Friday, 31 July 2009

Sun Flowers

Why do they always face away from me?

(This isn't rhetorical, I want an answer)


I've posted some pictures finally - nothing too exciting but lots of pictures of bikes :)

Velo Love - prologue -> day 11


Eyup my lovelies,

Set off for an easy one yesterday and at lunch noticed i was going to be very close to Kralove - now, I couldn't go near a place with Love in it's name without paying it a visit. Love is my food, my air, my water.

I wanted to know what Kra meant. Still don't know. It certainly doesn't mean bike or velo!! Unless it's the more touchy feely type - the trucks were driving on top of me!! It might mean Smog, or maybe Burgers, or mullets. I'm been harsh - it had a lovely centre - but getting there wasn't very nice at all!!

Might have day off tomorrow after 100 miler again today up and down, up and down, up and down, you get the picture!!

You know what is really cool to do on a day off - go cycling!! The receptionist at campsite invited me to go with her friends to cycle to some lakes and swim. I know, it's totally crazy. Some would say insane. Completely bonkers. Swimming!!! On a day off!! It sucks!!!!!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sign posts

Do you think the Germans spend more on sign posts than all other countries put together? There was one sign I started reading after about 12km - I carried on for an hour, had lunch (usual seat), then knocked out a few more miles and finally came to the end of the sign. It said "Turn left if you want to go to India" (bummer - wasted morning). Oh no, I'm forgetting the Welsh. Maybe they together keep sign post manufacturers in business? Maybe it's a bit like the 'porsche' people - you know, "I've got a really big road sign"?? That kinda thing? (I'm waggling my little finger at the screen.)

The czechs on the other hand go about things in a totally different manner. They sneak round houses in the middle of the night, again like the BFG, but instead of planting dreams they look out for all the left over games of scrabble sitting on the dining room tables as people sleep. They don't disrupt the game so you never know they've been - they just take all the left over letters sitting in you letter holders. You know, the z's, c's, h's, k's - the ones you pull out when the game is almost over and curse. Now, to save money they use only these letters to produce all their road signs. They use this special machine that makes them bigger then stick them together randomly without any thought at all to ordering.

It's a crazy world we live in - I don't know how I stay so normal.

Day 11

Lovely young man on his Surly. I've got 19 more of these but this'll do for a start!!

Day 1

This is a quick video blog I made on the first day:

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Popping out for a spot of lunch.

"Good day sir, I've reserved your usual seat"
"Why thank you very much - as close to the shopping trolleys as possible"
"Of course, would sir like to order a drink"
"A dram of caffeine with as much sugar as possible please"
"As you wish. Would sir like the a la carte menu?"
"No I'll have the buffet - anything and everything from every isle"

1pm every day - I'm like clockwork.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

What do you think about for 6-8 hours a day?

Good question!!

Well as the barley quietly waves me through, the winds whistle and the corn pops like party poppers celebrating my arrival, as lizards scramble from my wake (hit a big one today - sorry little fella), the horn of cars toot there approval, the smell of evergreens in your nostrils - it's the perfect setting to think about things...

The main thing I think is "why am i doing this?" I'm not thinking it coz I'm tired or in pain, even if am. It's not coz I not enjoying mysef. I'm just kinda interested. To travel, definitely. To raise money for charity, that's a bonus. To get friggin strong on the bike, we'll see - hopefully be kicking butt when I get back, if legs hold up. Educate myself, always handy for cocktail party chat. To allow me to get things straight in my head, nah, I'm always gonna be Bent. To meet new people? To live a simpe life - it's cool knowing where everything is - I haven't lost anything for 10 days - that's a record)? Grow calves - I think that's the one.

Another thing I think about is what I'm going to write to you guys - my loyal followers. :) The thing is I always forget as soon as i sit in front of one of these machines. I sometimes stop and write things down - never remember to bring my book!! (You can tell - I'm boring myself!!)

You know I'm not very good at directions, well, I did about 30k this morning and ended up back in Richmond. I thought I was in Czech republic. Noone told me I was just doing laps of Richmond park!!! Czech republic made me feel at home in many ways today. A simple shop called Rich, another Thalia, and the roads. Ahhh... sweet surrey roads. No longer super smooth - big potholes to jump / crash into. Imagine the best road on all the surrey rides. The very best. Now if I was in belgium there would be a sign up saying this road is deteriating!! Normally they are absolutely perfect. (This wasn't something I wrote down to tell you - I'll stop on the roads for now - but all cyclist are reading and weeping or nodding!! i might take pictures for surrey council - ah, but that would mean cycling 100's of k back in the opposite direction, I'll leave that for someone else)

Pictures are coming - but these places don't allow USB thingies - so I'm just holding out!!

