Travel

Cornwall to Cumbria

I’m terrible at remembering to write down my trips, as I’m already 9days behind on this.

But here goes 

From leaving Lands End, in glorious sunshine I could not believe how nice the weather was. With the odd passer by stopping to ask what I was doing sat around on a strange looking recumbent trike. Something I had never ridden before. I would say I’m about to cycle the length of the UK to John o’groats in Scotland. I was actually just sat, worrying about if I could actually do this! Trying to find routes which avoid the A roads, which I’d soon experience!

Avoiding the A roads

Avoiding the A roads

I took mainly the little side roads from Penzance, to avoid the big A road. But I soon discovered the hills were killers. As I wrote about in my previous blog.

So I thought I need to get through these as quickly as possible, so I got my head down and hit the main road as soon as the traffic died down. Staying in hostels and camping allowed me to spend long hours on the road, clocking up big distances! I had originally planned on 70km a day, but with the determination to get the hills done as quick as possible, I found myself doing over 100km a day.

I was soon in Bristol, where I had arranged to stay with a friend. He greeted me with beers, snacks and a hot water bottle. We chatted until about midnight, though I was fallen alseep it was amazing catching up.

soaking at the YHA 

soaking at the YHA 

Leaving his flat, the weather was nice. This was about to change. As I decided to take the Severn Bridge, as I approached the hail started! Then as lorries headed over the bridge, I was swamped by a tidal wave of spray! Even in full waterproofs I was soaked. That night I had planned to camp, but as the day got late I started to get really cold. Though I tried to cycle faster to warm up, it wasn’t enough to dry. So I found a YHA! The first time I had used one. I got there late. A youth hostel which seemed to house to Elderly salesmen. These men didn’t know each other, though they chatted late into the night about VW golfs. They also went into any open door, I describe them as busy.

The moment I wanted to cry

The moment I wanted to cry

I woke up early to find snow on the road, the trike did not enjoy this. The back wheel kept losing traction of the road on the snowy hills.  And by the time I had got to Nuneaton (does any actually live here) I was soaked again. So I found a £20 hotel to attempt to dry my stuff once more. 

I had an interesting stay also in Wigan! A man, broke into tears when I told him what I was doing. I had no idea what to do, so the caring back pat came out.

But riding from Wigan to Kendal was one of the most fun, 120km along canal paths, country roads and the A9. In amazing sunshine, this day made me feel refreshed! My legs had stopped aching and my clothes had started to dry in the sun. I really enjoyed it, even if a local man in a spar shop sent me down a swamp track. Luckily I bumped into a farmer and his daughter, watching their neighbors farm on fire (suspicious) who then laughed at me and sent me back on the right track. Passing through Preston I passed a man on another recumbent trike, this is the second one I’ve ever seen! So stopped and chatted, he was telling me he can get up to 60mph! Then I spotted the two big batteries and told him mines just powered by me. He went into shock, ‘why are you doing this to yourself’ then started hunting for a hidden battery on the trike.

That night approaching Kendal, I had my closest near miss! As a Range Rover driver on his mobile only spotted the Hi Vis vest and flag and the flashing red lights last minute. Seeing him spot me and swerve in my mirror was terrifying! I was literally about to ditch the trike! It shook me up a bit!

The rest of the trip before then, I had been impressed with the drivers. Not so impressed though at the amount of litter thrown out of vehicles!

getting to Penrith on Sunday morning and realising I was doing so well. And knowing the fact my family only lived 45mins away. I decided to have a rest day that Monday and spent it at home drying my clothes FINALLY.

Scotland coming soon

Cornwall to Cumbria

I’m terrible at remembering to write down my trips, as I’m already 9days behind on this.

But here goes 

From leaving Lands End, in glorious sunshine I could not believe how nice the weather was. With the odd passer by stopping to ask what I was doing sat around on a strange looking recumbent trike. Something I had never ridden before. I would say I’m about to cycle the length of the UK to John o’groats in Scotland. I was actually just sat, worrying about if I could actually do this! Trying to find routes which avoid the A roads, which I’d soon experience!

Avoiding the A roads

Avoiding the A roads

I took mainly the little side roads from Penzance, to avoid the big A road. But I soon discovered the hills were killers. As I wrote about in my previous blog.

So I thought I need to get through these as quickly as possible, so I got my head down and hit the main road as soon as the traffic died down. Staying in hostels and camping allowed me to spend long hours on the road, clocking up big distances! I had originally planned on 70km a day, but with the determination to get the hills done as quick as possible, I found myself doing over 100km a day.

I was soon in Bristol, where I had arranged to stay with a friend. He greeted me with beers, snacks and a hot water bottle. We chatted until about midnight, though I was fallen alseep it was amazing catching up.

soaking at the YHA 

soaking at the YHA 

Leaving his flat, the weather was nice. This was about to change. As I decided to take the Severn Bridge, as I approached the hail started! Then as lorries headed over the bridge, I was swamped by a tidal wave of spray! Even in full waterproofs I was soaked. That night I had planned to camp, but as the day got late I started to get really cold. Though I tried to cycle faster to warm up, it wasn’t enough to dry. So I found a YHA! The first time I had used one. I got there late. A youth hostel which seemed to house to Elderly salesmen. These men didn’t know each other, though they chatted late into the night about VW golfs. They also went into any open door, I describe them as busy.

