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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Saturday, September 25th, 2010|
|Back in Girona
Magnificent Seven from Torbay CTC mad it back to Girona - after 530 miles and over 20 cols. It´s been a great trip, and the weather has been fine and dry for over 95% of the time!
|Saturday, September 18th, 2010|
Seven intrepidos from CTC Torbay now in Girona. Enjoying walks around the town and asembling the bikes!
Skies are greying, weather not looking so clever for the Pyrenean tour which starts in earnest tomorrow.
|Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010|
Almost had a day off the bike!
Just ten miles around the block on the racer, which feels very light and twitchy after pedalling the ironmongery around for a month.
Total distance was 2625 miles, which surprised me as cutting out Ardnamurchan, Applecross and Aberdeen must have knocked off 200, so I actually covered the mileage that I had originally estimated, but at a lower average - 90 miles per day, which is fair going considering the weight of the bike.
I think it must be the wheels - the bike is really heavy even with the bags off. Rhyno rims are solid alloy, so probably overkill? Bomb proofing the bike certainly made it do the job but I wonder how much easier it would have been to push if I'd gone down the lightwieght path?
Raised about £800 so for, and money is still coming in so hopefully will get at least 2 Shelterboxes. Current Mood: busy
|Back to the beginning
Now back at home - was it all a dream?
Had a good finishing stage, but very hot, sticky and hilly!
About 107 miles down from Bournemouth.
Stopped for a bit of a gorge at the Top 'O Town cafe in Dorchester. Bacon Butty and huge portion of apple & Strawberry crumble and custard.
Total mileage looks to be over 2,600 with climbing way in excess of 100,000ft, GPS isn't showing it on the screen, maybe it will on the download.
It was great, and I'd love to do it all again!
Thanks to all of you have supported and encouraged me during this ride! Current Mood: jubilant
|Sunday, June 20th, 2010|
|South West quest!
Spent last night in a stable condition after a battering from the weather. Temperatures dropped from 20 to 10 degrees during some very cold wet squalls. Horrible headwinds and generally very hilly.
Stable was a conversion at the Coach and Horses where I stayed a Cowfold.
Today's ride was down to Bournemouth, stopping over with Annemarie & Nigel. Did about 95 miles, through Midhurst and Petersfield, met a guy called Nigel from ChandlersFord and rode along the lanes with him. He's just done London-Brighton earlier on.
More head and crosswinds today, and amazingly a South Westerly headwind into Bournemouth just to complete the set. Early start tomorrow off to do the last 115 miles home!
|Saturday, June 19th, 2010|
|Long days and crosswinds!
Bashed out a few miles the last couple of days.
From Scamblesby had a fairly good run down to Newmarket. A mixture of cross and tailwinds sometiems helping on fast flat roads. Went through Boston and Wisbech, and on down through Ely, and ended up with B&B at the White Lion pub in Newmarket with 116 miles on the clock.
I was concerened about getting to Tilbury for the ferry so set of from Newmarket at 9.15 and pedalled steadily through the morning through saffrom Wldan and Great Dunmow.
It was exactly 70 to Tilbury and I got there just after 3pm and the ferry was waiting. Full battle conditiions prevailed with the traffic through Gravesend and Rochester - not a pleasant part of the UK to cycle the South East!
I couldn't confirm any accomodation at Canterbury so decided to blast on down the A2 in Audax mode, and got down to Dover, and found a nice little B&B called Blue Bells.
Now leaving Dover and heading for Folkestone and all roads West - Homeward Bound! Not sure where today - coast may be busy so nmay head towards Petersfield/Midhurst.
|Thursday, June 17th, 2010|
|Hills in Lincolnshire?
Left Whitby yesterday morning ( what a beautiful place - a bit like Dartmouth/Brixham/Looe/St.Peterport all roleld into one.)
Rode down to Robin Hoods Bay - had some interesting burning rubber smells from teh front brakes.
Ankle was still pinging so I walked up the long climb out of Fylingthorpe.
Continued on down to Scarborough and Bridlington ( lovely old town - thanks to the Bridlington Old Town association for a £5 donation).
Continued through Driffield - am,azing I could see the tops of the Humber Bridge and it was over 20 miles away!
Continued down to Beverely, over the bridge and through some nice B roads and lanes which took me to Scamblesby near Louth where I stayed in a lovely converted barn!
The last ten miles were a shock - I hit the wolds and suddenly found myself dragging 250 feet up hills and gradients! Never expereineced that in Lincolnshire before!
Just had a very monotonous ride down to Skegness with - you've guessed it A HEAD WIND!!!
