Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season's Greetings

Wishing you and your loved ones Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope 2010 brings you good cheer.

Best wishes

Kendal & Jack

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Updates and photo links

For those that have been following Mike Carter's journey around the Coast of Britain he has posted some photos of his trip and there is one of Dad

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/gallery/2009/nov/06/mikes-big-british-bike-ride?picture=355217635

Mike has also finished off his blog and for anyone who has not seen it the link is
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/series/big-british-bike-adventure

The Sentinel (local paper) have been in touch with Dad so hopefully there will be a "feature" in on a Saturday evening. No sure which one yet.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Manchester Velodrome - World Cup Track Cycling

Dad and myself had a great day watching the cycling at Manchester velodrome yesterday.
Watched Hoy and Armitstead get gold and Pendleton, Crampton and Kenny pick up silver/bronze. Posted some photos of my Facebook which hopefully you will be able to see here
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=118542&id=585777112&l=4f7d027d61

If you haven't been the Velodrome, you must. It's a great day/evening out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

It's Dad's birthday today - he's 75 but don't tell him I've told you! He's been out on the bike with the Wednesday Wheelers and they've cycled to Alrewas and the National Memorial Arboretum http://www.thenma.org.uk/ He had hoped to clock up 75 miles but the trip was only 62! I did ask why he'd not gone round the block a couple of times but he'd limped back with only three gears, so we will let him off this time. It's a good job that bike is going in for an overhaul on Friday!

Cat & Fiddle ride was on Sunday. Dad did it in 4 hours 45 minutes. He did say cycling without the panniers was a doddle! Met loads of folk out on the road and back at Rourkes that had been following the blog. Weather was a bit mixed and the heavens opened up at the Cat & Fiddle.

Dad has been in touch with Mike Carter - the guy from the Observer who is cycling around the coast in the opposite direction. He's hoping to be back home (London) towards the end of this week.

Dad has caught up on reading this blog so he knows everything I've written about him!!

Well that's all for now folks.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Been home a week ...

Doesn't time fly ... Dad has been home a week! He's been keeping busy though. Bike panniers have been off to be repaired. Bike seriously needs some TLC. Not much chance of that though. He was out riding with the Wednesday Wheelers yesterday. There was only Dad and Dave & Anne (who were on the tandem) out! They stopped off at PJ's Transport Cafe in Burton ... guess what Dad had - yes a full English Breakfast!!

However this weekend he is taking a rest from the bike and is out working those other leg muscles as he is walking in Yorkshire Dales. I dont suppose it will be a leisurely couple of mile walk either!

Dad has also signed up for Brian Rourke's Cat & Fiddle ride on Sunday 4th October http://www.cftrust.org.uk/help/events/catandfiddle so anyone out doing the ride give him a shout! I mean they think getting Sean Kelly is headline news .... wait til they see the name Jack Allen on the start list! Now that will pull the crowds in!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Found my Dad on Youtube!

Found this on Youtube.
Short and sweet and to the point!
http://www.youtube.com/user/andygreensurfer#play/uploads/4/4r11z0uqS-c

and here is another
http://www.youtube.com/user/andygreensurfer#play/uploads/3/XReyMkOikr8

Photos

Dad has had his disposable camera film developed so I'll pop a few on here
Lands End
The First and Last cafe at Land's End
Dad and Mike Carter in St David's
Mike Carter in St David's
Cycle 2000 lads that my Dad caught up with at Poppit Sands
Dad at Porthmadog (he tells us he's been camping!!!)
Eureka Cyclist Cafe - Chris Boardman's yellow jersey
Dad at Birkenhead. He's cycled all the way around the coast of Britain

Can you ride tandem!! Dad on the back.
Here is the rest of the album on Facebook

Weekly Summary - week 16 - The final week!

Just finished totting up the final few days.

Day 106 Tudweilog to Conwy 50 miles
Day 107 Conway to Flint 50 miles
Day 108 Flint to Chester 60 miles
Day 109 Chester to Home 45 miles

I make that to be 205 miles covered bring the total mileage to cycle around the coast of Britain to be 4,534 miles! That's some achievement.

Dad weighed himself when he got home and he's lost about a one stone in weight (6.5 kgs). So he had better start feeding himself up because there wasn't much of him when he set off! First night he slept in his own bed he woke up with cramp!!!!

I did ask Dad if he'd got a tally of how many bacon baps/sandwiches/all day breakfast he'd had but he hadn't been keeping a note! I reckon out of the 109 days he was away there were only a handful he'd not managed to get one! I did ask him on Friday when he'd done his weekly shop in Asda if he stayed for an all day breakfast! He can't find anything in the house ... he's been hunting around for his porridge and thought he'd run out so bought some more. Whilst he was looking for his saucepans he found the porridge!

Got a few more photos to post.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A few photos from the finish

A few photos
We saw Dad coming down the hill

Round the corner ...

and over the finish line.

Chatting to George King

Those legs have seen some miles!

A celebratory pint! The map we have been tracking his route on at work.

Lots more photos can be found here - photos from the finish start on page 6

The final leg of the journey

Well Dad is home! He got into Keele just after 3.30 pm (he couldn't arrive earlier as I was busy!!). So today was a leisurely day on the bike. He had a lie in this morning. He got chatting to Richard and Sandy in the campervan which was parked next to him. They had a tandem and Dad had never had a go on one. So Richard very kindly took him on a ride down the lanes. Dad was on the back. He said it was strange not being in control of the bike! I think Dad ought to cycle around the coast again but this time on a tandem. I can be on the back with a camera so we could record it all - I am only kidding! Dad then packed up his Millets tent - which has served him well over the last few months. Richard very kindly made Dad a cup of tea.

Today's route took Dad through the lanes to Tarvin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarvin
and Tarporley village. It was then into Beeston and the cyclists cafe for a bacon bap and a coffee (I think he'll be having bacon bap withdrawal symptoms!). It was then through the lanes to Bunbury, Burland and into Nantwich http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantwich. Dad stopped for lunch in The Vaults (pub). He sat outside to people watch and to keep an eye on his bike - he wouldn't want to get it nicked so close to home! After lunch it was a slow ride through the lanes to Wynbunbury and Wrinehill and then into Keele. Quite a few friends and family had turned up to welcome Dad home. Dad had a celebratory beer, coffee and a bottle of wine for later! Thanks everyone who turned up - really appreciated.

Dad is now home!!! I bet he can't wait to get into his own bed.

For tea he is using up what's left .... unfortunately no cup-a-soup on the menu as he's run out!!! However he's got a packet of 3 minute noodles, flapjack and nuts. I should have got him a tin of Pedigree Chum and left it on the table for him!!

We will tally up the last few stats soon but he has weighed his bike when he got in as he's been asked many times how much it weighs and its 70 lb (roughly 32 kg).

I will also some post some photos.

Thanks to everyone who has kept reading the blog. I hope you've all enjoyed it. I'll continue to update it so keep popping back.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Eureka Cyclists Cafe, the completion of the coast of Britain and into Chester

Dad has had a fantastic penultimate day on the bike. He is camping about three miles south of Chester http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester in a place called Christleton.

This morning he set off from Flint heading towards Connah's Quay. A fellow cyclist got chatting to Dad en-route and said he was off to the Eureka Cyclists Cafe http://www.eurekacyclistscafe.co.uk/ Dad had heard of the cafe but had never been. So they both headed off for the cafe. When they got there Dad was overwhelmed by how many cyclists were there. There must have been 60 or 70 from various clubs. Chris Boardman's Mum, Dad and sister were there and both his Mum and sister took time to congratulate Dad on what he had achieved. Dad also got chatting to lots of people who were interested in what he had done. He also had some photos taken. Dad picked up some advice on the best route and he followed the Wirral Way (Route 56) http://www.cycle-route.com/routes/Wirral_Way-Cycle-Route-454.html from Hooton to West Kirby. He then followed the coast road round to Holylake. It was then onto Wallesey. Dad had a strong head wind. Another cyclist (Steven who was a vicar) asked Dad if he could cycle with him. They cycled along for about half an hour. From Wallesey it was onto New Brighton, Seacombe and Birkenhead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkenhead. Dad had completed the coast of Britain!!! He had his photos taken and then headed back on the A41. He popped back into Eureka Cafe and signed the visitors book and left his blog details. He got chatting to Ray Hardman from Chester Road Club who cycled with Dad to the campsite.

