Itinerary? Pah!

Mat and I had our first, and what will in all likelihood be our only, planning meeting last night at The Angel in Leeds. Our itinerary for the coast-to-coast looks a bit like this;
Day 1
• 9:47 – Train from Leeds to Whitehaven (changing at Carlisle)
• 13:55 – Arrive at Whitehaven
• 14:00 (approx) – Dip wheels/bikes/selves in Irish Sea and depart
• When we get there – cycle as far as we can, aiming for a point between Keswick and Penrith (preferably as close to Penrith as possible)

Day 2
• 9:00 (hopefully) – Depart wherever we get to on Day 1.
• When we get there – Arrive at Allenheads

Day 3
• 9:00 (fingers crossed) – Depart Allenheads
• Mid/late afternoon – Arrive Tynemouth, dip wheels/bikes/selves in North Sea
• Early evening – Have pint/go home

As you can see the plan gets significantly less detailed immediately after setting off, but I’m sure that’s half the fun. We did also have a conversation about food and things like calorie to weight ratios (cereal bars topped with jelly babies – or similar – was decided to be best). Now all that remains is for Mat to buy a bike and we’re ready to go.

Idiot drivers at rush hour

I am beyond furious, I was cycling back from Hyde Park after picking some things up from a friend’s house and was nearly taken out by some complete moron in a Punto. Luckily I managed to get out of the way but I fail to see how that kind of behaviour is acceptable, it was my right of way, I had my lights on and a high-vis jacket and the driver let the two cars in front of me through before trying to nip across in front of me so I don’t think there is any realistic excuse of ‘not seeing me’. I had to brake hard and took a pretty heavy tumble onto the road, the bike is a bit bashed up but nothing serious I don’t think.
I am fuming.

Hill training and other fun ways to spend a saturday

So i’ve realised that to stand any chance of enjoying the c2c i really need to cycle up some actual hills. So this afternoon i set out for a little ride, i didn’t have a route in mind, my only plan was to cycle about 20 miles and include Pool Bank or Otley Chevin in the ride at some point.
This was my route:

Training ride

Training ride

I gave Pool Bank a good go but did have to get off and push for about 200 metres which was really annoying. Still at least it’s given me a bit of an idea as to my hill abilities (fairly limited at the moment) and I felt fine with the pace which worked out at about 11mph.

Think I’ll go for another, longer ride tomorrow.

Where the wild things are

I’ve been reading a book by Robert Macfarlane about wildness (and his search for it in Britain); several things that he’s put very eloquently have resonated with me. He talks about two main schools of thought on the concept of ‘wildness’ one being that it is something alien and negative that one should fight to overcome with ‘civilization’ and the other being that it is something that we have an intrinsic connection with that should be treasured and experienced. I think I fall squarely on the side of the latter, and maybe my little plan (the walk) is a way of trying to indulge my fascination with something a little wilder, although it obviously isn’t as committed as Macfarlane’s exploits!