Heading in the direction of Spalding - St.Ives - Saffrom Walden, don't know how far I'll get - did 122 miles yesterday! Current Mood: happy
|Tuesday, June 15th, 2010|
|Coast and Castles
Had a good day yesterday with 103 miles down to Edmondbuyers, after visiting Lindisfarne Castle at Holy Island. It was a fast run down the A1 to Alnwick and then B roads to Morpeth, and lanes and then A68 up Kiln Pit Hill to the morrs and onto the village.
Today started off really tired. Something happened to my ankle on one of the climbs on the A68. It was really hurting and stiff to move. I eventually rolled out of the hill after Tow Law, and tried to avoid Darlington and Middlesborough, but ended up zig-zagging all over the place.
Found some nice lanes through to Stokesley and then main roads and coastal route through Skelton and on onto Whitby.
Staying at the Youth Hostel which is part of the ruined Abbey - superb coastal scenery and sunset.
Ankle packed in again on one of the coastal climbs. Hoping to take it really gently on the hills - should be over the Humber some time tomorrow and on to more level lands! Current Mood: optimistic
|Monday, June 14th, 2010|
Second spoke in the rear wheel pinged yesterday - the first one went bang on the way to John O Grotas.
Wheel wass getting quite spring as I had to slacken off 4 more spokes to true it.
Visited Wilson Cycles in Berwick - they pulled the block off fro me, so spokes now replaced and tweaked up - hopefully this will get me home!
Thanks to Declan and his family who I met on teh Forth Road Bridge yesterday - they gave me £5.50 for shelterbox.
Off to Lindisfarne now! Current Mood: determined
|Sunday, June 13th, 2010|
|Over the border!
Had a fast 103 mile run yesterday from Aviemore, climbed the Drumochter pass at 1500ft ( you'd hardly notice it! ) - but gave up on the cycletrack to Pitlochry. It started OK, but after a couple of miles of trying to avoid great holes, and areas of gravel, and swerving in and out of gates and over bridges, the average speed was dropping to 9mph, and I certainly didn't fancy trying to descend at speed on the sort of surface provided!
Pitlochry was a nice town - stuffed some pasta down, and headed on for Perth. Met the two Mikes again, returning to Alnwick and Newcastle after riding the Sportif.
Stopped at Perth ( Lovely town/city!) for Fish & Chips, and then took B roads through Glenfarg ( 400 + feet climb!) to Kinross and nice B&B.
Left Kinross at 9.30 - had two miles in the dry - then thick drizzle came in.
Found Forth Road Bridge - East cycle track was closed so had 45 steep steps down and another 45 back up to get to the other side.
After that needed a cup of coffee at Queensferry. Then tried picking my was into Edinburgh using cycle track ( bikes banned on some of the "A" roads.) It was Ok in places but signeage became abysmal and one section left me stranded in a council estate, so I gave up and used the roads through Leith and Mussleborough out to Dalkeith.
The Lammermuir hills were pretty despite low cloud and drizzle, and very tiring on the legs!
Weather improved on the East side, and it was quite a pleasant evening when I arrived at BoT. Found a backpackers hostel in Bridge Street, really nice place and nice people.
Not sure where I'm going tomorrow - Lindsifarne first for sure - then South, maybe to Morpeth and the A68 Current Mood: tired
|Saturday, June 12th, 2010|
At Dalwhinnie, ahving a cup of coffee and cake after arguing with a crosswind for 25 miles. It's mainly west and not helping much - hopefully it will do as the road starts to turn Eastwards in a few miles!
Saw two "Shelterbox" vans driving North through Kingussie.
Leaving Aviemore soon and heading for Pitlochry and probably Kinross tonight which should give me a chanve to head through Edinburgh on a quiet Sunday morning.
Wind is now blowing from the so hopefully that is going to help me on the way today!
Nowhere booked tonight - see where I end up!
Photo - Brodie at Brodie! Current Mood: bouncy
|Friday, June 11th, 2010|
|Castles and Cairngorms.
Left the Lee's at 8.30 am and headed off into Inverness.
Shopped for food stocks and then headed out on Culloden Road to the Culloden Battlefield, and had coffee at the centre there.
Continued on the fairly busy "B" roads and then main road to Brodie. Stopped at Cawdor Castle on way but you couldn't see it for the trees and it had an £8.50 price tag!
Weirdness at Brodie - as I stood to take photo on timer, and Tornado blasted right over my head just as the camera clicked!
Lovely lanes and a superb road to Carbridge - rising to 1230ft and superb mountain views. Met several people on bikes inc. Helen from Holland who rode with me for a few miles - she used to be a vet in Callington.
An odd thing happened when a herd of bullocks stampeded in the field adjacent to us and crashed through the fence and demolished another gaet into another field. Managed to shoo a few of them back into the other field but they were very agitated!
