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Friday, December 30, 2011

Michael Paull: 12,000 Kilometres, Beginning in January

As the holidays wind down and we do our best to metabolize the excess food that this season foists upon us — without too much complaining on our part, we have to admit — we are thinking about our wonderful friend Michael, who is about to work off his eggnog in a big way.

In January, Edmonton entrepreneur Michael Paull, is going to begin an epic bicycle trip from Cairo to Cape Town in order to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia through HOPE International Development Agency. Michael has already raised a lot of money, and is set to raise much more through this 12,000 kilometer trip which he has dubbed H20pia.

Michael has a lively and fascinating website that is worth checking out: http://www.h2opia.ca/about/. The blog he keeps is particularly funny and well informed, just like Michael himself. His entry from July 22, 2011 details the practical concerns that such a journey raises, and gives a sense of how epic the experience will actually be:


“These four elements are the biggest areas of concern for me on this ride. If even one fails, it could be very uncomfortable four months.

Nutrition
I need to digest 2,500 of calories a day to maintain my weight. I burn 750 calories per hour while riding. My average ride will be between four and eight hours per day, which means I have to take in between 5,500 to 8,500 of calories a day.

Condition
I go to spin class four or five times a week, I swim once in awhile, I run around the block once or twice, and I ride outside on my bike for about 500 km a week. Does that prepare me enough? Let's hope so; when I am in Namibia I have a five-day ride that is 825 km.

Hydration
When you ride outside, you don't realize how much water you lose since it dries up from the sun and the wind. In the Sudan, temperatures will be in the 40s. In Alberta, 28 degrees works up quite a sweat, so this could be very interesting. Getting enough liquids and cooling my body down will be the most important factors for me if I want to complete the ride.

Recovery
After four to eight hours of pedaling a bike, I'll finally get to relax. But first, I'll have to set up a tent and unpack my gear. There are the sand storms, the rainy season, and just the everyday exhaustion to contend with as well. Stretching is important if I want to get back on the bike tomorrow and do it all over again.”

Please keep Michael in your thoughts and do check out his website or Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/mikesh2opia.

Maybe he’ll inspire you to do something on the incredible side in 2012.

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