2018 began with aching bones and a crumpled mind. It was taking longer than expected to recover from the previous year's waterbike journey along Norway's coast and in these situations a few things help the steady crawl out from a pit of adventure blues.
Problem is, winter doesn't bring much sunlight or incentive for exercise, so I turned to my old friend: planning an adventure.
I love having an idea and then making it happen without so much as a second thought, there is so much power in not letting any doubts get in the way of something crazy and just going for it. Mapping out a big old plan and finding support is right up there as one of my favourite things to do, and the focus and excitement generated from a project like this never leaves me feeling bluesy.
Quite often in the past this has resulted in a personal project or journey but as I write this in early March I still don't physically feel like heading off on my own trip.
So I got to thinking about creating a communal ride, one that would harness the potential power of the British public, include hundreds of different people in a single adventure, and one which would have a positive social and environmental impact along the way.
So, the idea is to launch a Schiller Bike into the English canal and river system in April 2018 and invite the public to claim a leg of a 2000-mile loop of the waterways. A leg could be an hour or a week - whatever people feel comfortable with, and along the way we'd aim to hold events alongside the journey and inspire regions far away to join a collective goal to pick up #onemillionpieces of litter from our beautiful countryside.
Just imagine how much positivity this adventure could create, and how many people could get involved to be a part of something bigger.
I'm excited. Are you?!
If you are, here's a really short form that will take about 30 seconds to fill in. Sign up if you're at all interested in riding a leg, getting a group of people involved, or simply supporting from afar.
Very soon I'll be building a small team to ensure that this project is successful as possible, and at this stage am totally opening to ideas, support and enthusiasm! We're also looking for a little corporate backing to cover the costs for at least one part-time co-ordinator to keep this going for what I reckon will be a project lasting from April to October. Any thoughts, pop a comment below or get in touch here.