Either I’m making a large deposit in the CarbonNeutral Bank or I am completely nuts. Yes I know most of you agree with the latter, dont worry I still love you even if you do.
In my restless quest for finding some new challenges and having already done a few large rides, mostly in groups following someone else and with an expert to plan it all, I Decided to put myself a little outside my comfort zone, ok way out of my comfort zone.
Two things I am completely mystified by: navigating and logistics. So instead of signing up for my usual organised trips, I am going DIY, riding solo and unsupported.
They say things come in threes, this year it’s weddings and as I needed some practice navigating and planning, I decided to get there by bike, carrying all (well almost all) of my stuff in an extended saddle bag – no panniers, just some lightweight adventure kit.
Wedding One was a doddle – Ascot in April – well almost a doddle because it was close by (a neat little 2 hour pedal at dusk to get to the pub) but as our winter extended into June, I had to throw in a few extra bits to keep me warm. Amazingly my wedding outfit and civvies for the weekend made it into the saddlebag and top tube bag. I confess to being a little cold at the wedding, lacking a winter coat, but all in all I survived.
Wedding Two is in North Devon and I am pedalling down on Thursday. I will sneak a bag including some bubbly into a friends car but will still be riding with overnight kit on the bike. Thankfully a client has a pre-existing route down there, so it’s a case of plug it into the Garmin and off I go.
Wedding Three is in France. Dax to be precise and it lies just south of Bordeaux, a neat little 800km ride from Le Havre. I have two ferries booked, that is it. I plan on camping, taking a map and heading south. I’ve been told if I keep the sea on my left I should be fine. This comes from someone who has never ridden with me, so I shall delight in regaling stories of ending up somewhere unexpected and possibly nowhere near the sea. I also know France has these hidden gems of the most incredible restaurants in the middle of nowhere, so I am keen to stubble on a few of them.
After a weekend spent upgrading the cross bike, a little test ride revealed that my mechanics seem to have held up. Thank you Youtube.
I will keep you all posted on how my ride is going and if I can work out how to link my site to the tracking beacon I will have with me, you can follow me live and chuckle when I get lost. Wish me luck.