Pilgrim's Progress (2011)
The map shows you how far I've got. Deadline for making the family "do" is to catch the overnight train from Penzance to Paddington on Friday 27th May (2011).
Sun 15th John O'Groats
Mon 16th Evanton (near Dingwall)
- 108.5 miles - Set off in rain. Then it rained. Strong headwins. Heard lots of curlews. Day ended sunny – but shoes still wet.
Tue 17th Pitlochry
- 103.2 miles - A much nicer day. Started sunny, ended with spits and spots. Snow on Cairngorms. Some doubted my training in the Old Milverton Alps would be sufficient but fortunately their doubts were misplaced and I've now got 2 passes to my credit - Slochg (1328ft) and Drumochter (1516ft) - both against a headwind. Training in a wind tunnel would have been an advantage.
Wed 18th Cumbernauld
- 70.3 miles - Horrendous headwinds: real battle, even going downhill. Only footwear I've got is cycling shoes with metal cleats. Monday I got drenched, yesterday dried out - so I was like Fred Astaire but without the poise, today got drenched again, took refuge in a Little Chef...wet feet again.
Thu 19th Johnstonebridge (6 miles N of Lockerby)
- 85.2 miles (some of them in the right direction!). Got rather lost. The headteacher of a local primary school was very helpful, plotting the route back to the A702. It was wonderful over there. All in all, a lovely sunny day. If it wasn't for the frustration of getting lost it would have been ace....
Fri 20th Kendal
- 82.1 miles - Including Shap...In fact the worst bit of climbing was between Shap and Kendal so not sure why there’s so much fuss about Shap. Sun-tan cream washed off by the rain so hands now even more sore but at least the shoes have dried out!
Sat 21st Lostock Gralam
- 83.6 miles - Spatters of rain, having threatened more. Blustery when the sun wasn't out. Bought more provisions at the Morrisons in Stockton Heath that I used to visit before meetings in Warrington.
Sun 22nd Worcester
-86.1 miles - Very windy. Rain to start off with then it got windier and windier...Sun came out later and made more rapid progress but it would have been nice to have made steady progress all day. Lots of other cyclists out and about – all talking about the wind.
Mon 23rd South of Bristol, near Bristol airport
-68.9 miles – horrendously windy, a real, real slog. Wind partly head on, panniers like wind-sails. Not an entirely encouraging day. Very nearly gave up.
Tue 24th North Tawton
- 86.6 miles - Much better day. Shoes dried out from yesterday's downpour. Very sunny. Lucky to find somewhere to stay - only one B&B.
Wed 25th Redruth, Cornwall
- 78.7 miles - Set off with the aim of finishing but it was a bit further than I'd imagined. Traffic so constant on A30 you can't think....
Thu 26th Land's End
- 30 miles - Job done! - So glad I did the extra miles yesterday - tremendously windy today. A little discomfort....had to push the bike up some of the steepest hills. Very nice to be met by a welcome hug from (my brother) Nick - very touched! Finished!
Fri 27th "Day at leisure" in Penzance
Like banging your head against a brick wall, it’s wonderful when you stop.
Sat 28th Leckenby Do
Made it – late: lots of trains cancelled because some of the overhead power cables were down!
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