Let’s indulge for a moment in true British fashion. Let’s talk about the weather.
I’ve not been checking the forecast. I rarely do. But on two occasions I’ve been told in passing or overheard that “tomorrow” is going to be wet. I hate it. I spend the night worrying about a day spent cycling in the rain, wet kit and cold exremities even though riding through a torrent can in fact be a perfectly pleasurable experience. My mind wanders and worries without control.
The weather, since you asked, has actually been really good. Sun burn my only concern. I have enjoyed, however, the rapid change so typical of British meteorology. Clouds gather, temperature drops and, as the first tiny flecks appear on my top, I pull over, rummage through my panniers, pull out a waterproof and put it on only for the drizzle to stop moments later. The same goes for suncream. No sooner have I lathered myself in the creamy white stuff than the sun goes in and a chill forces me to put another layer on.
No bother though. Since leaving Edinburgh on a new and improved Bug, the wind has been in my sails the whole way. Where previously I averaged 6mph, I’m now doing closer to 8mph. And whilst I’d previously aimed for 30 miles a day and hoped for 40, I’ve managed 50 on the last two and am already back in England (just) with almost a quarter of the distance under my belt. A tail wind behind me, charged with solar power or simply high on the feel of progressing once more, I’m gaining momentum.
Or perhaps I’m moving quicker to stay warm? I’m currently wearing all my layers, leggings underneath my trousers and two hats, typing this on a picnic bench on Rockcliffe village green. But it’s not now that I’m worried about. It’s tonight. Yesterday, people kept saying “Ooh, it’s a bit cold for that isn’t it?” as I cycled past. And these people were Scottish! I didn’t understand though as I was cycling through sun beams in a pair of shorts. Until I sat up in the night and my frozen breath showered down upon me, condensed as it had on the roof my tent. A brilliant starry sky was above me as I peered outside, reaching around for my clothes to keep me warm. I am prepared for tonight, however, hence wearing all my layers.
Once more into the bivi bag…
Day 8 (3rd May)
- Distance so far: 239 miles
- Quote of the day: “Do you want a ride?” from four separate smirking youths leaning out of car windows (it doesn’t even make sense!)