Some snippets from Chris…

Some of you may have been missing our regular posts, but as Chris has been battling sub zero temperatures  and a broken stove whilst trying to cover a lot of distant is short space of time, there isn’t much time left in the day for blogging. So I thought I would share with you some of the snippets I have had from Chris, sent via email using his Kindle…

26th Jan

Had an interesting two days, snow, ice, big hills, 3 punctures, 1 broken tyre, a wrong turn that took me about 30km the wrong way, that was yesterday, only thirty km. Just got to main road, having food, as only had an apple all day. Will try and stay on the main road now. Had to avoid it because of motor way. Oh and my boots froze. All good though, a bit of an adventure to spice up the blog. Depending on how today goes will be in Germany tonight or tomorrow.

Later: It was a bit stupid, and I’ve demoted myself to trainee navigator. Will see how the road goes, on my map its motorway but really I think it’s a big road, we shall see. Having my second lunch now. Ha ha have to eat so much to keep going at the moment.

[When we cycle together I usually navigate and am called Chief Navigator, however when I make a mistake and get us lost, not very often I might add, then Chris always jokes that I am being demoted to Trainee Navigator.]

27th Jan

Made it to Germany. Met nice lady, also cycle tourer, she suggested a good route then bought me a map, then took me to the tourist info to get more maps.  They also gave them to me, got a picture outside tourist info. So going to follow these two rivers, just got a big hill to get over tomorrow. Me and legs v tired.

Later: Sleeping in tent, need to work out distances, could do with a day off  – legs scream on every hill v annoying. Might try and get over this hill tomorrow then see, need to be patient with nav on small roads or sod it and take the big road not sure. Everyone here has been friendly. So good middle day, bad evening with small roads and sore legs. Will just have to plod on, love u miss u.

28th Jan

Had quite a good day in the end. Took the main road which was good, the cycle route was steep and deep snow. Met a guy who invited me to his house. Got here, very nice – a bed, a shower and going to have a sauna soon. The big hill was not that big at all, so a lot of worry about nothing, it was clear of snow too thankfully. Having lunch here tomorrow, then off.

Later: Ahhhhhhhhhh so nice, good food, good company. The adapter we use for the laptop got left in Prague, so no power for laptop, will get a new one this week.

29th Jan

Hope to be there [Cologne] in about five days max. Hope to get a charger tomorrow, but need to cycle like crazy now. Snow is a real pain so might have to stick to the roads, basic plan was to follow the  cycle path to Frankfurt then the Rhine to Cologne, then west to Dunkirk.

30th Jan

Spent this morning getting maps and route info from tourist info. Got new adapter, but does not seem to be working. Might be cold or could be broken. Had two falls on the ice so far.

31st Jan

A good day, bivi’d last night, got scared by the otters or beavers, as I thought they were crocks. Then decided there were no crocks in Germany and a beaver would be unlikely to nibble on me, but if it did, it would hurt. Then I thought of the beavers in Narnia and they were nice.

Today was good, met an interesting guy who is an actor in theater and a playwright. He brought me coffee and cake and we chatted for about two hours. So cycled into the night again 95km, 6 hours, could have done the last 5km but a good camp spot came up on the edge of town. My short cut paid off over the hills, will follow the river now to Frankfurt.

MSR stove not working again, but by alternating the gas cans under my jacket, I got a cup of tea :)

Germans are really nice, but they think I am nuts for camping and that London is a long way to cycle to.

-8 outside the tent, -3 in,  am toasty, not cold at all. Was sweating buckets up the hill and the water was frozen on the bike! So all is good here, massive night after night riding till ten pm.

1st Feb

I am so tired I can’t even think straight. Then it takes an hour to make a cup of tea. It’s all good though, it’s a lovely route, if I had a little more time and the tent and stove were not broken all would be v good. Anyway I did 95km today still 45km from the start of the Rhine unfortunately. I think I will just make it for Bikeabout London, but I will be knackered when I get there. Ha Ha!

Thanks for getting back to Martin, that’s great news esp the vip lounge, maybe I should keep my boots on this time!

[Our friend Martin who we met in Beijing, has very kindly arranged and paid for the ferry for Chris from Dunkirk to Dover on 9th Feb, with a VIP upgraded too. Thanks Martin!]

2nd Feb

Did 104km then a cyclist took me in :-)

3rd Feb

Was up chatting late, the guy does quite a bit of cycling and going to Japan soon. Just eating a massive massive second breakfast. -10 today he he plenty warm enough though.

Long day, over 100km I think – speedo is on the bike still, stove broke in another way now, so had to swap gas cans to get a cup of tea.

4th Feb

Not too bad here, frustrating day with wobbly trailer again, but should still make the 100km, then Cologne tomorrow. -12 last night. Just got to find the cycle path again and hope it’s better quality than this am. Sometimes it takes you on a mystery tour about town, then disappears. Having lunch at what I hope is the right junction!

5th Feb

All good, just having coffee in a cafe. I camped a bit out of town, did 95km and stopped as perfect camping and close to coffee in the morning. Bivi’d at -11 at least last night, was cosy with just the Rab [sleeping bag] and Alpkit [bivi bag]. So hope to make it to Cologne today and have some time off tonight. Tempted to ditch the trailer in Cologne – don’t want to be stopping every 5 mins to sort it out, like in China. Kindle does not work at-11 – the battery thinks it flat!

Chris still has 400km to cycle and needs to catch the ferry from Dunkirk on Thursday. Please give him your support on this final stretch, in the cold temperatures, to keep him going.

If you want to welcome him home, we will be cycling into Greenwich on Saturday 11th Feb.  To join us and for more details see:  Bikeabout London or we will be in Ambleside, Cumbria a week later, see: Bikeabout Ambleside.

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3 Responses to “Some snippets from Chris…”

  1. Crispy says:

    Stunned and amazed at your efforts, Chris! Cycling and camping in sub zero temperatures is beyond madness in my book – but it makes good reading, so keep it coming. I like the way you’ve added failing equipment and a tight deadline into the plot right in the last chapter… I’m not sure I can stand the tension!

    Go, Chris, go!

  2. Catherine says:

    My legs were almost pedalling reading that! We have missed your posts but fortunately Ethan in Class 3 has been following you on Twitter and giving me playground updates, so we have been able to keep thinking and talking about you! You remain, as you have throughout your whole blog journey, incredibly upbeat in the face of what would certainly be in my book major disasters – 1 hour to make a cup of tea would probably have finished me off!
    We will be thinking of you every day this week as you pedal the last few hundred km (!!! Which most of us couldn’t manage in the first place, let alone in sub-zero temperatures, solo and at the end of many months of the same!)
    Look out for the Middleham t-shirt and mystery rider in London on Saturday!
    Mrs Monaghan & A Room with a View

  3. Phil b says:

    Keep at it Chris! Amazing efforts to get so far and wonderful stories of human kindness from those you meet too. Hoping to see you next sat – I am a fair weather cyclist with zero appropriate clothing so will probably have a mixture of Lycra and duffel coats on.

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