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

14 Mar 2012

First week on the job

Posted by Will

I completed my first week on the bike with 550km on the clock and about 35 hours pedalled. It was full of ups and downs with regards both confidence and the profile of the road but I pulled through it and landed at the end of day 7 just past Bruges near the town of Breskens, Holland.

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Firstly, the south of England is a lot hillier than I thought. It’s not how high the hills are but how many and how steep they are. Days 3 and 4 had me stuck in the South Downs which just seemed to be an endless leg-sapping range of hills with the typical half hour being spent in this fashion: 3 minutes racing at break-neck speed down the side of a hill, 1 minute using momentum to tackle the first part of the oncoming hill, 26 minutes sweating and cursing up the rest of it. Thankfully, the Suttons came to my rescue at the end of Day 4 and fed me up to the extent that Day 5 wasn’t a problem at all.

After crossing from Dover to Calais on the morning of Day 6 everything clicked and it’s been glorious ever since. It’s amazing to be on the Continent again and it’s flat as anything! The weather has been beautiful too. On Day 7, I crossed Belgium in one fell swoop with the sun warming me all the way. Beautiful villages, smiley people and a great respect for bicycles made it the perfect end to Week 1.

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Of my first seven nights I have spent 3 in friends’ houses, 3 camping rough in the woods and 1 in a campsite. Wild camping has been fine although it is quite cold at night if I haven’t properly layered up in my sleeping bag. The biggest problem is that the dew that settles on my tent in the morning is then packed up to make for a wet tent the evening, an inconvenience I have sorted out by making good use of the tarp I brought along. I’ve had 4 showers so far (too cold for washing in the woods) and have only changed my cycle shorts and socks once. My cycle top and jacket are still going strong although I have a suspicion they may not be helping me meet people. Most importantly, I don’t feel dirty, smelly, crusty or any other adjective you might think fits the bill.

At the moment, things are going really well which is in large part due to the fantastic weather. I really do dread the moment when it starts raining and doesn’t stop for a week. But there’s no point thinking about that now, when the sun is shining and the birds are quite literally chirping in the trees. Week 2 should see me hit Amsterdam where I will stay for a while – that should be when the next update comes. Lots of love to all.

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One Comment already on “First week on the job”
  1. 7:06 ampermalink
    15 Mar 2012

    Mumsy

    Wow! Great reading, great photos, love the gallery all sounds fantastic but then I
    am Mum xxxxx