Two thousand miles away from Glasgow, and still going. So here are the facts and figures for these 1000 miles.
- Continents: 2 (Europe, Africa)
- Countries: 3 (France, Spain, Morocco)
- Nations: 4 (France, Basque Country, Spain, Morocco)
- Cycled distance: 1000 miles (1609 Km)
- Climbing so far: 35,094 feet (10,697 m)
- Cycling Days: 20
- Rest days: 8
- Longest day: 86 miles (138 Km)
- Average per day: 52 miles (84 Km)
- Punctures: 4
- Blow ups: 1
Cycling has been a bit more challenging in these second thousand miles. Spain was a lot more mountainous than I thought and the weather did not help in various occasions. Still my cycling average is increasing and I made truck load of experience on maintenance and loading the bike. All things that will come handy at some point.
- 12 Hotel/B&B
- 2 Friends
- 14 hostel*
Accommodation continues to be depressing. These past thousand miles I did not even camp once. The weather was the key factor, with rain in Spain and exceptional rain in Morocco, would you believe it?. It feels like the camping gear is wearing me down, weight wise, but I’m not getting any benefit out of it. Morocco, weather aside, is also proving to be a poor camping place, with people everywhere and no camp site in sight so far.
* note that in this category there are what are called in Spain “hostal” which are very much a cross between an hotel and an hostel.
- Average spent: £10.22 per day
- Most expensive day: £26.00 (Sevilla)
Food is not very expensive and I am making an effort to eat better. I am still taking supplements and I am down to the end of the protein shakes, they were good while they lasted.
- Bike doing ok, have learned to live with a slight off centre back wheel, I guess I’ll look into it at some point
- Camera is ok, turns out the problem was with the cameramen.
- Now that I have hat, gloves and raincoat the rain and cold have stopped.
- I have more spares for the bike and lots of puncture patches.
These past thousand miles have been a lot more challenging than the first thousand. I suspect solitude might have played a part in it though meeting Lorenzo and Ramona in Biarritz was a needed tonic. The weather was a bit bleak and I discovered how bicycle touring really takes the glamour out of the world. By this I mean that you get to see the world that does not make it onto the travel programmes, you truly experience the edited out bits.
Two thousand miles is still a small proportion of a trip like the one I’ve started, but I am now more confident than before that I will complete it. It might not be all with a bicycle, in fact it will not be all with a bicycle. It might not be in the order I’ve laid it down in the map, but over the next few years I am confident I will touch all continents.
I have realised, more so in the last month, that there is a core of people that are really interested in what I do and are supporting me enormously in what sometime feels like a monumental effort. I have also realised that what I am doing is not the answer to my problems, and in several occasions over the last few weeks I have found myself in really dark places. The fundraising is not going well but I have to accept that I’m competing with Sir Bob and Saint P.D. Hewson and I don’t sing that well.
On the plus side I have shed loads of weight, I have ditched the high blood pressure medications and my legs are turning into Sheffield steel.
P.S. I know I have cheated with the picture, taken at 2050 miles, but I really wanted this to be a beach picture.