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Cycling Hertz Day One 
Greetings from the Great North Road...
This is not a wild, pioneering expedition. This trip has been done many times before by bike, and most likely a few times this year. After all it’s the 100th anniversary of the GNR becoming the A1. But as most journeys are rarely ever the same, even along the same roads, this is most certainly in an adventure.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
If you have sponsored the trip via www.CyclingHertz.com I thank you. It might also mean that you have already read the updates I have posted on there.
The same goes for if we are connected on Twitter as I’m spending way too much time posting stuff when I should really be peddling.
Click below if you have not seen it and follow the thread.
DAY ONE - London to Buckden
So let us start at the beginning. The quickest way for me to share this is to give you an extract from my Journal plus photos from Twitter…
It was sunny when I left home. Also on the train.
After being told I could not get my bike on a train back from Edinburgh next week, I managed to sort it GNLR over Twitter. Not only that I bagged a bargain ticket back using the app Train Pal.
Then when I got to London it was chucking down. The start point was the site of the now demolished Saracens Head on Snow Hill not far from Spittlefields Market. I struggled to find the start in the deluge. I tried to stay positive. But thankfully I found it. Much later than i’d hoped.
It took forever to get out of the city. Everything was a wet hill and the traffic was angry. My shoes were saturated from the off and stayed that way all day. I was still in good spirits though. It would not be an adventure is nothing untoward happened.
Then lots started to happen. The bags were rubbing on the front wheel and the bottles kept falling from under the bungee on the back. It seemed like a constant battle. I managed to hack stuff together with some spare velcro I had packed and just when it felt like things were going great…. Just when i’d upped my pace and flew down an ancient road… I got a puncture.
That was the point when I realised I had no idea how to fix a tubeless tyre. Then while examining it I trod in an ants nest. I felt like I was in ‘National Lampoon Cycling Holiday.’ Thankfully there was one solitary house nearby. A lovely little cottage. I knocked the door. In no time at all Barry the Beekeeper from Hatfield House was taking me into town so we could get what we needed to fix the bike.
My tyres were lightweight flimsy and thin so I opted for Marathon plus with inner tubes. I’ve had the same make of tyre on my Brompton since I got it and can’t remember ever having a puncture. Barry wanted to pay but I refused. He still shoved £60 towards the tyres and tubes and I was gobsmacked. Lovely guy.
I rode on with new found joy and determination.
Riding through some random middle of nowhere places, I could hear country music playing from the horizon. There seem to be nothing there. Perhaps it was a secret festival.
If not it was a terrible soundtrack for a delusion.
It was a long old slog. Just me and my thoughts and my feet going up and down. Plus things started hurting.
Towards the end of the day Richard Slade and his bike met me in Sandy and accompanied me back home. That was a lovely move and much needed. It’s amazing what having someone one to ride with can do for moral.
So, 72 miles done.
As far as amateur radio went Central London and a few repeaters but they were quiet.
On the way up I did manage to make contact with:
G4WIP - Alan and G4CJC Tony via the repeater GB3LP at midday.
Then Eric G0VPY and Jez 2E0IQJ on the repeater GB3VH
Finally the last contact made was Chris G4UXV as I came into Cambridgeshire on GB3OV.
Once home I had the ice bath and that felt really good. Then a hot shower. Then loads of pasta i’m now struggling with.
Getting very tired now.
[End of Day One]
Thanks for reading. Please consider becoming a supporting subscribing. If you do i’ll pass on the first two months of subs to Choose Love.
And thanks again. We smashed the first target of £555 before I even got on the bike. Then after upping it to £1000 we passed that. I’ve now upped it to £1500. You guys are amazing.
I’ll try to get more of these updates out soon but if i’m honest, as I sit in this noisy budget hotel on the side of the Great North Road, all I want to do is sleep.
Cheers for all the kind words, support, advice, work behind the scenes, sharing of links and your astounding generosity.
See you out there.