This has become a familiar routine but the joy never wears off. A knock each day from the postman, a slow accumulation of little gear piles in the corner of my room: electronics, camping gear, food, personal, miscellaneous.
Yes, expedition time is approaching and slowly loose ends are being bound together like frayed rope-ends being cured by a….hold on! I haven’t packed a lighter yet.
During my first two adventure projects I got a little carried away by the sudden realisation that if I had a cool project it meant I could blag free stuff. Seriously, someone even sent me a remote control car because I managed to convince them that it would help me skateboard across Australia.
But those times are gone. The glee I now feel when receiving a sponsored product is akin to placing one of the final pieces into a nearly completed jigsaw puzzle. Almost everything I travel with is necessary. An ElliptiGO is about 30% harder to power than a bicycle, so add a trailer full of gear behind and there’s a challenge on the cards. Keeping things light is essential.
Each day next week, starting on Monday, I’ll be sharing ideas on how to make your expedition happen, from deciding what you need to obtaining sponsorship, getting over the inevitable rejection from some potential partners and also ensuring that you do a good job for those who have chosen to support you.
On April 30th myself & Squash Falconer set off from Liverpool on our ElliptiGO elliptical trainers with 3000 miles of road and 5 European countries ahead of us.
We’re encouraging people to come and join us on the road, spread the word, set up events to get people on our ElliptiGOs at the same time as helping us raise thousands for CoppaFeel!’s efforts towards breast cancer awareness and pre-detection.
If you know anyone on the route who might be willing to host us, have Squash and I deliver an entertaining and motivating talk, get friends out to ride with us for a brief while, or just to simply spread the word, please let us know.
The days/ nights in bold capitals below are the ones where we’re looking for someone to set up an event in the evening. And of course, if you’d like to join us for a day or just a few hours, this’ll give you an idea of where we will be.
Tue 30 April - Liverpool to Nantwich
Wed 1 May - Nantwich to Derby
Thu 2 May - SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LEICESTER & NORTHAMPTON
Fri 3 May - Milton Keynes (event @ 7pm)
Sat 4 May - WE’D LIKE TO HOLD A LONDON EVENT
Sun 5 May - Hyde Park, 3pm
6 May - Brighton
7 May - SOMEWHERE IN KENT
8 May - Gravesend, 5pm
9 May - BETWEEN CHELMSFORD & IPSWICH
10 May - Harwich to Rotterdam ferry
Taken from an April 2013 interview with Cheaptents.com - read the rest of the interview here:
CheapTents: All of your Expedition 1000 journeys have / will be carried out using non-motorised transport. Would you like to see a future where the majority of travel is carried out with non-motorised transport?
Dave Cornthwaite: Naturally. Modern-day humans are so set apart from our ancestors. We rush around in fast, metal cages, fuelled as a consequence of plundering the Earth. So many people seem to live as fast as they can before they die and it’s an awful waste of time, it’s sad. Non motorised travel not only keeps us fit and healthy, but it allows us time to think and develop an understanding of who we are, and a greater connection to the world around us – people and planet. Healthier, happier people result, and I don’t think the wider benefits of that could be argued.
Three weeks ago Miguel Endara broke his ankle after slipping off his skateboard in Miami’s Coconut Grove. Just a few roads away and ten months earlier Miguel, his wife and two friends serendipitously walked across a junction as I pedalled up on a Bikecar. I was on top of the world, had just crossed over 1000 miles on a ruddy great hunk of aluminium and office chair, and had only a few hundred metres to go before the end of my 6th big journey.
I was in no hurry and the group were a by then typical mixture of curious and friendly. One of the guys said he’d been thinking of doing a big bike ride up the East Coast and I gave him my card. A week later he came to an event I was speaking at, and a few days after that he ended up taking the Bikecar off my hands. During that exchange Miguel told me he worked in advertising but was slowly pursuing a new career as an artist and a filmmaker. ‘If you ever need someone to film a journey,’ he said, ‘give me a call.’
So I did. A couple of months later Miguel flew into Sioux City, Iowa, to join up with my team for the first few days of Swim1000. Out of his own pocket he decided to fly in two months later as myself and my final three teammates covered the last 100 miles of the Missouri River into St Louis. And then we said goodbye.
Miguel didn’t have a huge portfolio when we first met but from what he showed me I had no doubt that he’d produce an incredible short film from the days he spent on the Missouri with us, and this is coming from someone who has an innate suspicion of anyone who holds a camera.
I woke up two nights ago for no reason. I never wake up in the middle of the night, I like dreaming too much. I couldn’t sleep. I checked my email, and there was a link to the film from Miguel. ‘Enjoy’ he wrote. That was it. I watched it three times, pumping my hands in the air countless times. Sheer delight. It was beautiful.
The first time I let someone else make a film about an adventure of mine it was a frickin’ disaster, so much so it put me off having anyone on board in that capacity for the best part of 6 years, but I’d work with Miguel again in a heartbeat. The guy is a true professional, a pleasure to spend time with, and he managed to put together an incredible film having shot most of it perched high on team gear in the middle of a canoe.
Personally, this journey was the hardest of my life. It was peppered with issues that made me sometimes wish I’d gone solo or made different choices. The resultant stress meant I was dealing with ulcers from the fifth day of the journey through to the end, and that’s even before swimming 1001 miles whilst dragging a raft tired me out!
Except for the countless times where we met incredible strangers (like the Feltmans in the film) I struggled to enjoy my time on the Missouri, for much of expedition I was unable to clear my head and I’ll admit, my inability to cope with the pressure meant it was rarely fun for myself or any of the team. They deserve a mention here, each person who joined me on the river took a leap of faith having never taken on an adventure of that scale before. It was with great relief that after everything we eventually finished happy. Beat, but happy.
We also fell vastly short of the initial fundraising target, which I found desperately disappointing, and I hope this can be rectified somewhat by the film’s success, but now there is something that creates a positive memory from the river. This film has made all of the effort mean something, this journey was unimaginably tough for everyone involved and it deserved to leave a legacy. Now it has.
Had Miguel not broken his ankle we’d still be waiting to see the Swim1000 film but I’m delighted to be able to share it with you now. I really hope you enjoy it and if you do, please send the credit Miguel’s way - it’s all down to him.
And please don’t let him forget that once his ankle heals, he has an East Coast cycle journey waiting for him!
Without further ado, please watch the film at www.swim1000film.com
And check out Miguel Endara’s art @ www.miguelendara.com
We wanted to share the film for free so as many people get to see it as possible. If you enjoyed it and appreciate the effort behind its creation and the expedition itself, please do make a small donation to CoppaFeel! Now, go and enjoy it! And please share the Swim1000 Film website with your friends!