Roy has suffered a series of punctures today (4) resulting in him running out of inner tubes with a mashed tyre early this evening and me needing to arrange alternative accommodation for tonight and locating a bike shop for tomorrow. I think we have it in hand, but needless to say it has been a fraught evening. I have pasted the blog to where we got to late this pm, and will try and fill in more details tomorrow.
07:36 Eating breakfast here. Already feeling tired though. Hoping food will revive me…
08:03 Finished breakfast and off in 10. Feeling v tired already. Hayfever not good.
08:25 On the road. Good luck. To you that is…
08:37 First fox sighting
09:32 Sharpness Canal – widest in Europe when built
09:53 20 miles. Stopped at a swing bridge crossing. First time for everything I suppose!
09:58 Good so far but now on stretch of tow path that is just grass. V slow
10:04 Found a dirt strip now – as wide as my tyre
10:36 back on proper path. Think dead bodies did me a favour last time! All the bit I missed was really rough When Roy rode this part of the canal last year the canal path was closed by the police because a dead body had been found in the canal. Roy had to divert around and missed this grass and mud section.
10:57 Sainsbury in Gloucester. 28 miles
11:45 Now in, literally, Ashleworth tithe barn
11:50 Goat and pony friends not here for a chat today. Last trip Roy stopped for a chat with a goat and a pony just around the corner from the tithe barn.
12:53 49 miles. White rabbit. He’s a bit overgrown – would have missed him if I didn’t know he was here. Stopped for traditional wee and chat.
13:16 Just beautiful through here. Don’t remember it much from last time. Passing through lots of quintessential English villages. Sunny. Green. Welsh mountains (Brecon Beacons?) in back ground.
13:47 (Phone call) Planned to re-route to avoid track but sat nav not picked up re-routing so picked up same track. Pushed through but v muddy. Got muddier and muddier on slick tyres. Deeper and deeper until became really mired. Then foot down. Then push thru. Brakes, gears, wheels all mired in mud. Luckily there was a house at the end with a hose. Knocked on door and hosed down bike (and myself). Got rid of thick mud. Gears not working now. Calling from just under the M5 – 55 miles in. Now back to standard 10 mph.
14:32 Worcester 62 miles
15:43 77 miles somewhere before Kidderminster. V hot
16:15 Drinking lots. At church in Kiddeminster. Well, at lock by church – not praying for deliverance. Yet. 83 miles. Am I really half way through England? Cool!
16:22 Bloody puncture!
16:38 Might go back for a pray. Still, only 27 cm to Scotland…(I can explain….you need a ruler and wall map…)
18:25 Another puncture – only one inner tube left
18:47 Another puncture…. somewhere on A449 (lethal road), north of Kidderminster, south of Stafford…. 151 km in (out of 193 km)
He clearly didn’t go back to pray!