Met another guy out training
Almost got scuppered with accomodation - the whole area is jammed with people, as there is a Sportif tomorrow and a golf contest going on.
Managed to squeeze into Aviemore Hostel, and had a good meal at Cairngorm Hotel.
NW winds forecast tomorrow - so may try to blast as near to Edinburgh as I can get!
Over 1500 miles down and almost 100,000ft of climbing but still a way to go :-)
|Thursday, June 10th, 2010|
Arrived at Drumnadrochit at 7pm after a steady days ride from Helmsdale.
Weather was good with a tailwind mostly, and not much climbing.
Off to Brodie tomorrow.
|Wednesday, June 9th, 2010|
80 easy miles to Helmsdale, with a lot of nice tailwind today.
Heading to Drumnadrochit tomorrow, and will then work out the route out of Scotland!
Feels like the turning point as I left John O'Groats this morning.
I battled for 3 miles against the wind to get to Duncansby Head, but the wind has kindly escorted me back to Thurso.
It's been a hard couple of days, - from Tongue I left quite late as I met a nice gent there who let me use his PC to do some uploads and blogging. When I got going the rain started and at Bettyhill it started to get very wet, so I went into the Hotel and ordered a haggis & Cheese Panini.
After that I stopped to chat toe the Digital UK guys at melvic as they've just switched over up here, and then it was into the rain and a headwing battering all the way to J'O G. I called in at Dunnet Head on the way as the rain eased for half an hour, but after that it gave me a good soaking all the way to the hostel.
I'm now retracing the road back towards Melvic, and then turning South and down Strath Hallidale - should be pretty, and quiet and out of the winf I hope!!!
|Tuesday, June 8th, 2010|
|Over the top!
Only 60 wee miles yesterday but boy was I knackered.
Poxy wind swung East after Cape Wrath which itself was a fair old pull.
I was grateful for ten miles of tailwind down the Loch, but cursed the last 20 miles of climbing and headwind to Tongue ( amd the plonker McKenzie who tried to flatten me in his farm lorry on the way - we had words!)
Tongue is a beautiful, sun is out this morning - and on the way to John O'Groats.
Just getting some sheets copies and a bit of blogging before I head off - Had a good nights sleep last night and feeling OK again.
Photo: Noellia and Adrian from malaga at Skiag Bridge
|Monday, June 7th, 2010|
Got to cape Wrath this morning.
It was a nice morning, a bit breezy and a lot of low cloud, but stunning views when the sun came out.
The road was as rough as ever. A team was out filling in holes, but that meant even more rubbish sticking to tyres and mudguards.
Now off to Tongue after a quick bit of bike maintenance. One lamp bracket has shaken itself loose, and gears are squeaking after yesterdays rain.
|Sunday, June 6th, 2010|
|Soggy at the top!
That's it - can't ride much further North or I'll fall in.
Hard day - only 73 miles but very hilly and a lot of headwind, and some rain to end the day! To the West the sun has been shining but a thick grey veil of low cloud is hanging over the mountains and coast - very dramatic.
Stop at the Elphin Tea Room - they donated £5 to Shelterbox, THANKYOU, then on to Skiag Bridge where the sun came out and I met several people interested in the ride, including Noellia and Adriane from Malaga.
Arrived a bit damp at Durness,and had a nice meal at the Smoo Cave Hotel which included some HAGGIS!
They also made me a packed lunch for tomorrow as I hope to get away early and see if I can get on the first sailing to Cape Wrath. That will hopefully give me time to get back to Durness and collect panniers, pop in to Smoo Cave, and then get off to Tongue for the night.
No pic. update yet - I have quite a collection, will post photos when I can
|Saturday, June 5th, 2010|
|Sloshed on scenery!
This is getting silly, day after day on the bike and the scenery and weather just get's better and better.
It was a fairly long haul to Ullapool but that was mainly because I spent so much time to stop and take photos. My favourite part of Scotland bathed in warm sunshine, 20 deg C, and a nice cool sea breeze, with a tail wind on all the long climbs. Can it get any better?
Breakfast Roll and coffee at Kinlochewe, and a picnic lunch at Gairloch.
After the 1000ft climb out of Dundonell, it was quite cool on top, - lot's of snow about on the peaks, and dark clouds were threatening ( apparently there were heavey thunderstorms in Durness yesterday), but by the time I arrived at Ullapool it was a warm sunny evening, with harbour and boats bathed in sunshine.
Sat on the front eating some expensive Fish'n'chips.
A 90 mile day, but three miles of that was pootling around Torridon taking more photos.
I actually flattened the Li-Ion battery on the camera today, so there must be a few megapixels stored up!
Durness with luck tomorrow - Cape Wrath on Monday although that depends on Ferry and Miltary!