Getting into the swing of it

Well, that’s the first 500km knocked off. Set off a week ago from Greenwich, under a glorious late-winter clear sunny day. Had a nice escort out of London with a local touring group who were going for a ride along the Thames path. They stopped for coffee at Erith, and then I was on my own.

Pushing on down to Dover, I got picked up by the cops in Canterbury for riding somewhere I wasn’t supposed to. I thought I was following a bike path, but I guess not. Got off with a warning though. Got the ferry over to Calais, and after some fun riding in the dark with no lights, got a hotel. The campsite doesn’t open until Easter apparently.

Got a rip in my sidewall, so swapped over the rear tyre – thanks to those who convinced me to carry a spare tyre. Will try and pick up another spare in Germany I think.

I was going to cross France and direct into Germany, but after taking into account the wind forecast, I decided to head more north-east, and into Belgium. I’m in Namur now, and will try and make it to Bastogne tomorrow, before crossing Luxembourg, and into Germany.

Has been hard going for the first few days, but I’m starting to get into the swing of it, and it’s getting a little bit easier now. Another week or two and I should be good. I had thought I’d have more time to do some thinking, but it’s funny how you keep occupied with stuff like route planning, food and water, where to stop, etc.

Perhaps it will be different when I’m camping, and I can’t watch the French version of “Wheel of Fortune”. Not sure exactly why, but it has been compulsory viewing for me. Hopefully I can find a German equivalent shortly.