish in 4 or 5 hours in order to leave us time to actually see and experience Japan. I really believe that our enjoyment of the overall experience will be directly related to how easy the cycling feels on our legs and bodies.

2. Improving my Japanese

Last summer I did an intensive Japanese course which then allowed me qualify as a “lower intermediate” at the language unit of the engineering department. However, I can’t say I’ve really practiced much since then and I definitely don’t feel my Japanese is good enough to properly socialize with the people we meet. We will spend quite some time out of the beaten tourist tracks so I really think this is important. Also, I feel it helps to bring out the nicer sides of the locals. Here is my plan: study at least two hours per day for the next two months and complete the first Minna no Nihongo book.

3. First aid course

We really feel this is of utmost importance in any expedition but especially for one that is so close to humans travelling in fossil fuel powered vehicles while on a bicycle. The Cambridge Expeditions Committee agrees on this view and rightfully made it a hard condition for acceptance. I have a course booked for the 23rd of June but I’ll try to read a bit more about it during the next month.


To be fair, there are a lot more things that we have to take care of before we are ready but I’ll leave them for later posts.


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