Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cycling - Histon to Cambridge to London

Day 10 of cycling ~ 61 mile day, 569 miles total.

Today we started in Histon and cycled into Cambridge.  I included the Cambridge pictures/details in my previous post.  From Cambridge we set out to London.  The area around Cambridge basically became rolling hills which increased in size as we got closer to London.

As we approached London from the North/North-east traffic became increasingly faster and the roads seemed to become less navigable (by bike).  There was one point where we needed to backtrack about 1/2 mile (which then increased the total distance by 3-4 miles) because we came across a dual carriageway which we didn't feel was safe to cycle on (and it's also not legal in the UK).  Only serious backtracking we needed to do the whole trip and so it really wasn't that bad.  The new route took us through a nice little village where we took a break for lunch (cheese, tuna, tomato sandwiches), which we were getting in need of anyway, so it worked out.   

This trip as a whole has been amazing.  We've really seen quite a bit of the UK including what I think are some of the best bits (Lake District and Yorkshire Dales).  While it was unfortunate that I had an accident at the beginning, it really didn't hamper my trip and will just be a good story in the years to come.  I've also really enjoyed being able to reconnect with my cousin, Isaac.  I'll look forward to hearing about his adventures as he ventures across Europe (mostly by bike).  I learnt a lot about basic bike maintenance and touring from him, which I'll be appreciate in future years.

I did around 569 miles total, but Isaac has done a bit more in the UK because of his Ireland adventures.  I've been left me with a greater understanding of what it takes to "go touring" and the feeling that I'd like to do it again sometime in the future.  Perhaps someday I'll cycle across the US (preferably the northern route) or get over cycle some of  Europe (though not in the immediate future).

I think my highlights of the trip (not in any particular order) were:

  • The Lake District
  • The Yorkshire Dales
  • Minsters/Cathedrals we saw along the way - probably rank the York Minster at the top
  • Getting in better cycle shape
  • Reconnecting with Isaac
  • Connecting with various individuals whom we stayed with along the way
  • Having my cut/bruise not stop me from cycling
  • Getting close to London and being capable of going up hills faster than I could before (and also not feeling like they were any work) e.g. starting to get in cycling shape
Low points of the trip were:
  • Continuous rain
  • Cut/bruise being felt every time I hit a bump
  • Carrying extra items that I never used
  • 3 Spokes breaking
All in all - a great trip.  Something I'd recommend to anyone who is willing to push themselves farther than they've been pushed before (on a bike) and see the countryside.

Beautiful fields on the way to London

Which turned into rolling fields

Thatch roof through one of the small villages we ventured through

We have arrived at my new home in London!

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