At some stage in the middle of the night, an enormous crash made me jump out of bed for fear someone had hopped over the fence and was stealing my ride. Only as I finished up in the bathroom in the morning did I discover the real cause – the soap shelf had detached itself from the wall and crashed to the floor. The bike was, still safely parked outside, covered in a fine layer of ice cold dew. As I pottered around repacking and mounting the fork bags the decision to backtrack my route from home was firmly set in my mind. You’d think that might mean a less interesting or adventurous day ahead, but cycling is never like that. The same route in different conditions can feel very different, and in reverse, looking at the landscape from the other side, it often bears no resemblance to the previous ride. Today’s journey had other surprises in store for me than just a different viewpoint though.Continue reading “There and Back Again – Day 3”
Breakfast TV was talking to itself in the background – the news was typically grim and I had more pressing issues on my mind. In between mouthfuls of muesli and swigs of coffee, I was churning over the route down to Land’s End. I’d intentionally followed an off-road section for the last part, but after the heavy rains I was pretty sure it would be even boggier than had been described in accounts I’d read. By the time I was kitted up and ready to go the decision was made, I’d take a largely on road route down and back. This meant an operation I am always loathe to trust a Garmin will do reliably out in the wild: asking it to reverse a track. In theory, it should work with plenty of track points, but in practice it makes me nervous. So I wasn’t entirely confident in the little purple line as I wheeled back down the alley and out into the streets of Truro.Continue reading “There and Back Again – Day 2”
It was never planned that last year’s Highlands to Home tour would include a complete JOGLE. But I did always intend to ride from home down to Lands End at some point. And as the mornings slowly grew darker and chillier, I’d failed to do any kind of distance riding during the summer of 2021. The idea of ticking this last piece off the list with a 3 day mini tour down to the bottom of the country started to take shape.
In between family and work commitments, free weekends were in short supply. I was doubtful of the chances of decent weather when I commandeered the earliest opening (17th through 19th September) and stuck it in the calendar. Luckily the AirBnB I found with 2 nights available in Truro had a generous cancellation policy, meaning I could take a view on the weather forecast on 12th September and pull out if it looked truly horrendous. Of course when it came to it, things were not quite as simple as that. The long distance weather radar had some strong bands of rain passing over – but the worst was late on Friday, with mixed and generally improving weather across the weekend. It’s all too easy to find excuses not to ride (the weather wasn’t the only one bothering me, but more on that later) – and the forecast really wasn’t that horrible if viewed overall so the decision was a ‘go‘. If I missed this ride, there’d likely be no other tour opportunity in 2021.Continue reading “There and Back Again – Day 1”