The training has been done – admittedly not nearly enough – and the plans have been set, and now it's GO time: the 2014 edition of the Transcontinental is on!
I'm going to try and write regularly as part of the race, to let you know how things are going, and with luck, to hopefully inspire at least a few of you to give it a crack next year!
Yes the miles are many, yes it looks daft, and yes, there's an element of danger, but by golly that's what life is for!
I'm writing this from the Pride of Canterbury, the 15.40 sailing from Dover. So far I've meandered to the start line, only getting lost in London a couple of times. From London we've pootled down the A2,had a chat with a nice policeman, come off the A2 again and back-roaded it down Canterbury (looks like a popular place for a pilgrimage!) and scooted back on the A2 again.
So far I've suffered 3 punctures, broken my pump hose and made a horrid hack to 'fix' it for now, I'm hoping to get a new pump as soon as I land on the continent, cos right now every mile is slightly nerve-wracking.
By the time you read this I'll have spent some time in gay Paris, wolfed down some carbs and made my start on the long slog to Switzerland. It never gets normal describing whole countries as destinations and way points - truly bonkers.
I've got to say a big thanks to Dave & Tony for humouring me with this, and thanks also to Rapide Bikes for their country-smashing RC4, and the Assos factory outlet for hooking me up with their super comfy clobber (no Kuku Penthouse!).
But most of all to my wife for indulging this flight of fancy and looking after the 3 boys!
Of course I'm doing this for charity, it's for Sightsavers, who are pretty awesome, if you feel like throwing a few quid at them then you can do that here.
And you can follow my progress on Twitter @themartincox or @transconrace, and at the Transcontinental website