The moment I wanted to cry

The moment I wanted to cry

I woke up early to find snow on the road, the trike did not enjoy this. The back wheel kept losing traction of the road on the snowy hills.  And by the time I had got to Nuneaton (does any actually live here) I was soaked again. So I found a £20 hotel to attempt to dry my stuff once more. 

I had an interesting stay also in Wigan! A man, broke into tears when I told him what I was doing. I had no idea what to do, so the caring back pat came out.

But riding from Wigan to Kendal was one of the most fun, 120km along canal paths, country roads and the A9. In amazing sunshine, this day made me feel refreshed! My legs had stopped aching and my clothes had started to dry in the sun. I really enjoyed it, even if a local man in a spar shop sent me down a swamp track. Luckily I bumped into a farmer and his daughter, watching their neighbors farm on fire (suspicious) who then laughed at me and sent me back on the right track. Passing through Preston I passed a man on another recumbent trike, this is the second one I’ve ever seen! So stopped and chatted, he was telling me he can get up to 60mph! Then I spotted the two big batteries and told him mines just powered by me. He went into shock, ‘why are you doing this to yourself’ then started hunting for a hidden battery on the trike.

That night approaching Kendal, I had my closest near miss! As a Range Rover driver on his mobile only spotted the Hi Vis vest and flag and the flashing red lights last minute. Seeing him spot me and swerve in my mirror was terrifying! I was literally about to ditch the trike! It shook me up a bit!

The rest of the trip before then, I had been impressed with the drivers. Not so impressed though at the amount of litter thrown out of vehicles!

getting to Penrith on Sunday morning and realising I was doing so well. And knowing the fact my family only lived 45mins away. I decided to have a rest day that Monday and spent it at home drying my clothes FINALLY.

Scotland coming soon

Talking at the Destination Travel show

Destination Travel Show

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to talk at the Destination Travel Show in Manchester. At first there was a slight panic when it looked like I was going to be talking and being interviewed on stage whilst cooking! Now I can cook, but cook whilst trying to talk is a different matter! 

I was on the Meet the Expert stage by the Times newspaper. With my slideshow and Britney Spears style headset I was ready to go. With tales of my adventures in Africa, Asia and Central America. 

A full audience had come along to hear listen. 

 

For those of you who don’t know I had an unpleasant encounter with a big cat, leaving a large scar on my back. Whilst telling this story to the audience, it was greeted with a large gasp when I described in detail the encounter.  I found this amazing!

The story of the muggings in Central America also went down well, this was the point I started to think this crowd enjoyed my suffering!  

Best question from the audience at the end was, when am I writing a book. I think maybe a coffee table book or a pop up book would be the best I can do. 

but over all, it was a great show. I recommend going along. The London show has a certain Levison Wood talking! 

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Me dressed as a member of Kings of Leon

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Quick note check (I was actually watching football) 

Somewhere in Belgium to Amsterdam

Somewhere in Belgium, to Amsterdam  

 

Leaving the comfort of our tent early in the morning, whilst the sun was still nowhere to be seen. We set of towards the city of Brugge, where we would only pass through.

With a bit of a head wind we cycled 40km before the sun had even rised. The aim to get over 100km that day. 

The night before we had some issues with the fact my pedal, had decided to drop off! So we managed to switch the pedal with the other bike which fitted perfectly. The threads which you screw the pedal into, had completely worn away, possibly from some sand getting in there. But we will never know, I put it down to my superhuman power! 

 

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We even tried to glue it! 

 

Now in the Netherlands, we were impressed with the quality of cycle routes! They were amazing, smooth tarmac or lovely cobbled lanes. This made getting in the distance easy. 

By early afternoon we had made it into the city of Amsterdam, where we intended to spend New Years Eve. And sadly where I had to leave my friend Tom to ride home. Now back to work for me, Expeditions to organise.  

Happy New Year  

London to somewhere in Belgium 🇧🇪

28th December  

After a struggle with myself mentally over the winter, I had been looking for a trip I could take a few days away from everything. On the morning of the 28th this trip came in a text message from my good mate, Tom. 

I have know Tom for nearly ten years now, after meeting whilst working as outdoor instructors in Norfolk.  we then headed out to Vietnam on an epic circumnavigation of the country.

All his text said was “mate, fancy biking somewhere for New Years?’ 

I replied with ‘I will grab a train this afternoon’. 

Tom met me at Dover to catch a ferry to France, our idea was to sleep on the ferry. 

we had no luck! 

 

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My no sleep face!

 

29th December  

 

getting our bike of the ferry with zero sleep was just the tip of the iceberg! 10mins into our 150km day Tom got his first puncture! 

fixing it in rapid time, 20mins later there was a loud bang. His tyre blowing out! At 5am with zero sleep, we weren’t in the best mood. But we did our best to patch it up. 

 

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Yay! 

 

We started to make good time and started to catch up with lost ground. Then we hit a town, sending google maps into melt down! After doing our second lap of Aldi, we realised something was not right here! It was taking us on random loops! 

so we went to plan B, head north and follower the coast. Then that familiar sound from the early house of the morning hit us in Belgium! Tom had his 3rd flat tyre, knowing we needed a new tyre we had to walk 10km out of our way to find the nearest open bike shop!  

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Tom looking broken! 

We got back on the road and made it to a town near the boarder of the Netherlands.....

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