Sunday 4th March
I got up at 5am and made the most of my massive bath before having breakfast and getting my stuff ready to leave! I was on the road by 7am! The snow had cleared on the roads but there were still large piles by the side, getting up so early meant that the roads were pretty much clear and felt fast – until I hit the hills! The minor roads were still covered in slush, not good territory for a trike so I stayed on the main A road all day.
It was today that I realised just how much harder it is carrying 15kg of kit on top of an already heavy bike and cycling in a recumbent position! I spent quite a while climbing a 15 percent gradient in my lowest gear whilst trying to avoid the river running down the side of the road. My Garmin kept pausing as I was dipping below the 3mph pause speed that I have set! Unloaded this and all the other hills would be much easier! But this isn’t the point, I like the simplicity that I am carrying everything, even in the recent extreme weather I have had everything I have needed and would have survived a nights camping had it been necessary! Every inch of stress has lifted from me, apart from attempting to remain on schedule I don’t have to be anywhere and I don’t have anything to do other than cycle, sleep (or find somewhere to sleep) and eat, and I guess on top of this cope with the weather conditions – life really is that simple at the moment 🙂
Cycling early in the morning with quiet roads meant that it was easy to avoid the gushing water in the gullies but as the roads got busier I was being forced into the sides and was unable to choose my line when the water crossed the road, however with the sun shining I was cycling along with a massive smile on my face.
Then it started spitting just as I entered a part of the main road with no stopping spaces, by the time I found somewhere to stop the rain was torrential, I couldn’t get my waterproofs on quick enough!
Soaking wet and struggling with the water on the roads I was glad when I found a Starbucks to dry off in. I was 6 miles away from my destination where James was going to pick me up, they were so friendly and I got so comfortable that I cheekily held out until James drove the extra 6 miles! And I am so glad he did the roads after this point wouldn’t have been cycle-able – the water gushing over them was dangerous. We drove past a bad accident on our way into Plymouth where a car had hit water crossing the road and aquaplaned, the car had hit something end on, on both ends, with only the middle of the car remaining! I hope the driver and anyone else involved were okay.
We had a pit stop for fish and chips (something I am sure I will be fed up of at the end of the trip, but for now they were exactly what I wanted) and stocked up at Cotswold Outdoors before finishing the journey to Plymouth.
I am now in Plymouth. I will redo this part of the coastline when it can be enjoyed, either at the end of my trip or in the summer, as it is too nice not to do it justice. Tomorrow I will restart my journey and am splitting the next couple of days up, I will cycle to Fowey and the following day on to St Mawes. I am back on track with my estimated schedule! Please let me know if you want to join me in the next week – I am looking forward to meeting as many as you as possible!