Day 2 Monday
It started like a dream we discussed the route in the Youth Hostel on Sunday night and Sean – “chief route planner” announced, “its alright lads tomorrow will be an easy day just a 70 miler”. With this information we decided to have a lie in and a late breakfast, why rush it… Breakfast at 8 out for 9 no worries, of course 9 O’clock came and went and the lads were busy fussing around their bikes oiling chains, pumping up tyres and the most popular event of the morning playing around with Andrew’s dereillieur..funny that when 5 people get involved on the same project at the same time nothing gets done in the end the “pros” Eoin and Jim took over and made a right pigs ear of it, never mind it wasn’t my bike and Andrew is a young lad who can take a dodgy bike in his stride..cheers lads.
At about 10 O’clock we finally set off and headed out of Okehampton through a couple of villages when we swung left up what I can only describe as a bridle way nothing with wheels had been up this beast since the demise of the horse and cart I’ve got to say the wicked 25% gradient didn’t help. No worries Sean assured us “its only a short day”….. Four hours later of almost constant hill climbing and wicked descents down slippery lanes it became apparent that we had only gone about 10 miles in the direction of our next stop and had basically ridden around in a huge hill laden circle, when the blood started pouring out of my eyes I realised that I was probably struggling a bit but to my deep satisfaction I wasn’t the only one. Only three punctures, which was remarkable considering we were riding over thorns and mud for a large chunk of the time, and we were back on the main road – what a relief.
The “peloton” kicked on and we were finally able to start munching up the miles. Many thanks to Julia who made our lunch and looked after us and my dad who managed to annoy most of South West England by driving a van slowly down the roads declaring our presence, I have to say the support that people have shown us along the way has been overwhelming a big thank you to those of you who have taken the time to “honk your horn” or talk to us about our endeavour.
There were a lot of happy smiling faces when we reached our destination a hard day..lets hope tomorrow is easier.