As I’ve started to enjoy getting off the beaten track, I’ve found myself yearning for a new challenge for the year. As someone who always get excited about hearing of new adventures, I can find myself quickly signed up for things without really thinking about just how far outside my comfort zone they are. This year has been no exception.......I started to wonder if I might be able to do an off road bike-packing race. I mean, come on, how hard could it be?
Over the last few weeks I’ve been starting to find joy in taking my bike off the tarmac and onto trails and lesser ridden tracks. Not much for now, but it always makes me smile. I think it’s the long forgotten mountain biker in me. Now I’m really not looking to get back into mountain biking (yet), but gravel and trail riding does appeal in bucket loads.
As I left John O’Groats at 8:30 am, I was looking forward to having a mighty tailwind but it was not to be. There was a fierce cross wind, and although slightly favourable, the gusts threatened to throw me off my bike on several occasions. I was convinced that the wind was trying to kill me, and despite the sunshine, it was freezing cold and brutal.
he next stop was Hamilton but it was still 35 miles away. The road quality was still poor, and I was beginning to feel very tender. Despite an empty road, I opted for a while to ride on the cycle path that ran along side the road, not because of safety, but for comfort. Much of the segregated path was new and nicely surfaced. The road was doing me too much damage. My pace had slowed to less than 12 mph…hardly a world record pace. I was still struggling to stay awake, but I started to revive a little once dawn began to appear and the rain subsided a little.
I knew I needed to make sure that I didn’t scrimp on my sleep on this trip, but despite being on the road for over 16 hours, and riding almost 200 miles the day before, I was wide awake when I arrived at my hotel room. I scattered my belongings around the room, thought about my day,
The alarm went off way too early, considering this was going to be a long day. We had decided that we would travel to Cornwall and stay at my son’s house in Bodmin. It would be hassle free since he wasn’t going to be there, and it was close enough to Land’e End to be convenient...or so I thought. Unfortunately, whilst on a map it looked close, it was actually 50 miles away, and Google Maps estimated an hour & and quarter to reach Lands End. So for me that meant a grab and go breakfast to eat while we were moving.