Monday, 3 June 2013

Tring to Land's End Ride Summary

Having had an enjoyable day off on Saturday in Cornwall, that included a swim in the Penzance Jubilee Pool, we drove back yesterday in a one way hire car with our bikes in the back. We spent much of the sunny Saturday in Porthleven. It was nice to be able to spend a day and a half relaxing with my brother, his wife and our niece before heading home, rather than dashing back.
We had a really good trip and enjoyed seeing the countryside, towns and villages - and quite a few pubs and cafes. Cycling 55 miles a day was about right for our hybrid bikes loaded with up to 10kg of luggage. The days in Devon and Cornwall involved some long quite steep hills that were quite tough, and my legs and lower back are still a bit achey. My lowest gear was only just low enough (28 chainwheel and 30 back cog). My rack top bag proved useful for carrying bought lunches and other stuff.
Looking back I could have planned the route a bit better, to avoid some of the steeper hills - although adapting my planned route as we went along with the help of our road map was quite fun. The road map did have > and < symbols on the minor roads denoting hills, but the A roads didn't. It was really nice to have a break from busy main roads by travelling on little back roads through farms and woods with hedges and grassy banks covered in wild flowers, even if such routes may have been a bit longer and hillier.
It would have been interesting to take my GPS watch to record our route and elevation climbed - and using my iPhone for tracking would be impractical as the battery would run out. The phone did come in useful when we were unsure where we were, provided I had a decent signal, and I used the Satnav on it a few times. The only technical problem we had was that my chain fell off once - no punctures at all thanks to our kevlar tyres.
We were really lucky with the weather in that we didn't get wet once, and the only rain fell in the night. It wasn't too hot or sunny too, although the inevitable headwind did slow us down. My waterproof jacket was useful on mornings when it was cool and windy, and I used almost all of my cycling gear and all my casual clothing. So far we've raised over £550 with more money coming in. We cycled 345 miles in 6.5 days.

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