The Wright Way North?

My plan was to navigate myself to Hong Kong using my compass, the advice of strangers and my (ahem) wits. The compass was naturally confused when I turned north upon arrival at Dunkirk to head up to Amsterdam, but that is what happened!

The first leg from Buckingham Palace to Kent was very special, made more so by our departure coinciding with the changing of the guard and receiving a royal send off from the thousands of tourists. The ride was made effortless by Jack’s ‘Columbus-style’ navigating skills, Rian & Alex’s shepherding and the fact it didn’t rain, although certain members could still not make the 34 mile jaunt. Named & shamed:
Anthony Wright (severely hungover & cycling in loafers)
Nick Wright (sore ass & legs)
Robin Jackson (puncture, boo-hoo)
Fiona Clift (cycling on a single-speed granny bike, commendable effort)
Paul Nugent (boris bike)

On Sunday morning Celia and I set off for Dover feeling fresh, clean and ready to conquer the road and conquer we did. After 60 miles of rolling hills, getting lost down country lanes and picking up Phil in Ashford we reached our campsite just outside of Dover and set up camp. I was very excited to use my new & shiny kit, especially the stuff I had no idea how to use. Whilst I was rummaging through my immaculately packed panniers I could here sniggers from Celia & Phil at some of the crap I had brought with me, all part of the learning curve. There are 3 things I learned on that first night:
1. A stove needs fuel in order to light and cook food
2. Always bring Celia & Phil on the first couple of days of any adventure
3. Sheep do not go Baa Baa, they splutter and burp like a drunk grandad. If you have kids, stop feeding them the Baa Baa lie, it’s simply not true!

The following morning we raced down to Dover to catch our ferry across to Europe and the excitement really started to grow, it felt like all my months of non-planning were finally being put into practice and there was no turning back now! The 3 day cycle from Dunkirk – Amsterdam was a real treat with some absolutely stunning scenery crossing Seeland and some truly gigantic bridges and dams. The roads were as flat as I had dreamed of and with gale force winds blowing up our backsides we were cruising at 30 km/h with no real effort, every cyclists dream! I would highly recommend this cycle (in the summer though) and to spend 4/5 days over it eating cake and drinking beer.

The high point would have to be cycling from Middelburg to Stellendam crossing the dams and looking up at the wind socks howling in the exact direction we were travelling, fortune was with us. The low point would be when the rain hit, the wind was biting and all my shiny kit was getting mucky – sob! Celia had her own low point when Phil & I noticed a rather suspect brown patch at the top of her lycra. She claims it was the fact she had no mudguard…..hmmmmm.

I am now in Amsterdam staying with Emile & Francesca who are two of the best hosts I could ask for. I have a day to buy things I should have had from the beginning and chuck out those gadgets that I was suckered into buying, as well as plan my route south to Maastricht then into Germany….who am I kidding, I’m not going to plan, beer please :)

I can never thank Celia & Phil enough for their support over the last 4 days: keeping me company, using their stove & toiletries on the first night and generally being amazing! The Wright Way EAST begins tomorrow morning with Emile riding me out of Amsterdam and my first ever solo camp. Spirits are very high and my body feels like it can dominate anything right now. Wish me luck, I have a feeling I will need it.

P.s. Mum, I’m fine!

20120419-105806.jpg

20120419-113333.jpg

20120419-113426.jpg

20120419-113528.jpg

Categories: Belgium, France, Holland, UK | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “The Wright Way North?

  1. Louise

    Good Luck on you journey Mark!

    I look forward reading more about your endeavours!

    Ps – One thing that I have learned from travelling – always keep a fresh roll of toilet paper with you at all times. You never know when you´ll need it.. ;)

    XXX

    Louise

  2. Ugyen Tenzin C/O Etho Metho Tours

    Hi Mark,

    How is your trip going on on? I loved the picture that you have posted. Is that you with the pink shirt and leather bag hanging from all sides of road bike.?

    any way if you get time to see this message, I would just like to inform you that Bhutan is organizing one day mountain bike race and it is open for even international. I know it is quite expensive for foreigners to participate in this race. but if you have any friends who would like to arrange a trip coinciding with this race please do let me know.

    please visit http://www.tourofthedragon.com/ for information on this race organized by Bhutan Olympic Committee.

    Kind regards,
    Ugyen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: