Bike ride

So, my husband Chris and I did do our 24 mile bike ride yesterday! While I am still up for a cycling weekend somewhere, as this is the longest bike ride I’ve ever done I’m going to tick this challenge off as being ‘complete’.

Much of the route was on dedicated cycle paths and bridleways and also fairly flat so the terrain was great for cycling.¬†However as it was really windy we had to peddle hard! We set off in the sun but twice got soaked to the skin in a couple of heavy downpours! The second happened when we were only a couple of miles from home so we arrived back tired, hungry and soaking wet…

Note to self: take a rain coat next time…

We did both feel a sense of achievement and are keen to do more longer weekend cycling and continue our short evening cycle trips during the summer.

 

 

 

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Dusting down the bike…

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Having done a huge amount of walking and trekking this year I was keen to do some cycling and get some practice for a more lengthy bike ride later on. Chris and I hadn’t ridden our bikes for about 3 years and they sat forlornly outside under a cover slowly rusting away and getting covered in spiders webs!

We recently dusted them down, oiled them up and have spent some of the recent gorgeous summer evenings out and about exploring our local countryside. With our mountain bikes we always stick to tracks and try to avoid roads as much as we can.

One of our favourite expeditions is a 4 mile trip across the fields where we stop and dine in a fabulous local Indian restaurant before cycling the 4 miles back across the fields again!

We are hoping to go further afield later today with a 24 mile round trip to a larger town! I say ‘hoping’ because we are currently experiencing the first rain in about 3 months on this Saturday morning. In contrast to most years the UK has experienced an ongoing heatwave with many records being broken for example, the hottest London Marathon in April, the hottest May Bank Holiday and one of the driest Junes and July’s, as explained by Wikipedia.

I’m happy to hike in the rain but I don’t fancy riding a bike for a rainy and possibly thundery 24 miles not when more sunny weather is forecast for the next couple of weeks into August!

 

 

 

February book review(s)

So, another two books completed before the end of February! Both are travel books again, documenting the adventures of two very different styles of traveller. Chris Pountney who cycled from Paris to Sydney and George Mahood who backpacked with his wife from Quito to Lima.

Book read: No Wrong Turns: Cycling the World, Part One: Paris to Sydney by Chris Pountney

Book number 3…

Wow! An awesome book! What a guy! I enjoyed every sentence of this book and was gripped right from the beginning… How could anyone even consider cycling from Paris to Sydney? This seemed such an impossible task and is only the first leg of his World cycle tour! And he didn’t even take the most direct route! Chris set himself a number of conditions one of which was to cycle through 100 countries.

Having begun in Paris, he headed off up through Germany to Scandinavia before dropping back down via Estonia and Poland and back through Germany towards Ukraine.

Not only was the adventure side incredible to read, the author has a brilliant style of writing which, together with his descriptions and humour make this one amazing package.

I was quite sorry when the book finished in Sydney so I’m now a regular reader of his website, eager to catch up with Chris and his now wife, Dea.

I love Chris’s approach and way of thinking… How to travel for next to nothing… Get a bike of course!

Awesome quote:

“But I also hoped that if I could circumnavigate the entire planet without ever once getting in a motor vehicle, it might just inspire one or two people that they could perhaps do their shopping without one.” Page 132

This is the best of the four books I’ve read so far this year.

And note to self: I have huge admiration for Chris and while I have been inspired to lead a more adventurous life, I don’t think (extraordinarily) long distance cycling is for me…

Book number 4:

Book: Travels with Rachel: In search of South America by George Mahood

A book documenting the author and his wife’s 6 week adventure through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

I enjoyed this book as I was able to closely relate to their travel style which was similar to the way Chris and I travelled in 2016. Yes, we are middle aged and did manage to spend a day doing the short version of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and climb up and down the steep paths of the Sacred Valley without just about making it to the gift shops (as George seemed to imply this was the case for anyone over 30…)

I loved reading about the places we didn’t get to such as Ecuador and the Amazon rainforest trip (both of which I would love to do in the future) as well as those places we did visit.

As well as plenty of reminiscing and developing an even stronger desire to travel to South America again, the main thing I took from his book was the inspiration to turn our 2016 adventures into a book! We were away for 11 months in total, exploring the Pacific, Asia, Central and South America… We captured much of our adventures in our blog so surely it can’t be too difficult to turn this into a book???

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Oct 2016: me at Machu Picchu