I’m sat at Bristol Airport wondering how all this works. I left home over 11days ago and finally I’m here, waiting to fly to Cork in Ireland.
The whole time I’ve been away, I’ve been bathed in glorious sunshine. From the moment I began to ride with Sustrans, until now, it’s got hotter and hotter. Who would have thought that a few weeks ago?
The first day of the Sustrans ride, after I gave my round Britain tak the previous night, the wheels began to stick on the trailer. I’d sent it back for Nick at Carry Freedom to look at it and it came home with a clean bill of health.
This was important, as the wheels have to come off to fly my box to Cork. I could always freight the thing home from the end of the ride.
By the final day of the Sustrans ride, both wheels were firmly in place and not moving. Nothing I tried would release them. Major problem.
Whilst Michele drove me to Cornwall,I spoke to Nick. By the end of the conversation, it was agreed that a new trailer would be sent down. That was Monday. By Thursday, a new pair of axles arrived with an explanation of why Nick chose to do this. As I couldn’t remove the wheels, it wasn’t a lot of help.
Instead of panicking, I set about thinking. The only realistic option was to have one more try at releasing the wheels. I spoke to Alasdair at MSG Bikes, and tried everything he suggested to no avail.
I was furious, all the logos and sponsors logos were on the box and I now had to abandon it, Trevor and all.
Saturday was spent fetching racks from home and buying Ortlieb panniers to take the luggage. Logos were removed using Michele’s hairdryer, and stuck to the rear panniers.
Kit was sorted and replaced to suit the new shaped spaces and most of the weekend disappeared in a frenzy of activity. Eventually it was all sorted out and I was ready to hit the road again.
Either side of this, the riding has been sublime. Cornwall in the sun saw me leaving Lands End with a few tears and a great deal of hope. I made my way to Barnstaple over three days and fortunately had an extra day in hand to sort the above out.
That left me three days to ride to the airport direct, instead of going to see friends in Bristol. The ride over Exmoor was exquisite. Once Michele and I had wound our way slowly to the top, we ate, said goodbye, and I was left to cruise to Dulverton before flogging my way up to Wimbleball lake.
I always take the hilly routes. Cornwall was the same, as I rode the coastal roads with their huge climbs and beautiful views.
The following day 8 made my way to Glastonbury, a town that seems to try too hard to be cool. On route I had to climb the infamous Cothelstone Hill. I could have avoided it, but it presents a challenge and showed me clearly where my fitness was at.
Even todays ride saw me cross the Mendip hills, no mean feat first thing, but the picnic at the top was worth it. I had to laugh when I sat on the highest ground around without a phone signal. What is it with my routes, that I never seem to have a signal for the phone or the Internet?
Anyway, here I am, ready to fly. I’m nervous and spoke to my therapist this morning. Motions are flying at the prospect of doing something I haven’t done in many years. Before that, I have to prepare the bike and equipment into fly able parcels.
Right now, I’m sat outside feeling relaxed, waiting patiently for the time to come when I can lose the luggage and wander freely.
I need to thank a few people before I depart. Sustrans put on a great ride, and big thanks to Kate for that. It was fun riding with so many people and being provided for our every whim. Adele, who runs the cafe in Treen where I took a days rest, gave me a mountain of food for the next two days. Michele, for being Michele, generous to a fault, taking me to Cornwall, keeping me company, putting me up for two days, and helping massively when thing went pear-shaped.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again. I may have to do it via somebody in the Uk. The cost of data usage is £3 a megabits, so there won’t be too many pictures!
Enjoy the sun whilst it lasts, you will all be in my thoughts,even when I can’t post updates.
Au Revoir, and please please please, donate whatever you can at www.justgiving. Com/Riding2Recovery . Mind need every penny I can raise.
See you all soon:)