It’s 6 weeks since I set off from Porto Alegre on my #SambaCycle, that’s 42 days, during which I’ve pedalled nearly 3,000km and visited 5 World Cup stadiums.
But there’s still 100 days to go, as FIFA are celebrating (with fingers crossed no doubt) and the global sporting press are reporting (with plenty of cynicism) today, until the Brazil 2014 World Cup kicks off on June 12, which is also the day that I plan to reach my final city Manaus.
So with such a long journey still ahead, I think now’s an apt time to admit that I need a break from cycling to allow my body and mind to rest after such a relentless schedule so far! So I’ve decided on a slight change of plan – I’ll take a bus from Brasilia to Cuiaba next week rather than cycle. That way it’ll take me 20 hours to cover the 1,000km rather than 12 days! And I can use those extra days for a few things; to relax a bit away from the bike (no offence Dinly), to see more of the beautiful nature in Western Brazil, and to return to Brasilia sooner (I always planned to fly this part) so that I can get ahead of schedule on the very long cycle to Salvador. Also, I’ve been advised by several locals, including Kico who’s actually cycled it, that the road between Brasilia and Cuiaba is narrow and full of speeding trucks so isn’t a good place for bikes.
Yes, this decision means that I won’t cycle my whole planned route and therefore knocks 1,000km off my total distance, but I think it’s justified, and to be honest necessary since I’ve been feeling stiffness in my knees this last week and really don’t want to risk injury. But if anyone who’s already kindly donated money to the #SambaCycle charities is unhappy with my change of plan then please let me know and I’ll personally refund you.
Anyway, there’s still 5,000km of cycling to go and 7 more World Cup stadiums to visit, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of this amazing journey, and I hope you are too. So please keep following this blog and spreading the word about my charity #SambaCycle, and I’m sure media interest back home will really grow (to match the great coverage I’ve received in Brazil) as those 100 days tick down to the tournament’s big kick-off!
PS. BEARDWATCH: I was clean shaven when I left London and since then have let my facial grow unhindered, with the idea that I won’t trim it until Manaus! Here’s the beard progress so far…