It’s the New Year. In ten days I head off on my African bicycle trek. I wake up each morning and think: What am I doing? How did I sign up for this crazy adventure that may take up to four months, travel 12,000 kilometers through ten countries on a bicycle across a massive continent from north to south.

I’ve been training since September with my trainer Jean-Luc Mejane. I think of him as my very own personal Torquemada, the infamous Inquisition torturer. He has me doing things that I was certain would finish me off. Miraculously, I survived but after each ordeal he would devise fiendish new experiments on my body and sanity. Here’s a picture of me on my bike trainer. (It’s winter here in Canada so I’m doing all my riding indoors.)

Now it’s the final push but the main thing is supplies and packing. Every time I think I have it all together I remember something else I must absolutely have. It’s all got to fit into two duffel bags: tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow, lights, bicycle spare parts, cycling gear for months of long days on dusty roads, etc. This is what my prep room looks like.

Ten days!