Not a good day for a bike ride
16.07.2011 - 20.07.2011
I left Bristol on the 16th July 2011 with everything I needed to support myself packed aboard my Dawes Galaxy. The most I had ever cycled in a day was about 50 miles and this was never repeated the following day, but my goal was to cycle around the coast of the UK. I was not sure of my exact route or the distance and time it would take. I had an estimate of between 4,000 and 5,000 miles and believed I could do 500 miles a week giving me a time of eight to ten weeks.
The first day I covered 86 miles and made it to Llantwitt Major in South Wales, half of this distance was travelled with my friend Paddy who joined me until Newport (then caught the train back to Bristol). The weather was far from good with rain and head winds and this carried on for the first four days. Sleep was very important on these first few days, I slept solidly even though there were gales. I even slept in a bus shelter during the day because I was so tired (my inner tramp was realised). Food was also important and my appetite was increasing. I stayed in Rhossilli the second night and had a couchsurfing experience in Pendine on the third night. The Pembroke coast was lovely but very hilly, I really liked the look of Tenby, but was too tired to enjoy it fully. I found it fascinating that people were interested in where I had been and where I was going to. I spoke to one Welsh man that hated tourist, but could not be any more helpful to me, I was not being treated like a tourist. I stayed at Whitesands near St Davids on the fourth night and the weather had finally improved.
On the beginning of the fifth day I was leaving Whitesands near St David’s in West Wales and the weather was glorious. I thought that I had turned a psychological corner in dealing with the journey only to find out a few miles further on that I had not been eating enough food to fuel my body. I was struggling to get up small hills and it didn’t matter how much I ate that day, the energy was not going to my legs. I decided to stay in a hostel and rest after only 44 miles and eat as much as I could, this did the trick, the following day I had lots of energy and cycled 80 miles, after this experience the major focus of my days was food, food and more food. The hostel was the YHA at Poppit Sands which I can recommend for a beautiful view.