Milestones: 1000 Miles

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.

Cycling

  • 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.

Accommodation

  • 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.

Food

  • 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).

Other things

  • 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)

Commentary

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.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter Davies says:

    Alex – congratulations on reaching 1,000 miles. What is that they say the journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step. So you’re well on the way. Great to read your log and daily musings! Very envious. Enjoy the next 1000 miles and turn of the crank. All the best. Peter

  2. julca says:

    Complimenti per le tue prime mille miglia!!! E buona Spagna!

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