Posted by: davendeb | December 9, 2007

Our Blog Has Moved!!!

Hey everyone,

We have a new site which will be the one that will be updated regularly.

Check us out at http://www.theplanetd.com for all of our latest and greatest adventures!!

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Posted by: davendeb | November 2, 2007

The Countdown Continues.

I feel that I haven’t been writing in my blog as much as I should. When we are in Africa, I guarantee that I will give more regular updates, but even as I write this paragraph now, I wonder what I am going to tell you…..hmmm

To begin with, I will let you in on something that goes through my head daily.

I can’t believe how much needs to be done for this trip!!! Every day, I add another task to the list. It just goes on and on. At times I am quite overwhelmed.

We are giving up our Loft and moving out on November 30th. Our fantastic friends Greg and Jody are kindly letting us crash at there place until we leave. Of course my wonderful family has offered to put us up as well, but they don’t live in Toronto so it wouldn’t work out. We still have to make a living before we go and our jobs hold us here in the city. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take time off from now until we leave to train, relax and socialize? Ah to dare to dream.

Yes, we will be living the life of squatters for the month of December, bouncing from place to place trying to not inconvenience people too much. But inevitably we will anyway. Brace yourself, here come Dave and Deb.

Right now our place looks like a tornado went through it. We are in the midst of putting everything into storage and I can’t find anything on a daily basis. The more I pack, the more disorganized I become.

And forget about trying to pack for Africa.

In the words of Helen Hunt in As Good as it Gets…..”There is no way to pack for this trip.” I have done my fair share of travel, but I have no idea where to begin when it comes to deciding what to take for a 4 month journey by bicycle. Between all of the spare bike parts, camping gear, camera gear, biking clothes, trekking clothes, travel clothes, maybe a little something nice to wear out once in a while etc., I don’t know what I am going to do. The one thing I hate more than anything, is over packing. Dave and I once made the mistake of travelling through Central America with full Dive Gear in tow. It was not a pleasant experience. Last year when we visited my parents in Florida, we seemed to think that since we were driving down, we could take whatever we want with us. We had way too much and it made me miserable. REALLY, I am a weird minimalist.

On to other news…

We joined a new spinning gym here in High Park and it is fantastic. Did our first “Gravity” class and what a great work out, it really complements the cycling. I am really enjoying spinning again because I can finally go at my own pace. I spent the summer trying to keep up with Dave and now, I feel that I can finally do a proper workout where my heart rate isn’t racing at 90% all of the time.  We bought a one month all inclusive pass again and you know us, we will be there all of the time. Not because we are super motivated people, its because we want to get our money’s worth!

Our fund raising is starting to take off.  Our giving page is working great! click on the icon “donate now” and you are taken to a link to donate directly to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  What a difference it makes.  Thanks to all of the people who have given so generously so far.  Your names are listed on the page!

Our good friends Lorri and Shawn are hosting a fund raising event for us to raise some more money for the Foundation,  and a big thanks to them and all of the people who are coming out.   People have been really amazing and it feels great to be giving to such a great cause.  Hopefully we will be able to visit some of the projects that they are supporting while we are there.  We will have to talk to them about that to see if it is even possible.

So it is going to be a crazy month.  We sent our Sudan Visa Application away today and are hoping that it doesn’t take too long.  We need to get our passports back ASAP so that we can send away for our Ethiopian Visa.  It is a stressful thing to be without a passport.   If they don’t come back in time, we are stuck. The Sudan Visa could take 3 weeks minimum and that will take us to the month of December.  Yikes, only 3 weeks in December until Christmas holidays and we leave on January 2nd. Hope we get them back in time. Everything should be fine, but I have a bad habit of worrying too much.

Posted by: davendeb | October 15, 2007

The Countdown Begins

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78 Days until we are on our plane to Cairo, and things are moving along far too quickly.

Time for an update.

img_1435small.jpgDave and I had a lovely day at the Toronto Bike Show yesterday. A one day blowout event that was insane. 9:30 am we were lined up with the masses drinking our Tim Hortons in the chilly morning air. It was a take no prisoners event and I was in top form scooping bike shorts off the rack right out from under a “not so savvy” shoppers nose, elbowing my way through the crowd, sending Dave to stand in line while I scoured the racks of clothing and balancing arm loads of tubes in one hand while stacks of jerseys were draped over the other. Dave as usual was amazing at bartering for a bargain. I felt like we were back in Vietnam all over again as he asked for a better deal if we buy in bulk. We made a great haul, updating our biking wardrobe and gathering our spare parts. As far as our equipment and gear goes, we are doing great.

