Tag Archives: mc donalds

Day 32: The day that rained. And then rained some more.

The day started wet and concluded wet. It came more of a shock since the previous evening was completly clear. I had spent today’s budget on coffees just to be able to find relief from the rain and cold. Apologies for the lack of photos, but it was that wet I didn’t want to break my camera :(

Waking up, I found that camping in a recently ploughed field was not the most intelligble idea. Everything soon became muddy once trodden on. It’s times like these when I hate camping. I often find displeasure in camping atleast by myself, even with the convenience it can offer.

It took around one and a half hours to get going. It involved sponging the tent down to remove the excess water and to avoid getting caked in mud further slowed the day down and I felt entrenched in the mud – not in the sense it made everything dirty, but it makes progress slow. I attempted to dry these later in they day next to a radiator, keeping the inner and outer seperate as already there are tell-tale signs of mould on the inside.

I also failed to mention how dirty my poor rickshaw was getting. I suppose atleast it could be cleaned later with the amount of rain that fell.

DSC_0172

DSC_0171

The first part of my journey was up hill. Hills became lost in mist and the blanket of low-lying cloud. It was dreary and it felt like the day showed little attempt of revealing any of the landscape. Much of the morning was up-hill and it was a fairly kind all the way. The noise of roaring trucks is never plesant when you have to concentrate going uphill and keeping your spirit up with the rain. I atleast appreciated that it wasn’t windy otherwise I would have become a frozen popcicle.

It was suprisingly cold and it was difficult to keep warm. Having layers is difficult; you soon start to sweat underneath which makes you cold if you don’t keep rickshawing. The route took me through Marienmünster, passing a small monastery and with a small uphill section took me down to Höxter. Going downhill was nice but the draft wasn’t. Much of the way was fairly demoralising and I plainly admit it. Weather like this is miserable and it makes the demons come out to play and torment you with negative thoughts. I knew it was one of those bad days, but you have to keep pushing; thinking too big you soon dishearten.

I reached Höxter, a small historic town. I pulled into a bakery cum cafe, situated in a very old town house and slowly I regained warmth and charged up the assortment of gadgets I possess. Shortly after leaving and situating myself outside the center eating my lunch, two young women came over. I’d noticed them looking earlier but never thought much of it as a glance.

DSC_0170

They intiated the conversation saying they were journalists for a local newspaper and had seen me in Steinheim, the previous town before. After looking at my website they wanted to hear more about my journey. They asked several questions about why I was doing this and how I came to visit the area. As of always, it’s interesting to get questions about it all from a different point of view. They got a few pictures in front of an old town house dated I think from the 16th century.

In short, I think I emphasised that my journey was about the meeting of people – and being able to share my story along the way. I continued shortly afterwards along a small valley which was comfortable ride along the river.

Arriving in Holzminden, I was eager to get two more hours of riding in before it became too dark. Soon after leaving the town, and taking off my dry clothes, the skies open with all their glory and ferocity. I had to quickly cover everything over, pull down the rain cover and get dressed again. Having rang my parents, it seemed appropraite to stop for the day. That was a good decision; soon the rain intesified that it became loud it could be heard over the phone. At the town center, the tourist information had just shut. None of the cafe’s had wifi and after dashing around in the rain, I found that the Youth Hostel was completly closed. If you could condense a day’s problem into the matter of an hour then I guess that was it. At this stage, I’m not sure what to do. There are few options, and there were such things as a miracle, then now would be a good time to see one.

It will make an eventful evening whatever the outcome is tonight – all the more interesting for you to read.

Day 4: Bawtry to Robin Hood Country

The night had been a very wet one with heavy downpours throughout the night. Fortunatly, the Banshee 200 kept me very dry. This is remarkable for me, because every previous tent I’ve had always left me damp or wet. It was a fairly slow start having slept in the back-garden – I wanted to wait for the tent to dry slightly, although this evening looks like it wouldn’t have particularly mattered.

Vango Banshe 200

I was offered a little breakfast which was comforting start and was provided with some snacks for later saving me having to call at a supermarket or shop. I ommited a shower. I felt that a day cycling doesn’t really deserve such luxury treatment in the large scheme of things. I said my farewells to the woman, and got on my way.

The day had turned much nicer than previously, and provided a good start as I headed towards Blythe. Reaching the A1 I went down a steep hill. I later got lost and was kindly greeted by a nice woman who offered directions and the possibility of a nice warm drink – having seen me on the television. My celebrity status is working wonders! I got on a hill road towards Worksop. The hills undulating up and down and it was slow progress at 5 mph. Although my spirits were raised by the ocassionaly flurry of hands from a car or truck and even a few horns.

The last stretch to Worksop was an uphill struggle and was a thorough relief to get up that nasty steep climb near the hospital with a long stretch going downhill afterwards towards the centre. I had to take a break as I was pretty tired afterwards.

DSC_01032

I didn’t really stop as I just wanted to continue onwards towards Sherwood Forest towards the heart of Nottingham.

The roads had become less wide and traffic always appeared to be building behind. Passing the many forests made for a very pleasant ride excluding the roaring noise from the traffic.

DSC_0106

DSC_0106

Much later I stopped for a Mc Flurry break – a re-occuring tradtion at the same Mc Donalds I have stopped at on every bike ride I’ve been on through here. The staff were very curious at the three wheel contraption parked next to the drive through. They thought it was insanely brilliant and were really helpful.

I continued towards Rufford Mill Park to sample the woodland splendour of Nottinghamshire. It was plesant to walk through the tendered forest, however, I felt discomfort leaving my three wheeled baby alone. I walked to the mill and back again and set off for the final leg of the day.

DSC_0111

DSC_0110

DSC_0112

DSC_0114

DSC_0132

DSC_0131

DSC_0127

DSC_0125

DSC_0133

The early evening undulated like a stormy sea. It was becoming unpleasant with the light rain that intensified with each passing hill. I donned the cycling cape, but I didn’t see much pleasure cycling in such conditions when I was close to reaching my thirty mile target.

The picture below is taken from the Raspberry Pi Camera. Capturing those darkest moments of mind.

2013-09-13-16:17:27

I finished on a steep downhill section at the White Post and decided to call it for today – two miles short. However, some food, electricity and an opportuntiy for free wifi was too alluring.

Now time to find somewhere to sleep, which will be yet another task.