Change of Plan

I’m almost ready now. Only 2 weeks to go until the 100km Help For Heroes ride and just over a month for the John O’Groats to Lands End.

I say almost ready, because I forgot the Seven Ps…

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

I finally got around to confirming campsites and ferry bookings this week, simply because I hadn’t been able to afford to do it before. None of the costs of the ride are being taken from the sponsorship money, so if you donate a pound, a pound goes to Re~Cycle (£1.25 if you Gift Aid it!). The ferry from Cairnryan to Larne I’d already researched, spoken to the campsite in Northern Ireland so they understood I might be late so booking that one was no problem. I’ve even got a flexible ticket with P&O so I can get on one of three consecutive crossings allowing me to avoid a degree of “SHIT! I’m not gonna make it on time!”.

The ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, however, I did not research.

I’m meeting up with my mum in Dublin and spending the night there before heading over to Wales the following. First sailing was at “something past silly in the morning” – and I’m going to need sleep. The first sensible crossing was 08:20, arriving in Holyhead at 11:50.

Crap.

That’s half a day of riding gone.

So… Long story short, I’ve had to change the route for the following two days. Instead of stopping at Hanley I’ll now get to Wrexham. It’s quicker, shorter and flatter. Unfortunately that means the following day I’ll be cycling to Bristol from North Wales, and that leg is now slower, further and more hilly. I’ve lost about 50 miles off the journey (which has taken it under 1000 miles), but I’ve pushed the total climbing to over 30,000 feet. Fortunately it means I’m going to get a chance to catch up with someone I haven’t seen in years, so it’s not all bad.

Bloody Seven Ps…

On the other hand, I’ve tried to check and re-check other elements, Mainly kit.

The potential for late night finishes has meant that rather than taking lights as a precaution I have actually fitted a pair. It’s looking increasingly likely that I’m going to end up using them in the evenings if not the mornings. They’re only lightweight and well worth the peace of mind.

I’ve gone out and bought a new chain. The one that is fitted looks like the original (20 year old one), and I don’t fancy my chances on it too much. I also don’t think that if I get one link break, that it would end there. So, new chain. I’ve got it to the right length, which has left me with some spare links I can use to repair initially until it looks like replacing is the answer. I’ve got myself some arm warmers so I can get rid of them on the move rather than having to stop and take off a whole layer – and they also cut down on the number of long sleeved tops I need to take. And I got a new pair of gloves. I know how handlebar worn my hands felt after 200 miles, so they’re about to feel 5 times worse.

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