Colchester – end of day 1

Well, I’ve made it to the end of day 1. Well I didn’t think I wouldn’t make it to the end of the day there were a few moments when I doubted the wisdom of the whole venture.

My first piece of excitement I was finding that my train from London to Norwich was running late. This was a problem because I only had 5 minutes in Norwich to make my connector to lowestoft. Train announcer told us that we could leave the train at Ipswich and take a slower train to Lowestoft from there. The problem was only gave the announcement just as we were pulling in to Ipswich. That meant a race down the platform because my seat was at one end of the train and my bike was at the other. Once I had removed my bike and the train was pulling away the guard on the station informed me that I had better hurry because the train to Lowestoft was leaving in two minutes. I had to charge all the way back platform drag the bike up the steps comma across the track,  down the steps then the length of the platform again 2 jump on the train just before is left.

When I arrived in Lowestoft I was faced with the second dilemma of the day. I loaded the route for the day onto the Garmin so that it could direct me to the actual start point at Ness Point only to find that it had corrupted and the map was frozen. After a moment of panic I decided to try and cycle to the Ness Point to see if it would work from there.

At Ness Point I stopped to take some photos. Strangely, there were a whole bunch of photographers in the vicinity all seeming to be taking photos off the ground and the walls. The next thing I knew they were all taking photos of me! Well, actually  of my bike. in particular detailed things like my derailleur and cassette. It transpires that they were a local photography Club and they were taking fine detail macro photos for a project.

I Reloaded the route but it still did not work. A second moment of panic ensued but then I remembered that you can set a course to display permanently on the map without actually following it. You cannot get point by point directions but you can still follow the line. A couple of minutes playing with the settings and I was off.

It was an incredibly windy day. Sadly it was a South Westerly wind and I was cycling in a generally South Westerly Direction 🙁   The route was incredibly flat but the wind made it feel like I was climbing all day. Progress seemed to be very slow and my legs were protesting.  It didn’t help that I was feeling tired due to lack of sleep. By the time I had covered 30 miles I was starting to feel I had had enough.

The day was pleasant apart from the wind. Out of the wind it was quite hot, up to 23 degrees. But the wind was cold. At times I was tempted to put my arm and leg warmers at on.

The route was very quiet and apart from 1 section of hard pack, tarmac throughout. There was one dodgy lane; narrow with nettles overgrowing each side and rocks and mud in the middle. But on the whole the Lanes were excellent. They were straight and flat with lots of wild flowers like poppies along the edges.  There were many traditional looking house and quaint green triangle junction.  The only problem was it never varied.  95 miles of the same views grinding into the wind.  I am sure I passed exactly the same quaint Saxon church 15 times and I am sure I wasn’t going in a circle.  Maybe I was, the day did drag.

I need to get my mental sorted for tomorrow.  I need to put my touring head and legs on in the morning rather than the commuting ones.  I can’t cycle 100 miles in a couple of hours so I shouldn’t be concerning myself with how long it is taking.

But I am tired and not feeling fit. The wind didn’t help nor the batch or viruses and infections I have been afflicted with for the past 6 weeks.  I felt a bit better today but I was still leaving a trail of snot in my wake, like the slime trail of a giant slug.  In fact that is how I felt all day: sluggish.

Tomorrow is another day…

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