Travel Tips

Rick Prepares for ExpeditionPlus! A Six-week Bicycle Ride...

by ExperiencePlus! - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rick Prepares for ExpeditionPlus! A Six-week Bicycle Ride from St. Petersburg to Istanbul

I’ve decided to begin a blog that I will try to keep up throughout our ExpeditionPlus! this summer. The planning has already begun and I’m already worried I won’t be in shape. So I’ve (finally) begun my training regime. Can I keep it up? Will it work? Who knows. I do quite a lot of cycling – 1-2 hours daily just commuting to work or running errands to shop, and then 2 hour rides into the foothills when time allows. Yesterday I did the local cycling club’s Spring Warm Up Ride of 60 miles. Completed it in 4 hours 40 minutes with two rest stops at aid stations. Today out for another ride of about 25 miles over the foothills along Horsetooth Reservoir here on the edge of the Great Plains in Fort Collins, Colorado. I’m fairly tired at the end of a 60 mile ride. I hope that changes by mid-June or I can see some early bedtimes on our trip.

The full web site and reading room for ExpeditionPlus! has more details about our trip, including detailed entries on the route, packing strategies and other plans. This narrative will link to that often if you are interested in the details.

You might really consider this a look at "behind the scenes" planning as the entire company gears up for the adventure this summer. Staff here in Fort Collins are trying to continue business as usual as I throw new tasks at them to prepare for the summer. Joeanne (Joe) Gutowski, one of our accountants is helping me to work with suppliers along our ExpeditionPlus! route booking hotels. Diane Vella handled the visas for Russia and is working with Joeann on payments to suppliers and hotels.

In mid to late May Joeann will pass all her hotel info. to Beatrice (Bea) Tassinari, our Italian office manager, who is working with Claudio Strocchi, our key ExperiencePlus! tour leader on the tour. Bea and Claudio are helping me to prepare "Tour Scripts" which we use on all our tours. Scripts are just like a stage script for a play with the playwrite’s original manuscript (the tour itinerary posted on the web), any changes that we might need to make (due to route changes or hotel changes), and the notes from the stage manager, props manager, casting director, and overall play director. The tour script helps to keep us all on the same page, especially if we need to change actors, tour leaders, or other characters in the course of the tour.

My latest project is packing for a 6 week bicycle tour. I actually lay all my stuff out on the bed one evening just to see if I could fit it all into my suitcase.

Before... ...and after.
Before After


Success! It all fit and I might be able to cut out a little, even. So this link shows you the list of stuff and rationale for it all.

In addition to one rolling 24" and expandable suitcase (the expansion part is for acquisitions for the return trip), I will take a camera bag which will also hold my computer (to download photos, my audio files – more on that later – and to keep my blog when possible). All my camera equipment (Nikon D70 and three lenses, battery charger, big flash, batteries) takes up a small rolling suitcase. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about film. The computer fits on top of the camera gear.