Dad is heading off down the pub tonight ... probably to celebrate! So while I've been off watching the Tour of Britain that was in and around Stoke today Dad has completed his own Tour of the coast of Britain!

Tomorrow he will be heading back through Keele University between about 3.30 and 4.00 pm. The finish line will be just outside the School of Computing and Maths (Colin Reeves Building) which is Building 21 Map Ref G6 http://www.esci.keele.ac.uk/kudis/_campusguide/downloads/Keele_campus_map_colour.pdf

So destination now is home!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

He'll be back on Thursday!

Dad will hopefully be back on Thursday. We are planning on having the finishing line in Keele (like the start line). I asked him if he could time it for about 3.30 - 4.00 p.m! Drop me an email if you want any more info kendieplonks at googlemail dot com.

Flint

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is in a B&B in Flint http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint,_Flintshire. Can't complain at £15 a night ! There is a cafe next door for breakfast, a chippy down the road and the best bit it's over a pub!!! He's in his element! He got there about 3.30 and had a shower. He's got tea and coffee making facilities in his room but he headed off down into the pub for a pint of Guinness! Weather has been good but he's been cycling with a head wind! He also got stung by a bee/wasp. I bet he was wearing a bright coloured cycling top and it thought he was a flower.

Last night he got chatting to Brian & Beryl who were on the same campsite and spent a good few hours chatting over a coffee or two. Dad "negotiated" a price for camping when the bloke came round for his money. He wanted to charge £10 a night (the site had no showers and no hot water!) but Dad got it for a fiver!

The route today took him back onto the A55 - well after he negotiated the steps down onto the road and then headed into Conwy itself. Dad had a cycle around the castle. He was going to cycle along the cycle route into Llandudno http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llandudno but that was closed for repairs so instead he cycled along he A546. Llandudno was not that "cycle friendly". There was no cycle path along the front and lots of signs saying "no cycling". Dad said they could have quite easily added a cycle path. So instead Dad had to weave in and out of the parked cars along the road. It was then onto Cycle Route 5 into Penrhyn Bay, through to Rhos-on-Sea and Colwyn Bay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colwyn_Bay. Dad enjoyed the ride along the coast. At Llanddulas Dad came off the Cycle Route and went in search of a bacon bap! It was then back on the Cycle Route through Abergele and into Rhyl http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyl. Dad was very surprised at how run down Rhyl was. Gone is the pleasure beach and a lot of shops are boarded up. Dad said there was some building works going on and it looked like they were building retirement homes. It was then onto Prestatyn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestatyn where he stopped for lunch. Cycle Route 5 then started heading in land so Dad cycled through the Golf Course (yes it was the route!!) and then picked up the A548 to Flint. Dad had a look around Flint and the Castle and then found the B&B.

Tonight he is off the chippy for tea and then he's going to go to the pub to watch the football as he can't get ITV4 to watch the Tour of Britain!

Tomorrow is heading round West Kirby and Wallasey and then heading back into Chester.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Conwy (well almost)

Dad is a few miles short of Conwy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conwy. Campsite is a bit basic - it has no hot water!! It might be basic but it has good views of Anglesey.

The route today took him from Tudweiliog to Newfyn. He then picked up a good cycle route that finished just before Caernarfon so he continued on the A487. He had an all day breakfast in in Caernarfon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caernarfon. He then picked up Cycle Route 8 which is a disused railway through to Bangor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangor,_Gwynedd where he had lunch. It was then on the busy A55 through to Bangor - the road had a hard shoulder to cycle on so Dad said even though it was busy road there was a distance from the traffic. From Bangor it was again on the A55 through to Conwy.

On the menu tonight cup-a-soup, chicken curry and butter beans followed by banana and custard!

Dad now thinks he might be back Thursday 17th September!! We are planning on having the finish line at Keele again.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Summary - week 15

Well we are getting near the end of the trip so there will not be many more weekly summaries to do! In fact this could be the penultimate one! Dad has been on the bike 100 days this week.

Day 99 St Davids (rest day)
Day 100 St Davids to Poppit Sands 45 miles
Day 101 Poppit Sands to New Quay 40 miles
Day 102 New Quay to Machynlleth 55 miles
Day 103 Machynlleth to Shell Island 50 miles
Day 104 Shell Island to Porthmadog 20 miles
Day 105 Porthmadog to Tudweiliog 50 miles

I make that 260 miles covered this week. Add that to the total so far and I make that 4329 miles covered.

Dad has done some stats ....

He has had
22 beds (in YHA/B&B/Friends)
83 camping

34 wet days
71 dry days

So who says we've had a wet summer!!!

Tudweiliog

Dad is camping in a place called Tudweiliog which is on the north side of the Llyn Peninsula.

He had a great evening last night. Beryl and Terry where excellent hosts and he was wined and dined on salmon, lamb shank, pudding followed by brandy and coffee. Now that is a menu fit for a king! Before the meal they sat and had a beer on the balcony. Dad meet up with a couple and it transpired that my Dad knew her father!

This morning it was a leisurely start and a hearty breakfast and Dad didn't start biking til 11.00 a.m.! From Porthmadog Dad headed to Criccieth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criccieth . He then picked up a cycle track (well it was the old road which has been turned into a cycle track) into Pwlleli http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwllheli . It was then a ride along the coast road to Llanbedrog and into Abersoch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abersoch . Many good memories of my childhood holidays! He then headed for Aberdaron which is the most westerly point of Wales. He stopped off for a coffee and a cake. He then cycled along the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula to Tudweiliog. He stopped off to do some shopping for tea tonight but it being a Sunday and being in Wales there was not much open. So he's down to his emergency rations of cup-a-soup, noodles, dates and flapjack!

There is only Dad on the campsite and about 20 sheep! Dad couldn't get a phone signal at his tent so had wandered around the field to find a signal. When he looked back at his tent it was surrounded by the sheep! I don't think he's going to get much sleep tonight .... well if he doesn't he can count them!

Tomorrow he is heading Bangor/Conway area.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Estimated Date of Return

Dad has had a look at the map and he'll probably be back the 18/19/20 September. Will keep you posted on the Welcome Home.

Porthmadog

Dad is now in Porthmadog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porthmadog. He's had an easy day on the bike today, only clocking up 20 miles! He is staying with friends (Beryl & Terry Dean). In fact he his staying in his own flat over looking the estuary. When he rang he was sitting on the balcony enjoying the late afternoon sunshine - what a life!

He had a good night last night. Got chatting to a couple of people in the pub .... of course he found himself a cyclist to chat to!

Today's route took him on a tour of Shell Island before he left. He then headed back into Llanbedr and took the B'roads up through Harlech http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlech. He stopped off in Harlech for a bacon buttie. He then had a wander round and sat for awhile outside the castle. He then headed for Talsarnau. He then biked on the Toll Road (free for bikes) and into Porthmadog. He tried to get a tyre for his bike but still no luck! He had lunch and then meet up with his friends at 2.00 p.m.

This afternoon he has been drinking tea and eating cake and enjoying the weather and the views!

On the menu tonight is a meal (cooked by Beryl and Terry) and wine!! He then has a night in a proper bed!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shell Island

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is camping at Shell Island which apparently is Europe's largest campsite http://www.shellisland.co.uk/! He is happy as it has a bar! Weather has been fantastic. A bit chilly to set off with but lots of blue skies today!

