The very start of the month began with me returning from my little ride down to the West Country which was really good and it managed to ease my back a bit which was the main purpose of going in the first place.
The next day I had the opportunity of helping out a young German couple Jacob and Vera who were making their way to Brighton by bike but didn’t have a map. I first passed them along the seafront in Bognor and had said hello to them then, as I always do if I see somebody else on a cycle tour. I was now at the end of my village which was no more than a mile away from where I first saw them, I could see that they were struggling a bit to see which way to go so I asked them where they were heading. They were heading to Brighton for a jazz festival but didn’t have a map and were trying to use their phone which is always hard work! Seeing as I only lived across the road I invited them to my house so I could find them a map, to which they agreed. Whilst I was sorting out a map they were telling me that they were from Germany but were actually living in Copenhagen at the moment and that they weren’t really on a cycle tour, they had only flown into the country the day before and had hired the bikes from a house near the airport, just so they could cycle to the jazz festival in Brighton. After sorting out a map for them and marking out the route for them on it I then decided to ride them out of the village avoiding the busy roads and set them on the right road. Once I’d got them out of the village and onto the road they needed we parted company with them thanking me for my help, to which I was more than happy to do, as like so many other people have done to me in the past, it was just nice to be able to help somebody out for a change rather than it being me receiving the help! A few days later I received an email from them telling me that they made it to Brighton that day and that they’d had a good time at the festival.
I’ve been out for a couple of smallish rides with Julie at the weekends, one of them was part of the national cycle network, route 2, which I’d already rode the week before when I went down to Dorset and thought was such a lovely route as a lot of it was off road or on very quiet country roads and it also involved a couple of ferries. We First caught a train to Southampton from Barnham where we picked up route 2, I always find it’s best to cycle west to east you then generally have the prevailing wind behind you which we did. It was a lovely leisurely ride stopping of in a park to have our picnic then stopping off later at a pub for a drink. Everything was fine and we’d had such a nice day until we got to Portsmouth our journeys end, where we then had to go shopping at Gunwharfe Quays, a big retail outlet centre so Julie could buy some clothes. Julie eventually brought some clothes after looking in nearly every single shop! After our spot of retail therapy! And a pint to appease me it was time to go to the railway station and get the train home which was just around the corner. When we got to the railway station the train to Barnham had been cancelled! We asked a guard when the next train would be and he said at seven which was another two hours away! Fearing that maybe that one would also be cancelled and that maybe Julie might want to go back to the shops I suggested that we cycled a little further to Havant and try and get a train from there as Havant was on the main line and there would be more trains going our way. Again the cycle ride from Portsmouth to Havant is fairly good as most of it is on cycle paths. Upon arrival at Havant it was chaos as whatever had caused our train to be cancelled had also affected the trains from here! There were people everywhere not knowing how they were going to get home and nobody from the railways to ask! Eventually a train did arrive that we could get on and we managed to get home at about 10 o’clock at night! Despite the retail therapy and train cancellations it was still a good day! Ps; the clothes that Julie brought were later taken back because she didn’t like them! Typical woman!
After getting a few requests to list the equipment I use I finally got around to doing it but I couldn’t make my mind up where to put them on my website, after a bit of trial and error they’ve now got their own category, Gear and Equipment on the side bar. Sorry about the random emails people kept receiving whilst I was doing this they were never meant to go out!
It’s been a busy month of socialising and I’ve had something on every weekend, the first weekend was a fiftieth birthday party at my good friends Dave and Helen’s it was Helen’s birthday. I arrived at 2 in the afternoon thinking that was the time that the party started (that always use to be the time) only to find out that it wasn’t until about 4ish! Oops! O well nothing else to do so I just started earlier than everybody else! It was an excellent party with a good crowd of people many of whom I hadn’t seen for a while so it was good to catch up with them; I also met some interesting new people that I could bore with my cycling stories! The drink was flowing freely and I think I left at about 4am the following morning I’m not really that sure I just remember cycling home and it was light! Good to know that the old boys still got it in him and can party for 14 hours! The following weekend it was round to another friend’s house for a barbeque that one didn’t go on for quite as long but it still involved plenty of drink and again I met some interesting new people which I always enjoy. The next couple of weekends due to the weather being so bad I had both Julies and my family round for dinner, which again is something that I always enjoy and hopefully they do to!
Now for a long time some of the locals that go down my pub have been saying that they would gladly pay for me to go away just to get rid of me! Well now they can I’ve added a link on the website so that they or anybody else for that matter can donateto my PayPal account! It’s all done tongue in cheek but you never know I may get a big donation from some nice rich old widow and then be able to cycle around the world again! I’ve got to do something to get some money coming in now I’ve not been working for nearly two years!
On the back front it definitely is getting better it’s just so slow, I’m still taking loads of tablets a mixture of pain and anti inflammatory pills and every time I try to cut down I end up in a lot of pain but at least things seem to be moving in the right direction, I think that by the time it does feel really better I’ll be ready for the old folks home! Next month I go back to the consultant and have to decide as to whether I should have another operation or not!
Finished the month off by going on a boy’s day out, sailing with Tim and Dave on Dave’s boat which is a Cornish Shrimper, Dave billed it as a sail for people with disabilities, as Tim can’t move all that well either after being involved in a very serious car crash. It was an ideal day for a sail, lovely sunshine and just a slight wind about force 3 maybe 4. Both Tim and Dave are both sailors but Tim hadn’t done any sailing since his accident back in May and it was good to see him at the helm enjoying himself. We only sailed down the Chichester channel from Dell quay to east head and back again a distance of about 15 miles but it was really good watching Tim sail between the other boats moored along the channel while Dave and I sat back and drunk beer!