Monday, May 01, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Day 10 Treyoran Bay to LANDS END
Final day had come at last - it already felt like it was over because I was staying in the holiday cottage - but i relunctantly dragged myself out of bed earlier to start the last leg. Thankfully the weather was rotten - well i didnt want to fool myself that it had been any different during the rest of the ride.
As expected the last 2 days had been packed with undulating hills - its very true that in Devon and Cornwall you just go up and down and that if the wind gets up in can get tough - so once again i was chuffed that this was another planned short day. (the head cold was also making the snot count high - but atleast the tramp clothes had had their first wash in 10 days - a relief to all those who had shared a cafe or pub with me)
Mist began to rise over the last few miles and so it was impossible to see the sea! - I did see the welcoming committee and the bottles of champagne (and the engraved silver tankard was a fantastic touch - thanks Val/Tel)
And then it was finally over - by the end there was a huge sense of relief - cycling many days on your own is more of a mental challenge than physical - theres only so many times that you can get amused by village road signs (Did you know that there is a crossroads in Cornwall with Ventigimps to the left and Cocks to the right- maybe i was just getting delusional)
Big thanks to all those people who texted and phoned messages - sorry that the site hasnt been updated over the last couple of days - there is no mobile reception where we are staying in Cornwall and surprisingly very few towns actually have internet cafes - oh well)
Day 9 Oakehampton to Treyoran Bay
Woke up to a phone call from the girls to say that they were on their way down. Met Amelie who clung onto me like a koala and Gaby who said "You stink of Piss" - I missed you too
Only had 55 miles to go to the cottage that we were staying in (North Cornwall) but a savage cold had begun to set in and these 55 miles flet like a 100. First glorious sunshine day of the entire tour - so plenty of bug chewing and sunburn. With just one break for my first cornish pasty in Camelford I was at the cottage for 2pm . Now this is the life - feet up with a local beer and no 5 hours cycling after lunch until the next B&B
Day 8 Little Sodbury to Oakehampton
This was a beast of a day - 120 miles in total over some of the meanest ups and downs that the south west had to throw at me. Weather was glorious - especially riding past Glastonbury Tor (listening to some great folk tracks on my ipod courtesy of Tom)
in total that was 365 miles complete in the last three days which meant that the job was nearly done. Stayed in the Fountain Pub Oakehampton which meant that there was zero sleep
Thursday, April 20, 2006
DAY 7 : Shrewsbury to Little Sudbury
Last night there was a late candidate for best B&B on tour: Dlyndene, not only did Jane (Landlady) point me in the right direction of a great local pub to watch the Arsenal match but she also put me on my way with a pack lunch of sausage sandwiches.
The day was all about grinding out more miles. There was a strong head-wind and regular bouts of rain to compound a slow days ride. Spent lunch eating my sausage sandwiches under a tree in Ledbury whilst it rained proverbial cats and dogs.
Limped into Little Sudbury and spent over an hour trawling the area for B&B's. Luckily found one with a great pub serving some great local ales.
To my No1 fan, Karen, thanks for all the support. Would you be interested in my next adventure ?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
DAY 6 : Kendal to Shrewsbury
After some worldly advice from James T I decided to pull my finger out and go that extra yard to Shrewsbury. This meant a bum crunching 9 hours in the saddle with a very satisfactory 139miles under the belt. Looking forward to repeating this tomorrow and possibly ending up in the Bristol area.
Favourite spot was a beautiful little village called Preston Brockhurst near Whitchurch.
Facts for the day: 3 bananas, 2nd half of birthday chocolate cake, Kendal mint cake covered in chocolate, 3 chocolate sports bars, 10 bottles of Lucozde and now off to the pub to watch the Arsenal.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Day 5 : Moffat to Kendal
The impossible dream came true - a full day with no rain - plenty of black cloud dodging but no actual pant soaking.
Spent a glorious morning cycling 45miles into Carlisle (an early contender for road of the week could be the B7076!) for my morning latte and blueberry muffin and then a tough 25 miles slogging up and down windy hills until Penrith for lunch. Plenty of unpleasant graoning and grunting going on here.
After lunch it went a little pear- shaped. The usual steak and ale pie had been replaced with a less substantial brie and avacado croissant (dont think that Lance would approve) and about five miles after Penrith i was knackered - half a chocolate birthday cake and banana helped the system but it was still slow-going all the way into Kendal where a mile to the B&B i suffered my first puncture.
Staying in the Hillside B&B which is the first internet friendly stop (so hot fave for best B&B on tour!) Total milage 91 (going down the A74 cut off some original miles and i didnt get arrested)
Loking forward to some vino and for some reason a fishermans pie would go down well
Highlight of Day: Speaking to Amelie on the phone and her asking me "Daddy are you using cream for your sore bum" - Yes Amelie all is well in the bum-bum world
Highlight 2 was entering England - sorry Darren but its good to be home
Cheers for all the messages (Tommy, Kumail, James E and T)
Monday, April 17, 2006
DAY 4 : Ardlui to Moffat
Very uneventful day today. 107 miles spent in the rain again. First mechanical problems with the bike. A slight altercation with the Lanarkshire police and a near 30mile road closure disaster. Ok, well maybe it wasn't 107miles in the rain more like 96miles. There was a candidate for the world's worst road outside of Russia, the B7078 which parallels the M74. After 20miles of pot-hole hell I saw an exit sign to Abingdon and pretty quickly realised that I was on the M74. 8miles later and 50yards from the turn off I felt the presence of the local constabulary who after giving me some friendly advice about cycling 40miles per/hour on the hard shoulder and ignoring my pleas about my charity fund-raising they issued me with a £30 penalty fine. After slinking away it was another 25miles in the wet wind to Moffat. With about 3miles to go I found that the 10mile road that I had just come down was actually a closed road and I had to plead and beg for the construction company to be given a special passage through the construction site and then on my way to Moffat.
Facts for the day: great pub lunch in the Auld House (thanks Katie and Warren ps your house is still standing), the 2 pants rotational squad is suffering under the strain and no bananas today.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Day 3 : Invermoriston to Ardlui
Lets start off by mentioning the highlights: the sausage with the full English breakfast at the Darroch View B&B and the steak & ale pie at the Kings House hotel.
Now let me tell you about the grim Scottish weather ! Day started off cold and windy and then became cold, wet and windy and then became bitterly cold and windy then became bitterly cold and verociously wet and gale force windy. After 40miles of very slow going I picked up the pace for 15miles as I hit Glencoe which was full of coffee shops, bistros and pubs. Because I was going so well, I decided to carry on for a few more miles before lunch. Unfortunately 2miles after leaving Glencoe I got the bonk. Problem was I was now at the beginning of the Glencoe causeway which was a 7 mile drag uphill and the heavens opened. After my steak & ale pie which perked me up I had the fortune of my dad turning up to carry me home for the final 35miles. This was a true blessing as all 35miles were in the lashing rain, more gale force winds and sub-zero temperatures. Winds were so strong that I had to break going downhill so as not to be blown off the mountain.
Facts for the day: 3 bananas, 1 satsuma, 1 chocolate shortbread, 1 hotcross bun, some very wet underwear and cycled 98miles.