Day one of the California blog was probably the longest of my life.

Leaving London in an old 747 at 1.45pm, myself and Products Editor Mike Hawkins landed nine hours later, at 4pm. Making for a 35hr day. Knowing that jetlag is nature’s way of punishing us for polluting the skies, I spent hours, if not days (OK a few minutes), working out a cast iron strategy for beating the dreaded J’lag.

It failed. Miserably.

A few hours snooze-time on the plane meant I just about stayed awake until 10.30pm US time. By that time I was so tired I could have slept through a bomb blast, but that didn’t stop me waking up at 03.30 in the morning feeling as bright as a button. I had even bought some Nytol in an attempt to give me a good nights sleep, but in the words of Richard Aschroft, the drugs don’t work. The ingredients ‘Dogwood Jamaica’, and ‘Pulsatilla’ have inspired me to start an ‘I Support Drug-Free Sleep’ campaign. Wristbands will soon be available from www.Zzzzzzzz?.com

After landing, Mike and I headed off to pick up the hire car in which we’d follow the Tour of California. We’d booked an old Jeep via the internet and were all set to drive off in that until we saw what was parked next to it in the Lot. A bright-red, convertible Mustang.

Amazingly, there was no extra charge that we’d have to sneak past the boss on the expenses forms, so off we drove in a car that would perhaps give passers by the wrong impression as to the nature of our relationship, but would at least let the American journalists on the race know that CW had a bit of style. And what the hell, it’s our very own ‘Great Red Shark’, and although we’re not going to Vegas we can still pay homage to Hunter S Thompson’s image of the American Dream in our own small (and slightly more responsible) way.

We join the race later today to see if the organisers can fudge it so the ‘local boy’ can stay in gold.

Have you been rung by a work colleague at 5am who couldn’t be bothered to work out the time difference? If so email