Hello all you lovely followers. Unfortunately you won’t be following me very far, figuratively or not, any time too soon. It will be no surprise to hear that Plan A is off the menu. Europe is “off-Piste” for cyclists. Although I don’t think cycling was ever allowed “on-piste”; maybe in the summer?
Up until last week there was a Plan B. However things have progressed (perhaps “progressed” is not the right word), lets say moved rapidly downhill; Plan B Also out of the Corona Window then.
The theory was to get a train to Penzance, (on the Plan A departure date 21st April) then cycle Lands‘ End * to John O’ Groats. Distance usually cycled is circa 874 miles (Sounds a bit too precise to me). My intention was to only use cycle paths (mostly on Sustrans National Cycle Network) making the journey more than 1000 miles. I thought this would be a good practice run, warm up shall I say for Plan A, which I hope can be resurrected next year; who knows if even that will be possible? Let’s hope so, not least of all because you were so eager to see me struggling up the Pyrenees mountains and beyond. Actually I think your expectations of me being able to do this are on the high side, but nevertheless less I didn’t want to let you down.
Plan B of course would involve cycling past cafes, B&Bs, campsites and nice restaurants, all of which will now be closed; not much fun then!
I am of course disappointed about this, but with what is happening right now my mission is trivial and irrelevant. Families are losing loved ones way too prematurely, job losses and businesses failing on an unprecedented scale. I, in the overall scheme of things, have nothing to complain about.
”Plan C“ I hear you cry, “not another one!“ Well it‘s not so much a plan as me continuing to try and get fitter/less fatter! This will involve much cycling (D.L will probably close… local gym for those who don’t know). I might do an occasional post… to keep you posted. It might include some pics and videos, maybe some watercolours. This might whet your appetite to continue following, or more likely realise rather later than you should, that I’m an idiot. This leads me to tell you that the Spanish Google translation is useless (which is why it has gone from the Country flag list at the head of the Intro page). Spanish Sara, who works for The Business, says that Google translated “Bushy” as…. wait for it…
Perhaps it is accurate after all.
Friends and family know that I have spent at least 6 months planning this ill fated journey, booking many youth hostels, B&Bs, Warm Showers (cycle friendly folk who give a bed to passing tourers, it’s great, look it up), and Boutique Hotels, obviously only for the legs wife Ness was to join me (honest). I also booked 3 flights, 2 ferries, one coach delivering disciples to Harwich. Oh…., and bought two bikes (my tourer and an eBike for Ness of course).
I have a ring back file with the whole journey in map sections. The reason I tell you this, especially for cyclists amongst you, is that I used a fantastic app. Komoot.
It‘s brilliant because it’s targeted at touring cyclists (also mountain bikers and walkers). It uses cycle paths/tracks where possible. If you press the right buttons it also gives you the ups, downs and gradients. You can slide the cursor across the bottom and see on the map where it tracks. I promise you it is great. You can then use your phone to guide your way and at the end record your completed route.
This is one such map, Andermatt near the source of the Rhine in the Swiss Alps. The wiggle on the left is UP, the wiggle on the right is thankfully DOWN! Well, going in my chosen direction it is! You can see on the elevation profile below the climb is about 2000 ft (600 metres).
This is the up… Wow!
So there you are, I’m a virgin ”poster“… not! Come to think about it that’s not entirely true, I did a “guest post” on littlebluebike.co.uk but I’m not counting that because it wasn’t my Blog.
Much more important however than all this nonsense is that I really really wish you good health through these troubled times and trust you can avoid job loss.
Over and out for now.
* For those worried about the apostrophe… In The Lands’ End Journal it says quote. “Our namesake, Lands’ End in Cornwall has officially had an apostrophe added to its name. This is a topic very close to our hearts, as the apostrophe in our name is actually in the wrong place and always has been”………… I’m still confused!