April 2013 Update

Garry McGivern Travelsonabike2 April 2013 update. I started to look at riding to South Africa last month. But it doesn’t seem possible, not without flying over certain countries in northern Africa. There seems to be a lot of threats of terrorism, kidnapping and general unrest, according to the Foreign Office website. So, I’ve given up on that one for the time being and turned my attention to Central America. Apart from the normal warnings of crime and violence seems a much easier place to cycle. Although I might do that as part of a big tour. And then cycle the Pan American highway which runs from Alaska to Argentina.

No Cycling For Garry

I had to go nearly a week without any bike at all after I’d broken the handlebars on my trusty old Marin that I’ve had for over 20 years. My touring bike was also unavailable as it was still in Bridgewater being repaired.

It was pretty embarrassing when I broke my handlebars. It was right in the middle of Chichester town centre. I’d just cycled the nine miles from home and was just about to get off when the bar just snapped, sending me sprawling over the road, right in front of a load of old dears and an oncoming bus. Luckily, the bus was only going about 10mph, so there wasn’t any problem. Although, it did make me jump back up pretty fast. What with seeing a bus bearing down on me and the scores of people that were all around also looking at me!

Did Anybody See

No sooner had I hit the ground than I’d picked myself up and tried to pretend that nothing had happened! But of course, that wasn’t going to happen, was it? A group of old dears that were stood close by came over and started fussing over me and asking if I was ok,

“Are you okay, sonny?” one of the old ladies asked

“I’m fine, thank you. My handlebars have just snapped as I was getting off,” I replied,

“You could have really hurt yourself, what happened did you just fall off?” another old lady asked,

“No! My handlebars have snapped, look! But I’m fine, thank you”

“Well, as long as you’re okay and nothing’s broken, we’ll be on our way. You had a narrow escape there. Perhaps you should be a bit more careful next time you get off your bike!” a third old lady in the group replied.

Don’t think anybody had noticed that my handlebar had broken; think they just thought I couldn’t ride a bike!

The driver of the bus, who’d also stopped, was next to start fussing over me. Asking me the exact same question, “Was I okay?” to which I obviously replied, “Yes, I’m fine, thank you. My handlebars have just snapped”, but at least she could see my broken handlebars and didn’t keep repeating the question.

All the people on the bus just sat there looking at me, and of course, with all these people fussing over me and a bus stopped in the middle of the road, it just drew more attention. I just wanted to go away and pretend that nothing had happened. I was grateful that people did actually bother to take the time to see how I was, though.  After I’d eventually convinced everybody that I was okay and that nothing apart from the bike was broken, they all left. Leaving me to quickly park the bike up in the bicycle racks and make a hasty escape to the nearest pub!

A Weekend Away

Got a phone call to say that my touring bike was ready for collection, so decided to make a weekend of it and went down to Cornwall. It was only a 300-mile Detour! Good weekend. We went for a couple of walks, one at Lands End, the most westerly point in mainland Britain, where we nearly got blown away, and the other in St Ives, where we stayed. St Ives is a lovely little fishing port. Although I don’t think there’s too much fishing going on these days.

I think it’s probably very busy in the summer with thousands of tourists. I can imagine that the character of the place completely changes. But out of the main season in mid-April, it was a lovely, quiet little town. It’s got some really narrow cobbled streets with small independent shops. Loads of art galleries (just my sort of thing, not!) and a few nice pubs which seemed to be frequented by locals. My favourite one was the Sloop Inn, which dates back to the 14th century.  We also found a nice little fish restaurant, and I had John Dory. It was the first time I’d had that. And I really enjoyed it, it’s a white fish with a firm texture and fairly sweet.

On the way home, we went via Lizard Point, the most southerly point on mainland Britain. Just to say that we’d done the most southerly and western point in mainland Britain that weekend! Can’t really say that there was much at Lizard Point. But then we only drove there and didn’t do any exploring!

If Things Don’t Pick-Up

Work has still been a bit quiet. Although I’ve been working for most of the month. And I’ve got one or two jobs lined up for next month, but nothing major. I might disappear on a short tour!

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