Tag Archives: Leicester

Day 7: Returning back to Warwick University

I felt quite refreshed staying with the family I met. It was disappointing to leave them so earlier, but they had school and also work, and I could see they enjoyed my unusual company. I said my farewells and they wrote a nice message in my log book, which is building up some nice messages now.

I set off to reclaim he lost miles from the previous night. It was far easier going and the sky was for once blue with patches of white, not the other way around. Unfortunatly the wind wasn’t being as generous. There seems to be a trend that the weather likes to make things incredibly difficult. I made best efforts to keep strong even despite the hills.

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I made oportunities of the many breaks against the tiring wind to take some video footage, as I was confident that I’d be able to upload these quickly when I arrived at University. I was cycling down Coventry Road – a very straight and direct road with a few gentle slopes.

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The sun was pretty glorious and soon I reached Shakespeare’s county, Warwickshire. The wind seemed more potent as the presence of hedges became sparse. It was difficult and very slow going, most of time my speedometer read between 5-6mph- a joggers pace.

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Eventually I reached Coventry. I was tired and just wanted to get through to University to settle down for the Day. My legs were becoming more weary each hour.

I kept going through all the familiar sites that I had recollected from the past four years studying here. Suddenly I heard a creak as I stopped in front of a traffic light. I looked back and a tree branch suddenly fell in the middle of the road, about 20m away from where I had been ten seconds ago.

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I should be more worried about falling trees than getting run over from now on! I moved the branch from the road with no acknowledgement from any drivers on the road. Annoyed, I decided to hog the middle of the road to make it difficult.

I reached University shattered. It was good to see the University once again without feeling rushed about as it was during Graduation. It was great to reminisce about the past, although sad at the same time. I met with some of the Student’s Union representives / SABBS as we called them. I took for them a quick ride and afterwards sorted myself out.

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I walked around the University and uploaded some stuff for the website. I was fortunate to meet an engineering friend David, who was wokring during Summer. It’s always good to see a familiar face. He kindly offered to let me stay with him the night at Rootes.

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It was mutually good to have some familiar company. I took him for a little tour as a passenge around campus, although suprisingly it was hilly than I thought which made it difficult, but it was a good bit of fun.

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We went out to a bar and blagged ourselves sparkling wine and orange and a good beer from a conference. We spent the evening playing pool, but I soon became weary from the small amount of alcohol.

It was a fantastic end to the day that proved to be especially difficult on mind and the body and I wish to thank him for offering a nice time passing through Warwick.

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Day 6: A short day in Leicester

I woke up in Quorn quite refreshed and only had been disturbe slightly by a small chorus of chants throughout the night.

Camping in Quorn

The day started fairly dry but the wind was particularly ferocious. The afternoon was supposed to be terrible with many downpours so I expected that it would be a short day to ensure I didn’t get fed up, trying to make little ground in those conditions.

I met a woman along the way, who I gave a short ride down towards a nearby car boot and just shared a short discussion over her travels in Europe.

The journey was largely uneventful, however, once getting into Leicester, I went towards the National Space Centre. However, without a student concession anymore and not seeing any gigantic space machines except one rocket, I decided it wasn’t worth going to see. A family noticed me and said they saw me on a television – another reminder of my slight celebrity status.

I headed towards the centre along the River Soar, which the cycle path followed by its side.

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At one point I came to a wall with a very small opening. Fitting the rickshaw was a mighty squeeze, there was less than a centimetre on each side. I still laugh at how ridiculous this looks.

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In the city centre, I got lost – I’m not sure exactly how. Eventually reached the Tourist Information, who wern’t particularly helpful. They didn’t seem to be able to suggest anything that was open, other than the national heritage free weeked, but I didn’t know where any of these were.

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Giving up, I just went towards Mc Donalds to use their free WIFI and essentially keep dry. Eventually I was fed up being stuck inside and the weather wasn’t too bad, so I wanted to venture outside.

