So, here we are, one thousand miles away from Glasgow, that would be by bike, and not on a terribly straight line. So here are the facts and figures.
- Continents: 1 (Europe)
- Countries: 2 (United Kingdom, France)
- Nations: 4 (Scotland, England, Bretagne, France)
- Cycled distance: 1000 miles (1609 Km)
- Climbing so far: 21,207 feet (6,464 m)
- Cycling Days: 24
- Rest days: 6
- Longest day: 69 miles (111 Km)
- Average per day: 44 miles (71 Km)
- Punctures: 0
- Blow ups: 0
This is on the whole quite acceptable, and in fact I am making faster progress that I expected. Considering that I had, by design, rolled the preparation into the first month of cycling, there was always going to be low starting averages. The good thing is that I did not need as much rest as I thought I did. When there was no reason to stop I did not. and this means that as I get into less friends populated areas of the world the cycling days will remain the vast majority.
- 9 Hotel/B&B
- 9 Friends
- 8 hostel
- 2 couch-surfing
- 1 camping
- 1 ferry
Accommodation is a bit depressing. Two things jump to mind, I must be more interested in creature’s comforts that I thought I was and, I still have to find my camping spirit. To be fair to myself the late departure was a bit of an issue with camping. The one time I did it lead to a totally drenched morning packing session. I’m hopefull that, if not already in Spain, things will turn around in Morocco.
- Average spent: £11.00 per day
- Most expensive day: £35.00 (Tonight)
Food cost is as much as I expected. the quality of my diet though has been very poor given that I seem to have reverted to a 5 year old, only eating things he likes. I am taking supplements so I might just survive and protein shakes are doing their job after the day riding (I wonder how far south in the world can you find those).
- Bike will need a good look at in a couple of days in Decathlon, the excessive weight on the back wheel seams to have taken its tool
- I have rearranged the panniers more than I care to remember.
- Camera sometime playing up, will monitor and see what to do.
- Getting better at filming and editing (3 clips on YouTube already)
- Got more business cards, and promptly almost stopped giving them away (go figure)
- Lost gloves (replaced with pathetic cycling ones)
- Lost rain cover (will like that tomorrow considering the weather forecast)
So, what can I say? Over the last 1000 miles I have made new friends, I have met old friends, I have reconnected with family and I have lost some weight (both from the bike and myself) and I have been hosted by strangers exposing me to different and new ways of living and thinking. I have shared accommodation in hostels for the first time in fifteen years and the result has been, well, patchy.
What I have done so far is not even 10% of the first stage, which is not even 10% of the whole thing, so I guess I have completed less than 1% of my task. Still it feels fine.
It has given me the two things I wanted the most: a busy day and a tired evening. I have also realised I have given something to the people I have met and talked to about this thing I’m doing. For a very brief moment, as they realise they are in the presence of someone that has left it all behind, they catch a glimpse of the world beyond mortgage repayments, and daily schedules, without career progression or worries about retirement. Then I leave, and reality comes flooding in again, but from my viewing point, looking at their eyes, I think they really enjoyed that moment.
As far as I am concerned, all evidence to the contrary but, the oyster is very much still my world.