Today's route has taken him from Furnace and back into Machynlleth where he had an early morning coffee to warm him up! From Machynlleth it was onto Aberdyfi. He calculated it out to cycle around the River Dovey estuary (Borth to Aberdyfi) had been 24 miles. If it had a ferry across it would have been 1/2 mile! It keeps him fit ! From Aberdyfi he picked up the A493 to Tywyn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tywyn and then Bryncrug and then through some hard places to spell and onto Fairbourne http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairbourne where he took the toll bridge over to Barmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barmouth. That cost him a £1.00. It was then on through Tal-y-bont and over to Shell Island. Today has been relatively flat well he hasn't had to get off and push his bike.

He has tried a couple of shops for a new tyre but still no joy so he's had to put on his emergency tyre .... apparently that is more likely to get punctures! He did explain why but it sounded a bit complicated.

On the menu tonight is cup-a-soup and pork pie with tomatoes. A banquet fit for the kings!

Tomorrow he is heading for friends at Porthmadog so he'll have a leisurely day on the bike.

He is going to give me an estimated date of arrival back home as both the Sentinel and Radio Stoke are possibly going to run a feature. We might to arrange some sort of Welcome Home. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No phone signal again (edited - he was in Machynlleth)

Not heard from Dad tonight. I assume he's in a Asda/Vodafone black spot again! He was heading for Machynlleth and I've checked on the Vodafone coverage map and it's very patchy.

I'll update when I hear off him.

11/9/09 Update
Spoke to Dad this morning. As thought he was in Machynlleth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machynlleth. I've got to the stage where I don't worry if I don't hear from him now! He'd just stopped off for a coffee to try and get warm as it was a chilly morning and turned his phone on and had got a signal!

Last night he was camping about 8 miles outside Machynlleth in a place called Furnace. No mobile phone signal, no phone box and no pub! He'd had some bike problems yesterday. His gears had gone funny and instead of 24 he was limited to just 8! He stopped off in Aberystwyth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberystwyth and got chatting to a bloke and was asking if there was anywhere that did bike repairs. It turned out that the bloke had lived and worked (as a policeman) in Stoke for many years! He still had a sister that lived in Hanley! Anyway Dad got directions to Andy's Bike Shop in the market to get his bike sorted. They fixed the gears and a couple of broken spokes and gave it a service and was going to charge Dad a tenner. He gave them £15.00! However he still has not managed to get a new tyre.

Yesterday route took him on the A487 to Aberaeron. He then picked up lanes through to Aberath, Llanon where he found a cafe for his bacon bap. It was then onto Aberystwyth where he had lunch whilst they were sorting out his bike. He then picked up B roads through to Borth but as it was only 3.00 pm when he arrived and the hostel didn't open til 5.00 pm so he carried on to Furnace which is also the site of a restored furnace and water wheel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyfi_Furnace (which belonged to the Kendall's!!).

Forgot to ask what was on the menu for tea last night!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Quay

Well I've spoken to Dad twice today! Once this morning and I updated yesterday's entry and again this evening. He is camping tonight on the CC site at New Quay http://http://www.cardiganshirecoastandcountry.com/new-quay-cardigan-bay-wales.php. Today has been a great day on the bike as the weather has been good.

This morning Dad and the Cycle 2000 lads headed into Cardigan for breakfast. The Hostel is in a great place but it had a loads of steps down to it ... so this morning they had to carry all their gear and then their bikes out of the hostel. They arrived at the cafe at 8.50 so had to wait until it opened at 9.00! I spoke to Dad this morning just as the Cycle 2000 lads had headed off towards the Gower Peninsular and Dad was sitting waiting outside a bike shop for it to open! He needed a new tyre for his bike. Unfortunately they'd not got the right size so Dad is riding on with very little tread on his tyre!

Dad picked up the A487 to start with but soon picked up the small roads to Llangranog and then onto Cwmtydu Bay http://www.new-quay.com/cwmtydu.htm. He stopped for lunch and met a fellow cyclist. They got chatting and Dad was asking where he was camping. He was staying on the CC site at New Quay. So Dad rode with him to the site. Dad got to the site at around 2.3 pm which was too early to check in. So he headed off down into New Quay to do some shopping and to look around. It was very hilly and Dad had a struggle pushing his bike up the hills!!! Dad got back to the site around 4.00 pm and pitched his tent.

Tonight on the menu has been a tin of Princess Steak in gravy (it's sounding a bit like dog food again!!!) and a tin of new potatoes. I feel much happier when he has a tin of curry as I know that's not going to be dog food!

Tonight he has been invited around to the caravan of the cyclist he met earlier for a glass of wine!

Tomorrow he is heading off towards Machynlleth.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not sure where!! (updated to Poppit Sands!)

Not heard from Dad tonight so I assume he is somewhere without a phone signal and no phone box! However I've had a few updates on his progress through the day off various people.

Mike Carter (Observer) text me earlier to say he'd met up with Dad for breakfast in St Davids. Dad told him about all the hills that were to come in the West County ... sometimes it's better not to know what lies ahead of you!

I then had a message off Nigel Martin. Nigel works in a coffee shop in Oceans Lab in Goodwick and Dad had stopped off for something to eat. They got chatting about cycling. Nigel is hoping to do the end to end at some point (see Nigel it's in print now!!!).

So I assume Dad is somewhere beyond Fishguard. I'd hazzard a guess at Newport area. Will update when I hear more.

Wednesday 09/09/09
Spoke to Dad this morning. He was in Poppit Sands YHA last night http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/wales/hostels/Poppit-Sands/index.aspx. As I thought, no phone signal and the phone in the hostel was broken! Weather had been bad - it had rained ALL day so Dad had decided on a bed for the night. It was lucky that he chose Poppit Sands as the lads from Cycle 2000 turned up (Geoff Cartlidge, Mike Barr, Mark Owen and John Leese). Hostel is in a lovely location but the weather was that bad that they couldn't really appreciate the location.

Tuesday morning Dad met up with Mike Carter in St Davids for breakfast ... well I say "breakfast" it was more like brunch by the time they left! They were also joined by Andrew a friend of Mike who did some filming/recording. After breakfast Dad headed off with a tail wind as Mike headed off into a head wind! The days route took him from St Davids and onto Goodwick where he had lunch in the coffee shop and met Nigel Martin (see above). After lunch he headed onto Higher Fishguard and Lower Fishguard and into Newport. By this time it was only 3.30 and the hostel didn't open til 5.00 so he headed on to Poppit Sands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppit_Sands where he arrived about 5.30.

He picked up on a tin of full monty for his evening meal (beans, sausage and bacon).

Monday, September 7, 2009

St Davids (day 2)

Today was a rest day ... well not so much of a rest as he had lots of chores to do. First off was the washing and drying - which took two and a half hours! Once done he headed off into St Davids http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_David's. He met a fellow cyclists en-route who cycled with Dad (Phil James). They got chatting and he turned out that Phil had married a girl from Longton so they had lots to chat about!

Once in St Davids he had a look around the Cathedral http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_David's_Cathedral and Bishops Palace http://www.castlewales.com/sdbishop.html and then had some lunch. He did ring me on my mobile but by the time I'd stopped the car Dad had switched off his phone!! He did leave me a message though. Whilst in town Dad also got his haircut ... it cost him £10 !!!! He should have asked the price before he got it cut. Dad also text Mike Carter (from the Observer) who just happened to be cycling into St Davids on route 4. So Dad headed off along the route and they met up and had a quick chat. They are hoping to me tomorrow for breakfast at the Tourist Information Centre in St Davids.

Dad got chatting to a guy on the campsite this morning and it turns out his wife is from the Fenton area - it's a small world!!

There is no mobile signal on the campsite but Dad rang me just before he got to the tent.

On the menu tonight is steak and a tin of butter beans followed by rice pudding. I did ask Dad to check to make sure it wasn't a tin of dog food before he opened it!

(If any of the Cycle 2000 lads from the Wayfarer are reading this Dad is hoping to catch up with you over the next day or so - he'll be on the coast road. Drop him a text as he rarely as his phone on or email me at kendieplonks at googlemail dot com if you haven't got his mobile number.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekly Summary - week 14

I've remembered to do my weekly summary!