At that point a kid was sat on the step of the rickshaw, which I was fine with but then started riding it which annoyed me because there was a lock on it. I just find it frustrating that they aren’t told to respect other people’s property. I went down and a group of five said they wanted a ride. I did reluctantly.

However, they were pretty much squabbling over who sat wear, and were becoming increasingly impatient as I attempted to put my own stuff away. I took them around the centre a few times, but was quite annoyed and just wanted to get off. I don’t mind giving rides, but I don’t ant to be treated solely as novelty and not even get asked questions…

Eventually I shook them off, and I headed along the Grand Central way – a cycle path on an old railways line heading southwards.

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I reached the end only to find that my exit was impassible by two large bollards and a gate. A couple made a badly timed statement that I’d never get it through. I went back to the previous and yet again the same. I had to reclaim half a mile back towards a bridge where I originaly was intent of coming off.

Battling some more winds I reached a small roundabout with a Toby Carvery and the rain was starting to kick in. I was beckoned in by a guy with some faces staring at me throught the window. They asked me what all this madness was doing and was nice to be able to have a good chat with some interested and enthusiastic people.

Later they got me a carvery – the plate bursting at the edges with food piled high and they said that I could stay at their house, but was around two miles back. I’d sooner have a bed and a roof over my head, so I went along.

It was nice to meet them and they were good company with things to talk about. Sadly the next day was an early departure, but they were the first family to offer me their home to me. So I’d like to extend my gratitude for their hospitality as they were such good company!

The Great Cycle Back Home

Last Friday I set off on an epic cycle home from Warwick University to Eastrington, East Yorkshire – 127 Miles taking over 7hrs 52 Minutes it was a very long day in the saddle.

The Route:

Planned beforehand and was more calculated than previous trips around England that usually involved cycling on three lane A roads (e.g. Milton Keynes, A1 near Olverton), which are never wise decisions but had to be done.

Cycling from Warwick University to Eastrington

The route can be further explored in Google Maps

The route took me from Coventry to Leicester along the old Roman road Fosse Way, infamous in the Warwickshire region. Through Leicestershire, I tackled its quite hilly roads towards Nottingham bypassing Loughborough. After leaving Nottingham, I would follow Mansfield Road towards Doncaster passing Sherwood Forest along the way.

The route worked out well and got me home without much trouble except for navigating through Coventry, which has an appalling road system that despite efforts to make cycle worthy took me an hour to get through onto more sedate country roads.

Brother's Touring Bike used for training and ride

Nevertheless Leicester and Nottingham were very easy to navigate especially with the help from an acquaintance I met in Nottingham by the means of twitter – @c5389. He helped me get through effortlessly and was good to have company even for a short while. Such experiences make me look forward to cycling a rickshaw - encountering new people and enjoying the company they offer.

The long haul:

After heading out out Nottinghamshire around 24 Miles from Doncaster. I stopped at the same Mc Donalds that I went two years ago when I cycled home from Peterborough. And no, this wasn’t for a Big Mac, but for topping up my water bottle and a cheeky Mc flurry, which seems to become synonymous with my cycling endeavours. Up till this point I had survived on one home-made sports drink. Perhaps this was a grievous mistake and for the next half hour I was struggling – at any moment I was going to be sick.

Slightly later, I was starting to struggle (probably 100 Miles in)  - ‘I hit the wall’. I had little energy even though I physically felt fine. I knew I hadn’t eaten well and that was the problem. I kept pushing and by five o’clock it was dark. Interestingly I had concocted a novel method of attaching bike lights:

Attaching Bike Lights using Electricians Tape

All you need to do is getting some electricians tape and keep wrapping the tape around the fork and light till secure. Not exactly high tech but it did the job perfectly.

The Final Leg:

All was become familiar and soon enough I was passing through areas I knew, although not as interesting when you are delirious from the lack of energy. Soon enough I was back home and the satisfaction of completing this journey was great even if I struggled to walk through the door.

Travelling home this way instead of a train, felt suitably rewarding although tiring. It’s certainly something to consider doing again, however, next time I will be sure replenish energy reserve with something better to eat along the way.