Monday, 11 August 2008

Day 11 Okehampton to Lands End

Day 11 Okehampton to Lands End
On any normal day I wouldn't be out on my bike. Weather better than yesterday but still windy which is worse than rainy when cycling. Looking abel I can't believe I managed more than 5 miles yesterday. The going was hard because of the hills which in some ways are worse than in Scotland or Cumbria. Lower but much steeper. I figured I would have to ride 100 miles to the finish but of course it was a bit further. My body seemed to be protesting to what I was doing to it and all sorts of aches and pains were developing to make riding very uncomfortable. The afternoon seemed to go on for ever but eventually I reached Penzance and the home straight. 11 miles to go and it was getting dark. The signposts seemed to be contradicting themselves about the miles left and it was 6 miles to go forever. Even this point the thought crossed my mind to finish in the morning but I pushed on and crossed the line at 9.15 where Alice greeted me with a party popper and a can of lager.
Finished. Not sure exactly but must have ridden almost 1,100 miles in 11 days. Will to the maths when brain has started working again. Now for a quick sleep and then the ride back to London ;-)
114 miles
Av 13.4mph
Tis 8h26m

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Day 10 Wookie Hold to Oakhampton Really

Day 10 Wookie Hold to Oakhampton
Really bad.
It started raining as soon as I got up and I was soaked through and cold by the time I had packed up the tent. Took some short cuts to save some time but the rain and wind got worse and worse as I went on. It got a bit frightening at times because the wind was blowing me across the road and it was hard to see with all the rain. Eventually I had to give up as I was worried that the busy Devonshire weekend traffic couldn't see me even with ties dog lights on. Yet more nice old ladies insisted on refusing payment for my lasagne at lunchtime which was the only good part of the day. Hotel's nice though too I suppose. Big day tomorrow if I'm going to finish.
Miles 85
TIS 6h15m
Av 13.6 mph
Sorry no pics

Friday, 8 August 2008

Day 9 Leominster to Wookie Hole, nr Well

Day 9 Leominster to Wookie Hole, nr Wells (no star wars jokes please)
Funny how this works. Day 8 was horrid but today was great. Felt much better and although it was still tough I felt in better spirits. Net a couple of guys on a three day tour and rode with them to the Severn Bridge. Time flew by once distracted from own thoughts and staring at the bike computer. Didn't rain all day and was warm but not too hot so good cycling weather and nice to camp in a dry field too. A nice family made me a cup of tea when I arrived, I obviously looked a bit of a state, and I chatted to them for a bit. Definitely going to be 11 days as I still have just over 200 miles to go. Miles 116
Avs 14.2
Tis 8h6m
Nipped in for quick cup of tea with Pat on route

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Day 8 Nantwich to Leominster. Fantastic

Day 8 Nantwich to Leominster.
Fantastic morning and beautiful weather. Felt like a proper English summer day. Sometimi happened after lunch and I felt really tired. It started raining again and I was really struggling. May have been not enough food or drink. Cyclists call it 'bonking' and it's not very nice. I tried to grind out a few more miles and managed 90 before finding a hotel. Plan is to eat and sleep as much as possible. I've done 800 miles and Should only have 230 left according to the schedule. However, there are footnotes to the route that say milage may differ as the notes have evolved over time. I reckon I have 312 left. This has almost certainly messed up my plan to do it in 10 days. 11 looks more likely unless I can figure out some shortcuts or ride further than I ever have on two consecutive days. We'll see. To help things I think I have 2 cold and the palms of my hands have lost all feeling. All good fun though.
Ironbridge-18th century iron bridge (sorry, no other pics today)

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Day 7 Inglestone to Nantwich Didn't set

Day 7 Inglestone to Nantwich
Didn't set off until 10. Started raining immediately and didn't stop all day. Warm too so had to decide whether to stay dry and overheat or get soaked through. In the end I seemed to get soaked and boiled. Not a very scenic day. Found a way around the hills that I dodged last night (they started at 17%) and had to navigate through Preston and south. Lots of stopping to check map which means it's hard to get in to a rhythm. Again had to call on Alice to find me a room as I couldn't face putting up the tent in the rain and everything still being wet tomorrow. Felt good though and still quite cheery. Curry for tea again!
111 miles
14.9 mph
Small dead frog dried to my bike.

Day 6 Langholm to Inglestone Got an earl

Day 6 Langholm to Inglestone
Got an early start, hoping to get some extra miles in. Was in England after 9 miles. Got 50 in by lunch and awarded myself a long pub lunch. Couldn't stop laughing at the old couple next to me having the 'put your hearing aid in'. 'sorry, I can't hear you' conversation over and over again. I think they noticed. Hit a big hurdle just as I was hoping to push over 100 in the form me 30 miles me remote hills. It was wet, cold and getting dark so I got Alice to rescue me and book me b&b while I backtracked 5 miles. Bit depressing but b&b was great. Felt like I made progress though today having left Scotland and passed through Cumbria, Yorkshire and in to Lancs.
101 miles

Monday, 4 August 2008

Day 5 Kinross to Langholm Comfort of hot

Day 5 Kinross to Langholm
Comfort of hotel meant I didn't leave until 10 after loads of the best porridge ever. Good weather today and a nice ride to and over the Firth bridge to Edinburgh. Getting out of town was a rain and slowed me down loads. But once I got off the A roads i had the best 45 miles or so me the trip so far. Was even enjoying the hills for once. Campsite is a bit weird as only me and one other tent here bus it's nice and quiet apart from a stream just outside my front door. Bit worried that i'm still in Scotland after 5 days although I'm only a few miles from the border. Up early tomorrow to try and put a dent in the miles. Still feeling pretty good despite the now obvious mistake vibr was last night's curry.
Miles 106
Tis 7h30
Av 14.1 mph