Thursday, 29 April 2010

Cycling from Huddersfield to Gibraltar Day 1

The alarm was set for 5am on the morning of Saturday 10th April. My kit was all ready, it was just a case of having a bite to eat and drink and I was off on my Adventure for 2 weeks.

I pushed the bike out of the house fully loaded onto the street, it was still dark and not a sole around at this time. I free wheeled down the street to the main road junction, from there I was pedalling..... when !!

Blimey ! my trainer heals were banging onto the pannier bags. Damn! I had not tried out the new bike loaded up with the panniers and here we go a dilemma. I adjusted them so half was on the rack and half the bags were off just until I got going until it got daylight then I would adjust and see if I could fix in anyway..

The sun came up around an hour after and what a beautiful site that was a clear blue morning sky with the sun rising up, what a nice start into the cycle. I got off the bike and started to play around with the panniers, eventually I managed to sort them out so they were secure.

I was now properly off headed towards Barnsley cruising along steady away, right through Rotherham when I noticed the pannier rack had split !! oh no.. I carried on checking out my iphone for any local cycle shops I could get a replacement rack (I did think it was cheaper style one anyway so I did need a more solid one) so here I was headed towards the nearest cycle shop. It was a small shop in Retford, very busy by midday.

The owner Dom came outside to see me and asked if I was ok, I asked him to have a look at the rack he said "Come on through I will sort it for you" he led me through the shop into the garden out the back, it was very nice day, very hot and sunny, he said "Just hang on here do you want a coffee/tea" ? I accepted and thought that's a nice touch while I waited for him to finish with his other customers. He was in between each customer so he brought a rack through to me "This one has a lifetime guarantee this one! It looked the business and I said "That will do for me"

He asked where I was cycling too ? I told him Gibraltar, he went rushing back into the shop telling everyone I was cycling to Spain lol They all came out and I think they were impressed, although I was thinking come on I have to get to Folkestone for 3.30pm tomorrow!

I ended up fixing it to the bike myself, he did do a bit of tweaking here and there, and was happy for me to leave after paying that is.... "Which way are you going from here" he asked ?

I replied I'm off on the A1 He was in shock when I said A1 ! he replied !You don't want to be going down there" here he got a map out and started plotting a route that I should take. the route he put down was all over the place, very scenic but not a fast route that I needed.

Well then, I said my goodbyes to him and his customer's and said Adios and was off - heading towards the A1 ha ha.. When I did get on A1 I did go along it until Clumber park then had a second thought in my route, I would slightly take on board what he had said, and took a little different route to what I had originally planned. Firstly I stopped at a take away cabin for some Beans on Toast x 2 lots and a large mug of Coffee (and couple of Flapjacks)

I was off again after heading towards Nottingham the headed through Melton Mowbray, I eventually hit some hilly terrain around the Rutland area, by this time it was not far away from the sun setting. I continued along the very nice countryside past Rutland water (Took a few pics it was very nice) but.... my water bottles were empty and no food spares on me, with about 6ish miles to go I was starting to flag a little, the hilly roads were getting slower and slower, I did end up having to knock on some kind ladies door to ask if she could fill up my water bottles. She did she was very kind. I continued along the hilly roads still flagging but not as bad, eventually I came to a Petrol station Yipeee!! I stood the bike up outside and stormed inside taking all sorts of the shelves ha ha Ginster pasty, cakes, sandwich's, Red bull, water and a Hot coffee, it was all about a tenner ! But I went outside and had a mini feast it was Great and I felt much better.

It was dark now and I had to look for somewhere to stay for the night, that wasn't too hard to find as my iphone picked up a Hotel just down the road in Uppingham/Garden Hotel very nice it was too, there was a place for my bike, and the room was very cosy. I was very full by now and just charged all my phones, cameras etc ready for the next day, I had a shower and that was about it for that day it was straight to bed after a call home to let my family what the first day had been like. Great day I thought apart from Pannier rack :-(

Milage for Day 1 = 122 miles.

Average speed = 13.0mph.

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