As far as riding goes, things are getting better. We have managed to get back into doing our long rides on the weekends and have enjoyed awesome weather. We had a wonderful ride on Thanksgiving weekend riding from my sister Teresa’s place along Lake Erie. img_1432small.jpgGreat scenery and fabulous weather – who could ask for more. Dave is riding spectacularly and I am so amazed with his abilities to go with so little sleep each week. (He is going to hate me for writing this, but that’s his problem for letting me write the blog) No we are not in the Netherlands, that is Port Burwell Ontario, windmills line the coast of Lake Erie. It is really beautiful there.

Speaking of Dave, he is once again way too busy on the Hulk (This movie better be a Blockbuster) working very long hours. I am talking pre-dawn to after dark. Not the best business for trying to get training rides in. And I am dealing with 10 stitches right at my sitting bone. No getting on a bike for me this weekend. I originally thought that I would be out for a few days, but it is going to be a week and a half! When I read other people’s blogs, I am very intimidated and stressed about all of the riding they are getting in. Where do they find the time and dedication? No problem though, back to spinning classes this week, and hopefully the mild weather holds out so we can still do long rides on the weekends.

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Dave had a nice ride today in Niagara Falls. Made me think of how in just a few months from now we will be at Victoria Falls. Brilliant!!! The weather is getting colder now, and he had the chance to try out his cold weather gear. Happy to hear it passed the test since I am using the same stuff. I wonder how cold it is going to get in Africa. I think that it is a little chilly in Egypt when we start, but bring it on baby..We are Canadian!

Posted by: davendeb | September 24, 2007

Training? What Training?

We have had a lot of people ask us what type of training we are doing for the trip. For quite a while there, we were doing great. Long rides on the weekends, intervals during the week. Going to the gym to work on weights, running on the treadmill, stretching… We were doing great. Our mileage was up to 300 km every week we were really getting used to putting in the time on the saddle..

Now however, things have stalled.

By the end of this week, Dave will have worked 21 days in a row non stop on The Incredible Hulk. Obviously he hasn’t had much of a chance to ride. 7 days a week and 12 hours a day can really put a dent in the training schedule. He is pretty dedicated though and has managed to fit in some rides after work .

I have taken the opportunity of Dave working these insane hours to avoid any strenuous exercise what so ever and keep myself busy with everything but working out. There is a lot that needs to be done for the tour and it is my duty to save Dave from having to do all of these mundane things later on right? So I will force myself to take on the responsibility of shopping!

The end of season sales at the bike shops are great at the moment. We now have shiny new jerseys and shorts, arm and leg warmers, colourful socks and some stylish hoodies which won’t be coming to Africa with us, but they were a great deal! I have taken the bikes in for tune ups (again and again), we have bought most of our spare bike parts (aside from the little things), we have our camping gear organized, have all of our shots from the travel doctor, our prescriptions are filled, and I am pretty sure of where we are going to stay in Cairo for our 10 days prior to the tour. I have even rented our storage locker and started packing up a few things in our apartment. We are looking good!

I am a little obsessive about being prepared way ahead of time to avoid having too much to do in December. However, all I am really doing is missing out on great riding weather. It is going to be cold soon and I am going to wish that I was on my bike more in September so that maybe I could take it easier in the colder months. Too late now.
I have to admit that I do feel good that so much is done though. I really feel that I can let myself get back to my workouts 100%. I am ready to ride again baby, and I hopefully won’t be stressing as much about the overwhelming “to do” list that I have waiting for me at home.

Today, I got back in the game and joined Nani and the gang for a group ride. It is surprising how quickly stamina can go (at least for me). I didn’t feel nearly as strong as my last 120km ride two weeks ago. I was pretty tired for most of the day and cursed myself for being so lazy. Why didn’t I go to the gym, why didn’t I get up and go for a jog? Why didn’t I join Dave for a ride in the park after work? Questions that can only be answered with a “because you are a lazy bum Deb.”

The Gang
O.K, O.K, I am not a lazy bum, I WAS a lazy bum, because as of today, I am back in training mode. And I promise to keep it up until I am on the plane to Cairo. I have no choice. Time is going faster than expected and I am not at all where I wanted to be by now. Here is a picture of the ride today, you can barely see me squatting behind Nani in the yellow jersey.

I have to say that I am really proud of Dave though, he had a few hours off while waiting for a location move today, so he came home and did an hour and a half of hard interval training. What a guy!

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