Day 92 Weston super Mare to St Briavels 55 miles
Day 93 St Briavels to Cardiff 48 miles
Day 94 Cardiff to Porthcawl 52 miles
Day 95 Porthcawl to Penmaen 46 miles
Day 96 Penmaen to Carmarthen 56 miles
Day 97 Carmarthen to Pembroke 50 miles
Day 98 Pembroke to St David 46 miles

I make that to be 353 miles covered this week and that brings the total 4,069 miles covered. Wow he has broken then 4,000 mile mark! Next week he'll reach another milestone having been out on the bike for over 100 days!

St Davids

Just had a quick phone call with Dad. There was no mobile phone signal on the campsite so he was phoning from a payphone and you don't get many minutes for your money in a phone box! He's made it to St Davids http://www.stdavids.co.uk/ . Weather has just taken a turn for the worse and it was "lashing" down when I spoke to him. He did say if he had known it was going to rain he'd have gone and stayed in the youth hostel!

Today's route took him back through Pembroke. Dad had a quick look around the Castle. It was then onto Pembroke Docks. He then headed for Milford Haven http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Haven. He was having trouble finding a cafe for his morning bacon bap but two bikers came to Dad's rescue and took him to a cafe! It was then on to Tiers Cross, Broad Haven and Nolton Haven. From there he headed to Newgale which had a lovely long beach. From there he headed to Solva where he stopped for coffee and cake. It was then onto St Davids.

He is planning on having two days on the campsite so he can get his washing done tomorrow.

Tonight on the menu is cup-a-soup, beef curry and green beans followed by bananas and custard. He is cooking up in the tent (is that wise!) as it's raining too much to cook outside.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pembroke

Dad is camping just outside Pembroke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pembroke,_Pembrokeshire. It's been another windy day. In fact it's been quite a hard day on the bike with the hills and the wind! However he has got a sheltered spot on the campsite behind a hedge so hopefully that will give some protection from the wind. He's even got himself a table and chair so it's a proper sit down meal tonight! The site only cost £3.50 for the night - bargain.

Today's route took him from Carmarthen to Llansteffan where he got chatting to an American named Curtis who is over here for two months cycling around west Wales. From Llansteffan there were some "serious" hills to St Clears (I can see the arrows on the map!). From there Dad followed lanes to Laugharne where he stopped for a bacon bap. Laugharne had a Castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laugharne_Castle and Grist common land. Dad then picked up cycle route 4 to Pendine which is famous for the World Speed Record on the beach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendine_Sands ... if Dad would have had more time he would have had a crack at it on his bike! Dad continued on cycle route 4 to Amroth and Wiseman Bridge and Saundersfoot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saundersfoot - which was made famous by me in the 60's for parading round in nothing more than a strawhat!! From Saundersfoot Dad followed cycle route 4 into Tenby which instead of going over the hills went through them in the form of three tunnels. Dad then got lost in Tenby! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenby He stopped to ask directions and eventually found cycle route 4 again to Penally. It was then back on the roads to Lydstep, Manorbier and into Pembroke on the B4139. Even though it's been a hard day Dad has enjoyed it as the roads hugged the coast and he had brilliant views.

Tonight on the menu is cup-a-soup and pilchards baps followed by rice pudding.

Tomorrow he is heading for St David's where he will have a couple of nights.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Carmarthen

Dad is camping just outside Carmarthen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmarthen. Been blowing a gale again today (headwind!) but at least it's been sunny. Dad has done his shopping in Tesco in Carmarthen and also managed to pick up a gas bottle from Millets ... so he's all set for cooking tea tonight!

Today's route took him from Penmaen through Reynoldston and over the common ground. It was quite a climb up but once at the top Dad had brilliant views over the Gower Peninsula. It was then through Llanrhidian and Loughor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loughor. He crossed the Loughor River over an old Brunel Bridge built in the 1850's. He then picked up the Millennium Cycle track where he followed the coast on re-claimed land for 10 miles. Nice off road cycling but it was very windy. He stopped for a bacon buttie in the National Trust Wetland Centre http://www.wwt.org.uk/centre/120/national_wetland_centre_wales.html. It was then onto Llanelli and Barryport. Dad then left the cycle track at Kidwelly and followed the A484 into Carmarthen.

Dad had finished cycling about 4.00 ish and picked up a paper. He now believes me that it's the 4th September today. Yesterday we had some discussion about the date. He thought it was the 4th yesterday and "doubted" my word .... even though I had a calendar and the Radio Times. He had forgot that August had 31 days!

Tonight on the menu he has the usual cup a soup, tin of Tesco chicken curry and a tin of mushrooms followed by banana and custard.

Tomorrow he is moving on to Pembroke.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Penmaen (Gower)

Dad is camping in Penmaen http://www.enjoygower.com/communities/penmaencom.cfm on the Gower Peninsula. Its been a very windy day out on the bike today .... blustery and gales. So when given the choice of a pitch with a sea view or one in shelter Dad opted for the sheltered one! Wise choice.

Last night it did stop raining so Dad ventured out of the B&B and found a fish & chip restaurant and had fish, chips and mushy peas followed by a pint!

He left Porthcawl this morning after a hearty fry-up in the B&B (that's three mornings on the trot!) and headed for the sea-front. The wind was really fierce and it was a battle to ride the bike. Dad headed for Kenfig and then Pyle and headed towards Port Talbot. The A48 ran alongside the M4 and at one point motorway traffic was crossing over the A48. Dad decided to push his bike across the road instead of trying to ride it - sounds a bit dicey if you ask me! Dad was just sorting out his maps when a Welshman asked him where he was heading for. Dad explained Swansea so the Welshman gave him directions on cycle routes to keep him off the roads. Dad picked up a canal and cycled along sheltered out of the wind for about 4 miles. He then stopped and asked an Irishman (there is no Scotsman in this story!!) how to get off the canal and into Swansea. Dad had only gone the wrong way down the canal and was now 8 miles out of Swansea in a place called Neath! So Dad headed back into Swansea on roads this time. He cycled passed Amazon Distribution Centre which was huge! He then saw signs for cycle route 4 and headed off along that. A few miles down the road he passed Amazon Distribution Centre again ... yes he gone off in the wrong direction again! He sorted it out and managed to get into the outskirts of Swansea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swansea. He then asked a cyclist for directions to the Mumbles. The cyclists said I'm heading that way is it ok if I cycle with you! So Dad had company for about 7 miles. It turned out he lived locally and pointed out to Dad where Tammy Wynette lived and where Katherine Zeta Jones' mum lived! From Mumbles Head Dad headed to Parkmill and onto Penmaen.

Tonight on the menu is beans and sausage followed by rice pudding.

Tomorrow Dad is heading for Carmarthen

A few photos

Trains somewhere!



It might be Great Yarmouth (if it has a pier!)
Southwold

There is another Tunstall!

German family (Ines, Helge, Kathatina and Joshua)
Ramsgate and a replica Viking ship called Hugin.



Herne Bay
Some more photos can be found on my facebook page

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cardiff and onto Porthcawl

Two updates today. So lets wind the clock back to Tuesday 1st September ....

Dad had a good night in St Briavels YHA. He spent the evening chatting to John Marsh the Canadian he was sharing a room with. They had a lot in common and a lot to chat about. They had an evening meal in the hostel but it was not a medieval banquet as Dad has lasagna! He also found a pub and had a couple of pints. He must have been back in before they closed the portcullis!

Next morning he had a good breakfast in the hostel and then headed back down the hill and into the Severn Valley and onto Tintern Abbey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tintern_Abbey. He then picked up the A466 towards Chepstow. He didn't got back into the town centre but continued on to Caldicut. He then picked up B roads through to Newport http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newport and the dock area. There was one of the transporter bridges http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newport_Transporter_Bridge but it was undergoing repairs so Dad took a normal bridge across the River Usk. He then followed the B4329 along the coast and into Cardiff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff. He cycled along a road and decided the first place he saw he would stop and ask directions to where he was staying as he'd only got the address and had no idea where in the city it was. He cycled for ages and the first place he came across was A&E but decided against asking there! He then found All Nations Church and nipped in to ask - I don't who he thought was going to find in a Church to give him directions. I'm sure He doesn't use Google maps! Anyway there was a very helpful lady working in the Church who did a print out of a map for Dad and Dad set off on his way. He got there about 4.00 and his friend had left him a key to let himself in. She arrived back at 6.00 and they sat down for a meal from the slow cooker. Now that's just what you need after a day on the bike!

