LEJOG Day 2 – 111km to Exeter…

Posted: January 27, 2013 by Ben Weber in Charity, Cycling, English, Training
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Day 02

In spite of being a good 16km longer than the ride to Bodmin, today was sooooo much nicer and better in general!

First of all, the weather. For the better part of the day the weather was perfect: cool, fresh and sunny with very little wind. Even when the weather did close in on us at around 4pm, it didn’t even come close to the treacherous, constant and strong wind and rain of the preceding day, and the winds only got strong when we arrived at our destination in Exeter. This was like paradise in comparison to the living hell of the first day!

Second, the traffic was also much better. I guess this had to do with yesterday being Friday and lots of people travelling particularly in the late afternoon though pretty much constantly throughout the day. As I said, the constant thunder of all the cars and lorries yesterday was not pleasant and left my right ear ringing. Today, again, was a paradise in comparison (though the road, the A30, was the same main road as yesterday). Yes, there were cars, but much fewer in number and less nasty.

The country roads, in all their glory, revealed to us after having cycled along them in the pitch black night

The country roads, in all their glory, revealed to us after having cycled along them in the pitch black night

So yes, in spite of the distance, it was a good day. It was good being able to see the country roads we had gone up in the pitch black the preceding evening (though a bit alarming going down as Natalia’s brakes had been destroyed by the mud, rain and sandy material on the road – we stopped off at a cycle place in Bodmin to get that sorted). Going through Dart Moor was great – pretty lovely countryside there (just a shame, from the environmental point of view, of the very existence of the massive highway we were going on… (though obviously we were using it so I can’t complain!… it was just nasty seeing a lot of squished animals here and there). Some snow still insisted on staying on the peaks of some of the hillier parts of the moor, but not much.

The distance was ultimately okay – though our bags are not getting any lighter. It was tough climbing and there was a total of over 1450 metres of climbing over the course of the ride, but the climbs were long and gradual and were coupled with plenty long and gradual descents which allowed me at least to get to a speed of 67kph without even trying to ride fast. With the road being a trunk road, there were no nasty curves that could have presented dangers of losing control into an incoming vehicle, and visibility was very good so you could see everything, really.

We made it, tired of course, and maybe am starting to feel a bit of the accumulated effects of the two days riding – the bags we have on the bikes are indeed heavy. But tomorrow should (distance and elevation wise) be much easier as I think it would be wise not to abuse our bodies too much so soon into the whole journey! Weather-wise, however, am not sure what it will be like… it is really howling and pouring with rain outside as I write this post and the weather forecast isn’t particularly pleasant… so hopefully things are not made too hard.

As a reminder !! We are looking to raise funds for Cool Earth – an organization that works with local communities to protect the rainforests; something that means a lot to us, especially coming from Brazil and seeing what is happening to the forests there. Our Just Giving page is at https://www.justgiving.com/360-Extremes – please help us in helping them!!! 

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