Special danny cuddles to one and all x

Monday, 27 July 2009

Last post from the West

Eyup me lovelies, hope everyone is groovy back home.

Finished my first full week in true style yesterday by going out with a bunch of German builders on the raz. These guys were huge - 6ft4 ish - all of them - I felt like Sophie from the BFG surrounded by giants!! Dinner plates for hands, nearly ripped my arm off when we shook hands. You know the stuff. Well, this will surprise lots of you, but they could drink considerably more than even me!! I ordered a latte and some strawberries at first and they gave me the look as to say "do that again and we'll kill you". So we played a nice game of cards chatted about the tour and stuff then they started playing drinking games. Oh dear. A last apple shot (that's not any weak apple thingy - tasted like meths) I headed up to bed, stopping off briefly at the toilets to say a very close goodnight to the toilet bowl.

So although I ended last week in style this one was started less so. But got out and the bike soon soothed any nasty edges. Rocking and rolling again now.

Forgot a few things last time in my haste.

First Monday in Belgium it was a bank holiday and nothing was open. I started to get very thirsty and hungry as time went on. Couldn't buy a sausage. My tongue stuck to the top of my mouth and I was considering scraping up some road kill when I saw an open sign. Hallelujah. It didn't look too inviting but needs must. I popped my head round the corner, grabbed a pack of choc willies and a can Tourine energy drink and was out of there and back on the bike full of.... beans!!

Yesterday did a bit of off road riding when I got unceremoniously dumped off the A road - only cars allowed apparently. Going through some grass and I disturbed some deer that ran alongside the bike. Earlier I'd had a eagle hovering above my bike for a bit so the shadow lay over my front wheel. Cool!!

What else... oh yeah reported one danger dan moment. There were more - the most exciting being setting fire to the campsite on my second night. Having been told to try the camp stove before I left - I decided not to and forgot to take the instructions. This resulted in my trying endlessly to light the petrol stove whilst it was upside down and leaking petrol all over the grass. When I finally hit the right spot there was a rather large fire ball and a few fireworks to match - could've roasted another pig on it. In fact might have done!! After another few attempts I realised my error in the coming days and am now able to cook food without harming local wildlife or properties. I do still get a mini fire ball as I light it but that just attracts more attention - which of course I hate!! Ö (I seem to attract many children in every campsite - they tend to stare and laugh at my inadequacies.)

(This post may include a few exaggerations and whilst reading it, mum, ignore any bits that worry you - they didn't happen. Honest!!)

So I should leave Germany by the end of today and start my journey into the unknown. Legs are holding up well and firing out 100 miles no problem at the moment. Although today I might not!! Ö

Feel the love

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Love you guys

This is the first time I've been able to get on the internet in 6 days!!

Thanks so much for those people who came down to Dover - awesome ride even if it did put a million worries in my head. Legs were broken at the port after short but steep hills and riding the main road by accident. M&D said what a absolutely brilliant bunch of mates I had!! I agree!! Even if you did only come for free cake!!

Got to Calais fine and dandy - first thing you note is the awesome road surfaces. So good in fact that I thought I'd check out every single road in calais before I took the road I needed (including the motorway!! Ooopps). But once outta there it was awesome. Wind on my back and sun on my face!! Flat roads meant speeding along!!

Nothing too special happened so far other than waking up every morning excited about getting out there. Which was a surprise - I thought I'd need breaking in. Obviously that ride the sunday before last broke me!!

So a few stats for you:
75kg before left
0 Calf muscles
4 countries so far
130km a day ish (forgot / didn't bring bike computer)
5 meals a day
2 hrs without water if you forget to fill up in the campsite
1 swim - if you count lying in a river cooling off
20 odd degrees all day every day
1 Motorway
20 odd km in wrong direction.
1 Calf growing after 6 days - still waiting on other
20 mossie bites (mostly on scars and elbow)
4 Snickers eaten (this morning!! In addition to 3 chewy bars)
And the one you've all been waiting for.....................
1 danger dan moment. Was taking picture with one foot clipped in. Bike decided it wanted to move and dragged me to the floor with it bashing knee. Blood all down my leg but just a 'playground' stuff really. Medi kit came in handy cleaning and plaster - where was Mrs Petts & GW?

It's a simple life but one that I quite like

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Velo Dan breaks bog snorkelling world record

It's 10 days before I jump on my bike and head off for India.

I was crowned Bog Snorkelling World Champion Triathlete at the weekend, beating the world record by 2 minutes!! Awesome!!!! My little sis also won the world championship but due to getting a litttle bit lost missed out on smashing her own world record.

Rock on!!