I made it to the sign at around 8AM and weirdly there was a Starbucks, so I went for breakfast.
I started the process of using electricity wherever possible and got the phone on charge. Whilst the phone was charging, I went outside and strolled over to the sign. It was covered in stickers from years of people starting or finishing the trip and I enjoyed looking at them all. One of the arms of the sign pointed south, it said Land’s End – 874 miles.
I met two couples who were travelling around Scotland, I joyfully told them where I was headed and it resonated with their sense of adventure. They insisted that I had breakfast with them and paid for it, day 1 and I’m amongst good people. I thanked them, wished them safe travels and said goodbye.
I went back outside, walked my bike over to the sign and took my final moments. I was finally there.
Full of optimism and coffee I set off for 2 weeks of personal development.
Now I could tell you about every moment of every day, but unlike America this wasn’t a completely joyous trip. Scotland was incredible, England was mostly a commute. I photographed a lot of the trip, so the story is in picture format, and we all know that they speak a thousand words.
Instead I’m going to tell you about my experiences.
I had victorious days. Day 3 in Scotland was one of the best days of my life. I climbed Slochd Summit and the Pass of Drumochter and rolled down the other side on gravel. The sun was shining and as soon as it began to set I found a lovely place to sleep under the stars. That was a good day.
I had horrendous days. Day 8 I woke to a wet head in the rain (this became frequent), I packed up in the rain, I rode for 10 hours zig zagging the main A road and got lost a load. I kept riding, looking for some kind of shelter and by around midnight had to accept defeat. I found a hotel still open and they let me take a room for the night for cheap.
I had days where I bumped into people cycling their own routes, one bloke in particular was riding 70 miles that rainy day to say hello to his mum. He was also carrying home made strudel for her, and he gave me a slice.
I had days where i barely spoke. I even had a day where I spoke to one person in 24 hours, and that was the cashier giving me my change for the water bottles I bought.
I had days where I felt powerful and the 10 hours were a breeze.
I had days where my knee ached and ached and I stopped regularly.
I guess what I’m saying is that I had ups and downs.
I asked myself most days “Why am I doing this? If I just call it quits right now I can be home in max 10 hours.”. I knew deep down that the trip wouldn’t compare to America, but I still hoped it would.
In America I was the wanderer from a foreign land. I was travelling across sparse unknown landscapes. My journey made people laugh and gasp. Back here in the UK none of the above was true.
Truth be told, my drive to go on steadily fell as soon as I left the start line. But alas, all was not lost, this was a journey of grit and holding power!
Yours in cycling’