Today Dad set off this morning with a full English breakfast (he is being spoilt!). He headed off to Cardiff Bay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Bay and the freshwater marina. He then cycled across the barriers and headed onto Penarth where he stopped for coffee. He then followed B roads Lavernock and into Barry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry,_Vale_of_Glamorgan. First big hills Dad has come across since Devon and Cornwall! He then continued on past Cardiff Airport to Llantwit Major. By now it was bucketing down! Dad continued on through Bridgend and into Porthcawl http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porthcawl. Dad cycled past a campsite (it must have been raining heavy!!!) and found himself a B&B. He was made most welcome even though he was standing on the doorstep dripping wet! Dad has a TV in his room and they made him a pot of tea. Once the rain stops he will venture out to find something to eat.

So that's three nights on the trot he has had a bed!

Tomorrow he is heading for the Mumbles .... that sounds like something you would catch!

Monday, August 31, 2009

St Briavels (a bit inland!)

Dad is in the Youth Hostel in St Briavels. It's a bit inland and about 10 miles in the wrong direction ... but he has a bed! I couldn't find any campsites and Dad tried a couple of B&B's which were full so he headed to the Youth Hostel http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/heart-of-england/hostels/St-Briavels/index.aspx . The Hostel is a moated Norman Castle and the Portcullis closes at 11.30 pm ... so Dad had better be back in from the pub before then or he'll be trying to pole vault himself back in! Dad is staying in the Royal Apartments tonight. Sounds a bit posh! It's £17.00 a night but that includes breakfast.

Weather has been dry but a bit chilly. I've had a look at the four day forecast and it looks very much like it's going to be a wet few days!

Today's route took him from the campsite back into Weston-super-Mare on cycle paths. He then cycled along the prom and sea front to Kewstoke. He then headed inland to Congresbury and then he picked up B roads to Clevedon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clevedon and Portishead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portishead,_Somerset where he managed to pick up a bacon buttie in a relatively posh cafe in the new harbour. From there he mainly followed cycle paths along the Mouth of the Severn to Avonmouth village. He then followed the A403 along the docks, but it being a Bank Holiday the road was really quiet, and on into Severn Beach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn_Beach. He tried to cross the Severn on the M4 but it had no cycle route or foot crossing so continued on to the M48 and crossed via the Severn Bridge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn_Bridge cycle path. He then headed into Chepstow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chepstow hoping he'd be able to pick up a B&B. He then picked up the B4228 to St Briavels. It was mainly uphill (8 miles) to the St Briavels. That means he'll have a good start tomorrow morning!

He is sharing a room with a Canadian who is roughly Dad's age and this is the first time he's been hostelling since he was a "youth"! They reminisced about when you were assigned chores in the hostels (even I remember that!!). No cooking for Dad tonight as he has booked in for an evening meal in the hostel. Looking at the photos of the hostel the dining room looks medieval!

Tomorrow Dad is heading for Cardiff where hopefully he'll get a bed for the night.

There will be no update from me tomorrow as I'm down in London but will update on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 13 Summary

Sorry for late posting ... completely forgot it was Sunday and I needed to do a weekly update.

So the week has gone like this

Day 85 Godolphin to Land's End 26 miles
Day 86 Land's End to Perrenporth 44 miles
Day 87 Perrenporth to Bude 55 miles
Day 88 Bude to Mortehoe 58 miles
Day 89 Mortehoe to Minehead 50 miles
Day 90 Minehead to Weston Super Mare 55 miles
Day 91 Weston Super Mare (rest day)

I make that to be 288 miles covered this week which bring the grand total to 3716.

Weston-super-Mare (day 2)

Today has been a rest-day from the bike. Instead Dad got his washing done and serviced the bike which now has new brake blocks both front and back and has been oiled. Once all the chores were done Dad headed into Weston-super-Mare on the bus (his bus pass comes in handy). Dad had a pub lunch and a pint and then went for a walk along the front. He stopped off to watch Carters steam fair for awhile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter. He then headed to the classic car show. He also had time for a shop in Tesco before heading back to the campsite on the bus.

Dad has sussed out where the "local" pub is which is about a 1.5 miles from the campsite. If the rain clears up he might head off for a pint tonight.

On the menu tonight is chicken curry, tinned mushrooms followed by banana and custard.

Tomorrow he is heading for Bristol/Newport area.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weston-Super-Mare

Dad is now camping in Weston-Super-Mare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston-super-Mare. He is planning on having two days on the camp. The campsite is next to the Helicopter Museum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Helicopter_Museum_(Weston) and the guy at the Minehead campsite advised Dad to follow the signs for the Museum and he would easily find the site (which he did!). It's still been pretty windy but at least it's not rained. There was a downpour over night but it had cleared up by this morning. On the camp last night the owner had said to Dad to pitch his tent where he wanted. So Dad pitched it behind the toilet block out of the wind. The pitch and the piece of grass was just the size of Dad's tent. Apparently no one has ever pitched their tent on that spot before!

The route today took Dad on a downhill stretch from the Minehead campsite back into Minehead. Dad popped into Superdrug for some cod liver oil tablets. They were on a BOGOF offer so Dad has ended up with two lots! That's something else to carry with him. Dad rode past the West Somerset Railway http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/About_us.html . It was then onto Blue Anchor bay and the only hill of the day. He then headed for Watchet and had an all day breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee. He noticed the signs for Watchet Musical Festival http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/watchetmusic/2009/ and noticed they had camping. For all of 10 seconds he contemplated camping up! I've checked out the line-up and The Wurzels are playing on Sunday. Dad will have heard of them!

He then picked up the A39 to Williton and Quantoxhead and onto Bridgewater where he nipped into Wilkinsons for some brake blocks for the bike. Dad then followed the A38 through Dunball and Highbridge. He then picked up some B coastal roads through Burnham on Sea, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnham-on-Sea Berrow, Bleadon and into Weston-Super-Mare.

On the menu tonight are sardine baps followed by rice-pudding and a windfall apple! Sound delicious not!

Tomorrow is wash day, bike repairs and if there is time left a look around Weston-Super-Mare.

Today I've picked up a bag of spare stuff from Andy that Dad left with him when they met up at Lands End. It weighs a tonne! It's no wonder it's easier to ride without all that stuff. Dad did say he'd sent his deodorant back. So this is a warning for anyone that gets within sniffing distance of him - he's au-naturale!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Minehead

Well Dad has made it to Minehead http://http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minehead. Probably been one of the hardest days on the bike today. Very hilly route plus it has been blowing a gale and at times wet. Even though it was a tail wind it was very gusty and Dad needed alot of concentration just to stay on the bike! However he has had great views over the cliff tops. Last night was very windy and Dad spent most of the night hoping the tent didn't blow away! He kept waking up and planning his escape route if it blew away! Good old Millet's tent stood up to the elements!

Today's route took him Mortehoe on cycle route 27 into Ilfracombe on an old railway track. It was then a climb out of Ilfracombe. Dad then picked up some small coastal lanes. He had excellent views of Helley Bay and Combe Martin Bay. It took him an hour to walk/bike up to Trentishoe (5 miles). At the top there was a viewing point and it was 1,400 feet about sea level. From there it was downhill to Hunters Inn http://www.thehuntersinn.net/ but Dad was too early for food and had to make do with a coffee! Dad cycled along the highest sea cliffs in England. It was then onto Lynton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynton and Lynmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynmouth and he then had to climb the 12% hill out (I have no idea how steep that is but it sounds steep!) It was then up Countisbury Hill and on into Countisbury. Dad had excellent views of the waves lashing against the coast. He then picked up the A39 toll (£1.00 for bikes) and into Porlock and it's famous hill - which featured in 2007 Tour of Britain! Have you noticed how many hills I've mentioned!!! More information on them can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A39_road It was then on into Minehead. Dad had to ring for directions to the campsite. The lady said "ok I'll see you in about 20 minutes". What she forgot to tell Dad was there was yet another hill climb up to the campsite. I think the fact that two hills are mentioned in the address was a bit of a give-away (Hill Road, North Hill!!!) It took Dad 40 minutes to get there! He should be used to all these hills as hill climbing is what he specialised in his youth!!

