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THE TRAVEL BLOG
by THE TRAVEL ROOM
I will be the first to admit that a training regime of the occasional walk, copius consumption of cider and the pursuit of the perfect artisan pizza isn't the best way to prepare for a cycling adventure that will take in England from London to Blackpool (with a short respite by taking the train and ferry from Liverpool to Dublin and a brief lap of Southern Ireland by public transport) before cycling up to Belfast and to Giant's Causeway and back and finally riding Hadrian's Wall across England, but here we are on our way on day one from London to Luton.
The Travel Room On Tour - Day 1
Cycling from London to Luton - A fine line between bravery and stupidity.
Posted 9th July 2011
As the marathon 8 hours in the saddle was coming to an end and we had been suitably abused by these young men as they zoomed by us we did what as independent travellers we hate to do, we, as Scarlett O Hara so eloquently put it, relied on the kindness of strangers. A very accommodating fellow cyclist stopped for us, he pulled out his iPhone and gave us exact directions to the Travelodge we were staying in. He was a very talkative chap, mainly he confessed due to the wine he had been drinking, but nevertheless he showed a genuine interest in our little journey. After confirming we knew where we were heading his parting words to us were, "you're very brave". Hmmm...twice in a day we have heard the same ominous statement, all I can hope is that we are not exhibiting just plain old stupidity masquerading as bravado. Only time will tell.
And it doesn't get any better when the new GPS purchased only to alleviate my terminal directional blindness gives you the directions of left, left and left... hang on isn't that a circle? So we pop into a book shop and buy a paper map. Welcome to the 21st century! After several false starts we finally begin to make some headway and heading down the A41 we have an odd experience with a traffic policeman who yells out to us that we were brave to be riding on this road. Puzzled I smiled back at him, which provoked him to yell out in a louder and sterner voice that we were being very brave. However minus GPS and now paper map reliant we chugged on amidst the London traffic.
As we approached Luton we passed a Pentecostal church blaring out loud rap whilst outside boy racers dragged each other in hot hatch race cars through the streets, and all the while a large plume of marijuana smoke hung in the air. If that’s church, then I will have to find me some Jesus.
As a footnote, we got to the hotel just before midnight, tired, hungry and aching all over. Dinner was small biscuits and a diet coke from the vending machine followed by the best chocolate ice cream I have ever tasted (chocolate, caramel Magnum!)...a dinner of champions.
You know it's not quite going to be that perfect day on the road when you get stuck in the bank (always need money in the pocket as a back-up!) and then at your first stop to photograph Westminster Abbey on your way out of town Dani drops her bike onto your ankle and a trickle of blood drips down onto your sock. [Oops, sorry! - Dani]
THE TRAVEL ROOM TV
Ted in front of the rolling fields of England - The Travel Room on Tour - Day One
The sun sets on The Travel Room on Tour - Day One
University of London Observatory The Travel Room on Tour - Day One
A trip to Luton from London should be a reasonable hike of around 38 miles (64kms), we on the other hand managed to turn it into 85kms before we got to Luton and what an eye opener that turned out to be.