Friday, 7 May 2010

Stage 1

Thankfully, by the time we left the camp site at 8am the rain had eased. We were resplendent in our matching Peugeot tops, carefully hidden under various un-matching rain jackets. Arriving at Land's End we discovered that the famous signpost with all the distances to various places (including John O'Groats) gets taken away every night for safekeeping. Still, we did the photos by the empty post – we'll photoshop the full one in later.
And then... we were off. Bit of a subtle start, no cheering crowds and the massed bands of the Coldstream Guards were late (again!). Darren and Dave indulged in a bit of cyclocross over a gravel track and had to retrace their pedals as it ended in a fenced off car park but we managed to reform.
Sunshine. Who'da thought it? The idea of a 1000 mile bike ride is much easier to deal with in the sun. Beaches, little fishing villages, boats, trucks thundering past at 60 mph three inches from our elbows. On a quiet road we stripped off a little, exposing chicken white flesh to the light, blending in well with our various black and white clothing combinations.
One feature of the ride was Photo Dave and Osteo Liz who kept overtaking, stopping and then taking photos. Dave seems to be trying to vary his style, variously hiding in bushes, under a bridge, running across the road with his bits hanging out after a roadside comfort break, suspended from a crane by his feet – I can't wait to see those!
Jon and Phill were very strong today – they kept pulling away from the rest of us, although we reined them back by the simple tactic of not letting them have a map. This made them stop at junctions so we could catch up, though it did mean they missed the final turn and had to do another 10 miles and 300m of climbing.
Tonight we're staying at Smytham Manor campsite in our own private walled garden camping area! It's in Little Torrington and highly recommended.
Tomorrow – I'll tell you about the massages.
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