He hadn't done much of a shop, it would have only been more weight to carry up the hills, and he was hoping there would be something on the campsite. Unfortunately there wasn't so on the menu tonight is cup-a-soup and his emergency noodles. He didn't even get his usual bacon buttie today either!

Tomorrow he will be heading for Weston-Super-Mare were he plans to have two nights.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo from Senan Cove



Thanks to the Machin's here is a photo on the campsite at Senan Cove (Land's End). I hasten to add that's not Dad's tent ... he's not been carrying a tent that size round on his bike!!! It's outside the Machin residence.


Mortehoe (Ilfracombe)

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now in a place called Mortehoe which is a few miles outside Ilfracombe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilfracombe. Had a good day on the bike. The weather has been dry and he's still got a tail wind. However the weather had started to get a bit more wet and windy and the campsite he is on is very exposed. He said he'd lashed down his tent with his bike. So if anyone in the Ilfracombe sees what looks like a tent shaped hot air balloon flying by ... it could be my Dad and his tent!

Last night he got chatting to the couple that live at Keele (Phil & Kath Ayres) over a cup of tea in their caravan. It turned out that they had several friends in common. Small world!

Today's route has taken Dad from Bude along the coastal roads to the outskirts of Bideford. He saw the signs for Stoke but decided against taking a de-tour to have a look as there didn't appear much to see. However he did cycle the two miles down to Clovelly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovelly only to find that he had to cycle two miles back up the same road! Apparently there are donkeys that take you up and down to the village as well as a Landrover taxi service. He then picked up the A39 into Bideford http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bideford. In Bideford Dad had an all day breakfast - well you'd need it after cycling up from Clovelly. Dad then followed the Tarka Trails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarka_Trail which goes along the Torridge River and the Taw River. Dad said it was lovely to cycle along the trails which were very busy with families out for a ride. In total Dad rode along 16 miles of the trail to Brauton. He then followed B roads through Croyde Bay and into Mortehoe.

On the menu tonight is meatballs and red beans (he probably means kidney beans!) followed by rice pudding and banana!

Tomorrow he is heading to Minehead/Watchet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bude (well almost)

Dad is camping on the CC site on the outskirts of Bude http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bude. In fact he nearly cycled past it! Today and last night has been very wet and windy. The only compensation to a very wet day was that he had a tail wind! He even had to pack up the tent this morning in the rain (I bet it's twice as heavy wet!). It's now stopped raining so hopefully it will all dry out by morning. He got to the camp about 3.00 pm and had a long hot shower. He tumble dried everything he'd been wearing including the shoes!

Today's route took him out via Newquay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newquay. There were lots of coach company's picking up people from outside the hotels. Newquay was larger than he remembered. Dad decided against going down the coast route to Padstowe as there were a lot of arrows on the map (ie lots of hills!!) and he didn't fancy walking in the rain. So instead he picked up the A39 to St Columb Major and onto Wadebridge. It is one of the major roads through Cornwall but it is wide and the cars gave Dad plenty of remove. In Wadebridge he stopped for a well earned bacon buttie and left the seats and tables wet from his clothes as he left! Wadebridge was a very biker friendly town and there were several bike routes (the Camel trails http://www.destinationcornwall.co.uk/Camel%20Trail/signs/maps.htm ) leading from there but one was for Padstowe and the other Bodmin and neither were in the direction Dad needed. Instead Dad picked up the B3314 and cycled passed the British Cycle Museum http://www.aboutbritain.com/BritishCyclingMuseum.htm but Dad was that wet that he decided to cycle on as he would have just left pools of water if he'd gone to have a look around. He then headed into Tintagel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tintagel and had his faith restored in the Cornish Pastie. You could actually watch through the window them being made. Dad said the massive Cornish Pastie made his day! I think this is probably where he went http://www.pengennapasties.co.uk/pages/about_pengenna/about.htm It was on through Boscastle (the site of the devastating floods a few years ago) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boscastle and onto the campsite.

While doing his laundry Dad got chatting to someone who lives on Keele campus (his wife works there!). Small world.

Dad has picked up some supplies from the camp store. On the menu tonight is cup-a-soup, beans and sausage followed by custard and broken biscuits! He didn't buy the biscuits broken - that's what comes with stuffing stuff in your panniers.

Tomorrow he is heading for Woolacombe and hopefully a dryer day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Perrenporth

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now in Perrenporth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perranporth. He'd made excellent time today as he'd been riding with a tail wind - first time in about a month! He'd got to the campsite just after 3.00 pm. He even had time to buy and read a paper. The campsite is just outside Perrenporth. It's got a swimming pool and a bar. Dad is giving the swimming pool a miss but just might frequent the bar!

He had a good evening last night. He had his fish and chips and then Andy and his family and Dad headed off to Sennan Cove. Dad and Andy went for a pint whilst Andy's wife and children went off to walk along the beach. There was some sort of incident on the beach where a man was knocked off the jetty by a wave. Looked quite serious as an ambulance was needed as well as the sea rescue team.

Today's route has taken him on the B3306 to St Just http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Just_in_Penwith and then onto St Ives http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Ives,_Cornwall. From there he headed towards Hayle and found a Tesco and was really looking forward to an all day breakfast only to find that this Tesco had a Costa Coffee (or as it is more commonly know Cost-a-fortune) franchise instead. So he had to make do with a coffee and a croissant. Not quite the same. It was then into Hayle and through Redruth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redruth. Dad stopped to watch them riding on a BMX track (he wasn't tempted to have a go!). He also passed by the Tin mining museum. It was then onto Blackwater and through St Agnus to Perrenporth.

On the menu tonight was beef curry (it was hot!) and mixed vegetables followed by banana and custard. Dad is off for a walk along the beach tonight - I've told him to keep of jetties and watch out for the waves!

Tomorrow the weather forecast is to pick up the tail-end of a hurricane so Dad is hoping to make good ground. He will be heading towards Bude but if it's very windy who knows where he might end up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lands End

Well Dad has made it to Land's End. He's had quite an easy day on the bike today clocking up about 25 miles so he got there just after lunch. He's also met up with his friend (Andy Machin) who is also camping on the same site. Dad has now got the spare wheel release key for his bike and in return Andy is going to bring back all the stuff Dad no longer needs! I hope it's all clean and washed!!

Weather hasn't been great with a couple of rain showers. However last night the weather had been very wet and windy and the all-singing, all-dancing Millet's tent had let in a bit of water! So once Dad had pitched up today he got everything out to dry.

Today's route took him from Godolphin Cross, Goldsithney and into Marazion http://www.cornwalls.co.uk/Marazion/. From Marazion you get excellent views of St Michael's Mount http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Michael's_Mount (I remember going there as kid!). From Marazion Dad picked up cycle route 3 which took him along the sea front and straight into Penzance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penzance. Just as he was approaching Penzance the helicopter from the Isles of Scilly was just landing. Dad was impressed with Penzance which was very biker friendly. From there he headed onto Newlyn where Dad has his first Cornish Pastie of his trip. He wasn't overly impressed and would have preferred a bacon buttie! It was then onto Mousehole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mousehole where they were holding a bath-tub race across the bay. He then picked up B3315 straight down to Land's End http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land's_End.

Dad was more impressed with Land's End than John o'Groats. Cars needed to pay £4.00 to park but it was free for bikes. There was also a free model village. Dad had the customary photos taken. At the same time Dad had arrived another guy on a bike (and trailer) had arrived. He was also have his photos taken and "celebrating". At one point he took everything off his bike and was having his photo taken holding his bike over his head. Dad did think he was going a bit over the top in his celebrations - well unless he'd just cycled around the world or something! Dad had lunch at Land's End and had his photo taken at the first/last cafe.

