21st August – 980 miles or is it 1040. Quite a few cities and a headwind.
Dan (An ElliptiGO owner who joined me last week for a couple of days) meets me at the Hilton in Tewkesbury in the morning that I managed to have a down day in, the breakfast is most welcome and we look over the route, a 50 mile day is planned. He is coming with me for the day and arrives at 7 for a 7.30 leaving time, but the rain is coming down and we decide to hold off. We are off to his and Zoes (his wifes) home in Witney with a visit into Gloucester for the obligatory cathedral shot.
He arrives with the spanners I need to be able to change the back tyre should I need to. I've managed nearly 1000 miles without the need to, but its a comfort to know I finally have the tools to do the job. I know what you want to say but tyre changes have never been top of the priority and why change the habit to my title of being an accidental adventurer.
We eventually leave at about 9 after a couple of hot chocolates and some help from the Hilton maintenance team and some cable ties. As we leave I call my folks, my dad answers, tells me about his ducks he has just got for his small holding and then promptly says, 'I hope you are going North.' (We were going South)
The wind is so strong and an hour journey takes an hour and half, but we make it to Gloucester as the showers come down in ways that makes it impossible to manage rain jackets and bikes.
People always stop and ask about the bike, its nice to have Dan there to do the talking. Its hard work riding the EllitiGO, thinking, planning and then telling the story to people so often each day.
I am alone as of today with no support vehicle, it means I need to be self sufficient. I have bags on the bike, my clothes carefully packed and all the electronics to film my progress. Dan has loaned me a rucksack to help.
There is a stress that happens when you are not sure what is to come, when you are unprepared for change. Popped into some shops and bought some rain covers, make shifting solutions to keep the bike bags dry.
As we left Gloucester I started to feel a little more confident of what was to come, knowing that your things wont get wet holds a great deal of weight in building confidence.
As we continued and got near to Dans home in which Zoe his wife had sorted food, it felt as though the breakfast earlier that morning had happened a week previously. Time is a vortex on this trip!
Being in the company of Zoe and Dan, the wonderful food, the thoughtfulness, well all the stress was left somewhere out on the road.
Connection with each other has the power to change a day, that is kindness.