There is a strong feeling of guilt when you are partaking in a world record but you find yourself trying to slow your own pace.
This is the situation we are confronted with as we arrive in Tbilisi, the limit of our cycling in the Caucasus region.
Despite 18 months of meticulous planning in the lead up to our departure, there are many variables in which we have no control, Mother Nature being one we hold great respect for. During our preparation we based our departure date on several factors including the end of the Indian monsoon season, citing recent years monsoons as our best prediction tool. This year though, monsoon has been heavier and is due to last longer than expected, a miracle for Indian people who have suffered drought in recent times.
As we terminate in Tbilisi without the opportunity to continue further on our bicycle; only to continue with the use of a plane, due to visas and world record rules, we have reached a pivotal point in the trip earlier than expected. Our original itinerary to Tehran had us fly out of Iran and into India in the penultimate week of August. But having to divert to Tbilisi has shortened our route by a week, this coupled with the prolonged monsoon gives us a slight problem.
Another date we have to keep an eye on, and one planned into the original itinerary is our arrival in Australia, where we tackle the Nullarbor between Perth and Adelaide. This is a baron stretch of land, with few watering holes and strong winds, our toughest physical challenge of the record attempt. Arrive too late and we could face a head wind for 8 to 10 days, and our original date was planned to be just in time all being well.
Bloody logistics eh?!
So, do we fly to Mumbai and carry on with our journey, and speaking to our contacts in the country we could be faced with cycling in near 24 hour rain and flooding in an attempt to stay on target and ensure we reach Australia before November. Or do we wait, rest and recoup, until monsoon subsides then set off again, with potential benefits to health and morale but potentially making our Nullarbor crossing a lot tougher in Australia.
We would love to hear your opinions, but as we speak we wait until our flight from Tbilisi on Sunday, where we transfer in the UAE, stopping briefly to see close family friends. We will be keeping a constant eye on weather forecasts in India, monitoring to ensure we can make the right decision that we both agree on as a team.
Nevertheless, have a great weekend!
All the best,