Posted by: Zombi | June 6, 2010

Day 3 – 6th June

After last nights tea I wizzed back up the hill to my tent and was out like a light.

Upon waking this morning it was clear last night had seen some rain and the tent was letting in a couple of little drips (my fault for not putting it up tight enough).

After stirring myself, I swiftly packed up and was off on the road. With only 65 miles in plan for the day I was hopeful of an easy day. 10 miles in and I stopped at a burger van for a bacon and sausage sandwich (it was the first place I passed and I was getting hungry!).

The miles seemed to be progressing quite well but mentally I was struggling a little. I lose perspective at times and find myself thinking how tough the trip is etc when all I am doing is really nipping out on my bike. It’s not exactly hard, I’m sat down all day! It dawned on me around lunch that physically I have been pretty much fine other than a little tired. The biggest struggle was against myself. After a quick pep talk including a few expletives I was in a good position to really get on with this trip and quit whining!

Shortly following my talking ho I happened on a pub at just the right time (I had worked off all the bacon and sausage). As I stumbled through the door, resplendent in my Lycra probably looking quite a state, something just didn’t feel right (the quick check to make sure I definately had put my shorts on only helped a little). As I ordered my drink from the nervous looking barman, my eyes darted round the room trying to work out what wasn’t right. Then it dawned on me. The plump fluffy cushons on the elaborate leather chairs. The luxurious shagpile carpet, masking the trudging of my feet. The well dressed couples drinking wine and reading their own copies of… the Mail on Sunday.

I was in middle England!

It all made sense. The slightly dissaprovong looks when I arrived. The fact they wouldn’t look you in the eye. They were too busy worrying after their newspaper had warned them something along the lines of “Immigrant homosexual single parent cyclists give you cancer and waste YOUR taxes”. (you may be surprised at this point to find I’m not a fan of the mail)

After wolfing down my overpriced middle English lunch I was back on the bike for the 20 odd miles in to central London. Passing under the M25 was a nice midway point then I quickly arrived in Enfield. Now seriously, if you like gardening, go to Enfield. I counted at least FIVE garden centers in the space of a mile and a half. It was like Alan Titswatshisnames mecca.

After fighting my way past rhodadendrums and wood chippings I was out of Enfield ang getting in to London propper. Despite not having cycled in London before, and it has quite a reputation for being quite ‘fractious’ on the roads, I found it quite straight forward. Riding assertively and being aware resulted in a nice smooth passage.

Upon arriving at the hotel, the girl on reception was a little taken back when I arrived at the desk with a fully loaded bike but she was lovely and pleasent and passed me my room card… for my second floor room. Now in case you have never tried to put a loaded bike in a small hotel lift, they do fit, but only just. At one point I thought I was going to have to send it up on it’s own and sprint up to catch it. After extracting the two of us from the lift I was tempted to cycle down the corridors to my room but decided against it!

After getting settled, showered (no bath to my dissapointment) and the new daily routine of washing my stuff I was able to eat downstairs after a quick 30 minute stroll.

Tomorrow is a nice trip down to near ashford prior to Tuesdays trip across the channel and the difficulty really mounting up.

Thanks for reading and bye for now.

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Responses

  1. Doing well mate. I’m feeling quite jealous. Blog is good fun.


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