He then headed off to find the campsite. Tonight the fish and chip van will be on the campsite. After that he is for a drink (or two) with Andy.

Tomorrow he is heading to St Agnes/Perrenporth area.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 12 Summary

Weekly tot up of miles this week.

Day 78 Ulwell to Charmouth 54 miles
Day 79 Charmouth to Ladrum Bay 30 miles
Day 80 Ladrum Bay to Slapton 50 miles
Day 81 Slapton (rest day)
Day 82 Slapton to Downderry 52 miles
Day 83 Downderry to Veryan 40 miles
Day 84 Veryan to Godolphin Cross 50 miles

The miles covered this week are 276 bringing the grand total to 3428 miles.

Godolphin Cross

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is camping at a place called Godolphin Cross http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godolphin_Cross which is slightly inland and about 12 miles short of Penzance. He'd got a poor mobile signal and had to walk up the road to get a few bars on his phone. Today has been a wet day and it's been the first time in many weeks he'd had to pack up his tent in the rain.

Today's route took him from Veryan. He'd enquired at the campsite before leaving about a ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falmouth,_Cornwall and they had sold him a ticket at a cheaper rate. However even though the ferry would take bikes he had to remove all his panniers and tent, etc in order to get the bike on the ferry. He got some help off the ferry people getting on the boat but very little help getting off. However a lady and her two children who Dad had been chatting to on the crossing all helped so it wasn't too bad. Dad stopped in Falmouth for a bacon buttie to shelter from the rain. From Falmouth the route took him through Constantine and into Gweek http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gweek . Dad didn't stop to look around the seal sanctuary. It was then into Helston where Dad did a shop. Helston is the most southerly town in the UK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helston . It is also close to the Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNAS_Culdrose_(HMS_Seahawk) . His intention was to camp somewhere around Helston but the first site he found only took caravans. The next site he found had only one space left and that was on hardstanding (not good for putting up a tent!). However he found a campsite at Godolphin Cross and has got himself a nice level pitch (the last two nights he's been sleeping on a slope!).

Forgot to ask what is on the menu tonight but no doubt it will be as appetising as ever !

Dad has roughly 12 miles to Penzance and another 12 miles to Land's End. Hopefully he will met up with a friend at Land's End and pick up his spare wheel release key. Once round the corner at Land's End he will then be on the final leg of his tour.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Veryan

Just spoke to Dad. He has made it to the CC site at Veryan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veryan and at £5.00 back packers rates its a bargain! Weather has been cloudy with one rain shower. His muscle is getting a bit better ... it still only hurts when he walks.

The campsite last night was called Carbeil Holiday Park, Downderry. He went to the bar for fish and chips and most other people staying on the camp did. Not everyone "dressed" for dinner! Dad stayed on in the bar and had a couple of pints and got chatting. He even overslept this morning!

Today's route took him from Downderry through Seaton and onto Looe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looe and its very narrow lanes. From there it was onto Polperro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polperro where Dad had himself a full English breakfast. The town again had very small streets and only bikes and cars are allowed in. He then headed onto Bodinnick and headed for the passenger/bike ferry to Fowey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fowey. However there were lots of steps to get the bike down. Dad went off and asked how far it was to the car ferry instead and the ferryman and another guy helped Dad carry his bike down to the ferry. There also gave Dad a lift to carry the bike off (why have steps down to a ferry where you can take bikes on!) After lunch in Fowey it was onto St Austell and Porthpean and Mevagissey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mevagissey. Here the roads in the town are so small that cars are not even allowed. It was then on through Boswinger and down into Veryan.

Tonight on the menu Dad has soup (a tin of!) and beans and sausage. He couldn't get any Alpen so tomorrow he will be powered by Weetabix!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Downderry (Looe)

Just spoken to Dad. He is in place called Downderry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downderry which is about five miles from Looe. He couldn't get a signal on the campsite but someone told him that you could get a signal down on the beach. You could even hear the waves breaking! His pulled muscle is ok ... apparently it only hurts when he walks on it! He didn't make it to the pub last night. Instead he got chatting to some people in a camper van on the site who kindly charged up his mobile for him.

Dad is camping on a nudist campsite at Downderry (yes you read that right). Dad thought it was a bit strange when he arrived at the camp and you had to ring a bell and the owner came and opened the gate. The owner explained that it was a family nudist site but you didn't have to take your clothes off! There is also nudist beach. The site also has a jacuzzi and swimming pool as well but you do have to strip off to use those! Dad said there were naked peopled wandering around the camp but Dad has decided to keep covered up ... for one thing his cycling tan lines make him look like a zebra and another he'd got his coat on as it was a bit of a chilly evening!!!

Dad negotiated a cheaper rate on the site. It was usually £20 a night but Dad got it for £10 - well he's only got a small one (we are talking tents now!!!!).

Today the weather has been showery and Dad had his lunch in a bus shelter out of the rain.

Today's route has taken him through Blackpool and along Blackpool beach - this Blackpool had no tower though! The beaches between Slapton and Stokenham were used by the American for practising the D-Day landings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Tiger. He then picked up the A379 through to Kingsbridge. He stopped in Modbury for his usual bacon bap. He then continued onto Yealmpton, Brixton and into Plymouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth. Dad cycled around the Barbican and past the Mayflower. He then headed for Devonport and the ferry. He'd calculated it to be 2 miles away but came across a sign that said 12 miles - someone had altered the sign! Dad caught the car ferry to Torpoint (free for bikers). He then picked up the B3247 through Crafthole and Portwrinkle (and Portwrinkle Beach which is close to the nudist beach!) and onto Downderry.

Tonight on the menu is fish and chips which is being served on the campsite at 7.30. I don't suppose there is a need to "dress for dinner" on a nudist camp :) Today Dad stopped off in Aldi and picked up a few provisions. He thought he'd picked up a packet of chocolate chip cookies. In actual fact he'd picked up a packet of cookie biscuit mix and he needed to bake them. Bit of a problem when you only have one primus! As he'd opened the packet before he realised he couldn't take it back. He tried to give a couple of people. One bloke said "if I can't fry it I can't cook it". Eventually someone took it off his hands!

So all and all an eventful day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slapton (day 2)

Today Dad has had a day off the bike. He got his washing sorted first thing. He purchased a couple of soap tablets from the camp shop and headed off to the laundry. He piled all his washing in and started the wash and found he'd still got the two washing tablets in his hand (and they needed to be in the drum!). A woman in the laundry came to his rescue as she had some liquid soap that he could add in the tray! Dad exchanged her some liquid for his two tablets.

Washing done he caught the bus from the campsite back into Dartmouth. Spent a few hours around the harbour and watching the boats on the River Dart. He then caught the ferry to Kingswear http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingswear and had his lunch in the Dart Hotel (I bet they don't do bacon butties!). He then caught another bus onto Brixham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brixham. Had a good walk around the town and the habour. He met a couple in Brixham from the campsite so they all headed back to campsite together. Dad was pushing it a bit for time to catch the bus back and "jogged" for the bus and thinks he might have pulled a muscle in his leg! Cycles over 3,000 miles and pulls a muscle in a short jog! Hopefully it will have sorted itself out by tomorrow.

He's glad he's had today off the bike as it's been pretty wind (which would have been a head wind). Tomorrow is he heading for Plymouth region.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Slapton

Spoke to Dad. He'd only just got to the campsite at Slapton (6.45) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slapton,_Devon. He decided to push on a bit and carry on to the CC campsite at Slapton. He is staying two nights so that he can have a wash day tomorrow. He's had a good day today on the bike and the weather has been great. It's been pretty hilly day again. Most towns/villages are down at sea level so he has the descent down and then there is the climb back out of them again.

Dad had a good night last night. He found there was a pub just off the campsite so he nipped in and found they had footie on so he had a couple of pints and watched the game. It was a "late" night and he didn't get in til 10.30!

