Currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand (06/12/2013) - 31200km cycled

8 Mar 2012

First two days

Posted by Will

I’ve now completed my first two days on the road which have been tiring to say the least. Both mornings I’ve woken up with my leg muscles aching and sore wrists. That’s all to be expected though because my fitness preparation wasn’t too thorough and the bike seems to weigh a ton. I can just about lift it onto curbs.

I left home at 11am on Tuesday 6th after saying goodbyes to Mum, Dad and Rosie. My first few pedal strokes were very wobbly and only half a mile down the road I jumped off and rearranged the bags. In all, the first day was pretty hilly (especially going over the Malborough Downs) and by the end of the 75 miles I was on my last legs. The weather was beautiful though with the sun shining throughout which made for some amazing views over the hills. I arrived at Sarah and Guy’s near Winchester at 8.30pm having spent the last 2 hours cycling in the dark. The downside of cycling in the dark is that you can’t read any signs (I cycled in the wrong direction for a while) but this is almost balanced by the upside which is that you can’t actually see the hills so climbing doesn’t feel as bad. All the effort of the day was worth it though because I could see Sarah, Toby and Edward and visit their house which I haven’t done for ages. Sarah made a delicious (and sizeable) Salmon dinner, I had a shower, and then I collapsed into what felt like one of the comfiest beds ever.

My second day only started at 1pm. In the morning, from my bed I peeked out the window a number of times only to see driving rain pumelling the window-pane. Secretly I was pleased because I could spend more time in bed. The first hour of cycling went well until I suddenly heard all the air fizz out of my tyre.  A puncture already! All the tools were at the bottom of my pannier bags so I set about taking everything off my bike and rummaging around looking for tyre levers and my spare inner tube. And pretty much as soon as I started doing this the rain set in once again. Not great timing. Oddly enough, I felt the pitter-patter of rain on my head which doesn’t usually happen to the helmet-wearing cyclist. I had left my helmet behind! I’d stopped about 45 minutes earlier and Sarah kindly checked out where it should’ve been lying and reported no helmet could be seen. So, with my helmet lost and my punctured tyre things felt a bit awful. An hour later, with everything fixed successfully I continued on to Crawley. The 50-mile day was full of small hills that drained my legs of energy and I was over the moon to see Luke at the end of it all (he says ‘hi’ to everyone by the way). Shower, lovely cottage pie, chat and bed was the perfect conclusion to quite a testy day.

I’m off into Crawley now to get a new helmet and another inner tube. Will try and get another bungee cord too as one of mine broke yesterday. I won’t go too far today as I’m pretty cream-crackered already. Speak to you again when I’m on the continent!

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4 Comments already on “First two days”
  1. 12:54 pmpermalink
    08 Mar 2012

    Luke Newham

    So good to see you mate, everyone here wishes you the best of luck and we are looking forward to more updates!

  2. 2:47 pmpermalink
    08 Mar 2012

    Mark E. Martin

    Howdy, Will,

    Save your money by using dead inner tubes for bungees. Just cut the stem out and there you have it!

    Tubes kind of stick to themselves but are easy to knot, they are really stretchy, you don’t have to worry about accidentally letting go while the thing is stretched and catching a hook in the face, and they are free! You can keep a couple of them rolled up as spares; they don’t take much room, are fairly light weight, and are available at any and every bike shop.

    Smooth roads and following winds!

    Mark

  3. 12:38 pmpermalink
    10 Mar 2012

    Mumsy

    Go William go!!!!
    Get more miles under your tyres and you’ll be fine. xx

  4. Will

    10:08 ampermalink
    14 Mar 2012

    Will

    Mark,

    Thanks very much for the helpful info – the inner tube is there ready for when more stuff needs strapping to my bike. Hopefully that won’t be too soon as the bike already weighs enough …