14degrees off the beaten track
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February 21st, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (Texas)

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Just an exciting quick wee update here…

  • Spoke Mountain Bike Magazine from New Zealand has published an article, written by me, and some photos from the Central Asia leg of my journey. My Aunty Les kindly scanned the article for me. You can check out the scanned version below, or order your own subscription to this classy magazine at www.spokemagazine.com

Spoke Article Page One Spoke Article Page Two

Spoke Article Page Three Spoke Article Page Four

  • Markus Wagner from Germany is just days away from embarking on a 15,000km cycle journey from the Black Forest in Germany to the Yellow Sea, China. The journey, Cycling Without Borders, is in aid of German Agro Action (Deutsche Welthungerhilfe) and Youth for Understanding (YFU). I stayed with Markus in Germany, and it will be a pleasure to see him tackle a similar route to the one I took across the Eurasian Continent.
  • Anyone want to play with Garmin GPS files? Here are the GPS files I have downloaded so far from the trip. If you’re savvy at Google Earth and all that, feel free to kill some time and make a pretty fly-over of my route or something. If you can make it into some kind of movie file, you’d be my hero.

You’ll notice that in the Key West to DeRidder file, there is a huge chunk of info missing. This is because I didn’t realise that the track would loop ontop of itself once the cache on the GPS unit was full. That means that about 600 miles of GPS data is missing. The same case for the Europe file also, I think. There are all the waypoints I put in however, so I hope that will make up for the lack of actual track log.

  • Billionaire Boys Club / Ice Cream Shoes has come to the rescue and hooked me up with some ridiculously stylish shoes for the ongoing journey. The shoes I have been wearing are the Ice Cream Board Flips. I originally bought them because the were on special at a shoe store in Key West, Florida. They have been awesome, and have given me no blisters apart from some small niggles earlier on. Super hard wearing soles too. Over 1,700 miles on one pair so far. Thanks to BBC Ice Cream for supplying the kicks!
New shoes courtesy of Billionaire Boys Club / Ice Cream shoes
  • Last but not least, the forecast for the wind is south east for the next few days. Then headwinds for a while. Humidity is forecast to be not much more than 20% during the days…I’m heading for some dry country. 60 miles will be the longest stretch during the ride from Del Rio to El Paso where I won’t have any services. Ouch.
  • Oh, and one more thing, you may have noticed a link to Groove Salad on the main page. On the right, right at the bottom. When I update the website, that’s the internet radio music I’m listening to.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (14)

Comment by mahmoud — February 22, 2008 @ 7:17 pm | post a comment

Rob bro

Here is some listening goodness for you
I listened to the lady eve balfor lecture. Richard Heinburg is top of his field and it is an interesting thing to listen too.


You still listening to bruxy from the meeting house? they just started what seems to be an interesting series.

Comment by Aunty Les — February 23, 2008 @ 3:49 am | post a comment

Love the shoes, Rob, especially the pink ones you are wearing.

20% humidity will mean very cold nights and very dry air. You'll need lots of drinking water.

Comment by Aunty Les — February 23, 2008 @ 3:51 am | post a comment

By the way, glad the scanned article is nice and clear to read.

Comment by wim harwig — February 23, 2008 @ 7:11 am | post a comment

Hey Rob,

Nice article; it reminded me of this cartoon: http://xkcd.com/77/

keep on rolling !


Comment by Chris J — February 23, 2008 @ 8:01 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Another tough day beat I see. No doubt you are stronger for it. I just hope that there is no word in the Chinese language for "chipseal" or you may have a longer trip through China than anticipated…

Nice work on the visa extension too. Wish it was that easy here in Japan.

Comment by Aunty Lyn — February 23, 2008 @ 8:21 am | post a comment

How are you going to get on for water in the deserts of Nevada and Arizona?

Comment by Karen — February 23, 2008 @ 12:13 pm | post a comment

I use Google Earth in my library lessons (I'm an elementary school librarian) and have thought about plotting your travels. I"ll have to play around with it.

And I second the comment about the article. Very nice!

Comment by Charlie — February 24, 2008 @ 9:31 am | post a comment


I have your data converted to work with our GIS – Geographic Information System.

The Google Earth should be even easier, I just haven't the extra time to mess around lately.

Someone may beat me to it. Still tracking you and bragging on your travels.

I'll Stay in touch about the GPS data.

Comment by Lo-IQ — February 24, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | post a comment

Jesus mate you got a bit of a move on, just been aaway with work and look at where your at….

Well done I now have to spend abit of time to catch up with all that's happened.

All the best from darkest surrey.

Comment by Joe Williams III — February 26, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | post a comment

so awesome mate, We saw you on your way out of del rio.

My Sister stopped and talked to you, told me the story and here i am on the site.

May your travels be well!

Comment by Mum — February 27, 2008 @ 3:05 am | post a comment

The shoes should last you a while. You may not have to buy any more til you've finished skating. And such pretty colours.

Comment by Lazarus — March 4, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | post a comment

Rob – regarding water issues in the southwest: if you're staying on the beaten path a lot of touring and long-distance cyclists will carry "Need water, please!" signs. Put it up when you're in need and there's a good chance one of the land yacht RVs will stop to help you out.

Comment by Daniel N. Lang — March 4, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob, you are far from lightweight carrying so many spare shoes now! I have the same problem as I got plenty of spare tires and tubes from my great Schwalbe sponsor.

BTW: I am in New Zealand now! Hell, what a great country (after only 5 days I can say that) and so many friendly and helpful people!

The single trails are also exceptional and phenomenal – it's an amazing country, your home country, my friend!

Comment by Charlie — March 6, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | post a comment


Just checking to see whether you have tested

the KMZ's that we made for you to try out on Google Earth. I wish that we had more of the GPS data from earlier part of your trek.

Please put some more GPS files out there and I'll convert them.


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