Today's route has taken him back into Otterton and onto Budleigh Salterton which had many tea-shops and cafes but it was too early for a morning stop. He headed onto Exmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exmouth and thought there might have been a ferry over to Dawlish. However he couldn't find any sign of one so headed off into Exeter where he picked up Exe Valley trail along the River Exe. He got a bit lost on the route into Exeter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exeter and had to ask several people for directions (not entirely sure how you get lost cycling along the edge of a river!). Once in Exeter Dad cycled along the quayside. He then picked up the A379 onto Powderham, Starcross where he again picked up the Exe Valley Trail to Dawlish (he found that there was a ferry that ran across to Exmouth - but it was doubtful if he'd got his bike on it without taking off the panniers). It was then onto Teignmouth, Paignton and Torquay (both of which were extremely busy and crowded) and on into Brixham. It was then another hilly ride to the ferry across the river. The ferryman got chatting to Dad and asking him how far he had ridden. I think he was a bit shocked when Dad said he'd clocked over 3,000 miles on the bike! It was then into Dartmouth. Slapton is a few miles out of Dartmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartmouth,_Devon.

Dad hasn't had his usual bacon buttie today as he never found anywhere to have one! On the menu tonight is chicken curry and mushrooms followed by rice pudding and bananas. He might even pop out for a pint as there is a pub close by.

Tomorrow is a rest day from the bike so Dad is off to Dartmouth on the bus!

Forgot to mention Dad's useful tip of the day yesterday ... he cleaned out his water bottle of all the green gunge by putting some small pebbles in it, half filling with water and shaking it like a maraca. Amazingly when he washed it out all the green gunge had gone!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ladrum Bay

Just spoke to Dad. He is camping at Ladrum Bay which is about 5 miles west of Sidmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidmouth. Phone signal wasn't brill so Dad had had to climb to the top of the hill to get a decent signal. It did mean that he had great views of the coast. Today has been an easy day on the bike and he'd got to the campsite just after 3.30 pm. However it had been a walking/hiking day as there were lots of hills enroute!

Today's route took him from the Penn Campsite on a small lane into Lyme Regis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_Regis. It was quite a hilly lane and Dad was pushing the bike and noticed a small silver looking case (similar to a cigarette case) on the floor which looked like it had been run over by a car. Dad picked it up and opened it and it contained a driving licence, visa card, Royal Navy card and a tenner. Dad took it to the police station in Lyme Regis and left his details and the blog page (so if you are the owner and you are reading this ...I'm glad you got all your cards back!). From Lyme Regis it was another half hour walk up the hill and into Seaton where Dad had his bacon buttie. He had a look around the old tram system http://www.tram.co.uk/ and popped into the Tourist Information where he picked up details of the cycle routes in Devon. Dad is now on Route 2 again but on really small lanes. They aren't even wide enough for a bike and a car to pass so Dad has to get off bike and drag it into the hedge so that they can pass safely. From Seaton it was up another hill to Beer (yes there really is a place called Beer!!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer,_Devon. Dad cycled around to where the caves are. It was then on to Branscombe which is your typical Devon village. He also rode passed the Donkey Sanctuary. It was then onto Sidmouth where Dad did his shop (forgot to ask what was on the menu for tonight!). He's probably only clocked up about 25 miles today but there has been quite a bit of walking/pushing the bike!

He's been chatting to a guy on the campsite (Mark) who was asking him what he was doing. Mark very kindly produed a pint of beer for Dad! Cheers Mark.

Tomorrow he is heading off in the Torquay/Paignton area

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Route (or what's left of it!)

For anyone thinking of meeting up with Dad or those just wondering when he will be back home this is what is left of the route. These are dates that Dad wrote up before he started. At the moment he is a few days ahead of schedule

August
18th Bournemouth (Dad passed through on the 16th August)
21st Exmouth
27th Land’s End
30th Bude

September
3rd Weston-Super-Mare
7th Cardiff
9th Tenby
11th St Davids
15th Aberystwyth
18th Conway
24th Newcastle-under-Lyme and home !

The full route can be found here
http://jack-allen-travels.blogspot.com/2009/05/route.html

Charmouth

Had a late(ish) phone call from Dad. He'd only just got to the campsite (6.45). Been a long day on the bike not helped by the hills and a head wind which has made cycling a bit more difficult.

The route today took him from Ulwell to Swanage where he found a cash machine so he is back in funds and doesn't have to earn his keep busking/plumbing! From Swanage it was on small lanes through to Corfe Castle, Church Knowle, Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Lulworth. Dad then cycled through two army training camps! It is lucky he is still alive as the red flags were up and they were firing! Probably Dad was too slow a moving target for them to use! From there it was into Weymouth which was extremely busy. All the cars that had over-taken Dad onto the ride into Weymouth he overtook again as he got closer to town. He had lunch in Weymouth (meat pie and chips). It was then on the B3157 and onto Abbotsbury which was full of quaint teashops. It was then up a VERY steep hill called White Hill. When Dad got to the top some bloke got chatting to him and told him he had just climbed 600 ft! He then got chatting to another guy with binoculars that was watching a huge bird circling. They spent about 20 minutes chatting and watching the bird which they think was an eagle. From there it was onto Bridport where Dad did a shop. A woman stopped Dad and asked if he would have a chat to her husband who had been a keen cyclist. Dad spent another 20 minutes chatting and telling him what he had been up to.

From there Dad picked up the busy A35 into Seatown, Chideock and then onto Charmouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charmouth

Dad has gone all posh for tea tonight as he has done his shop in Waitrose. He has a tin of steak and gravy (I did ask if it was dog food) and a tin of new potatoes!

(Just noticed on the map that Dad has been cycling along Chesil Beach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesil_Beach which is also a book by Ian McEwan. I wouldn't have minded a pebble from that beach!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 11 Summary

Done a weekly tot-up of miles

Day 71 - Martin Mill to Folkestone 20 miles
Day 72 - Folkestone to Norman's Bay 53 miles
Day 73 - Noman's Bay to Bognor Regis 54 miles
Day 74 - Bognor Regis to Ryde 35 miles (I'm not counting the ferry crossing!)
Day 75 - Ryde to Ryde 55 miles
Day 76 - Ryde to Beaulie 40 miles
Day 77 - Beaulie to Ulwell 45 miles

I make that to be 302 miles covered this week. Add that to the total gives 3152 miles covered so far.

Ulwell (Swanage)

Dad is camping just outside Swange http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanage in a place called Ulwell. Been a glorious day weather wise today. The campsite he is on has a pub just outside and a swimming pool. Has Dad has taken no trunks I don't think he'll be swimming - unless he goes skinny dipping!

Today's route took him through the New Forest and Brokenhurst and Lymington, Everton, Milford-on-Sea, Barton-on-Sea. While cycling along he met another cyclist (from Flint) coming in the other direction and they got chatting. Dad was asking him if there was a route through to Christchurch. Dad stopped for a sausage and fried egg sandwich (bacon must have been off the menu) in Christchurch. Not the best fried egg which was cold! From there it was onto Southbourne and into Bournemouth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bournemouth. Cyclists are not allowed to ride along the front between 10.00 am - 6.00 pm in the months of July and August so Dad had to come inland slightly. The route was pretty hilly. From there it was onto Westbourne and then into Sandbanks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbanks. Dad was on the look out to see if he could pitch his tent in someone's garden! He then got the ferry to Studland. It was then a short ride (90p for Dad and bike) to Ulwell which is on the Isle of Purbeck.

He's been chatting to the people in the tent next door and their daughter is a student at Keele (small world!). Tonight for tea he has cup-a-soup, Old Cowboys Breakfast (sausage and beans in a tin) followed by banana and custard. He had been invited next door to their BBQ but he had already done a shop and didn't want to carry his tins!

Tonight he is off the pub. He'll not be having many as he is down to his last £10 until he can find a cash point. He did say he could either busk or do a bit of plumbing to raise some cash. I think he'd better go for the latter .... I've heard him sing!

Tomorrow he is heading towards Lyme Regis.