Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Down to 11 days

My trip got a bit harder the other day.

The length of it was defined by the train availability. I'm taking a 7.33am train from Paddington to Penzance on Saturday 12th May, getting into Penzance just after 1pm, costing just £20 as I booked it a few weeks ago.

The return journey, from Wick, is a bit trickier. It requires at least three trains - changing at Inverness and Edinburgh at minimum - and as Scotrail trains only accept one bicycle at a time, it needs advance booking.

In addition, you can't get from Wick to London in a day on weekends because the timetable doesn't allow it, so my original plan was to return on the Friday or the Monday, giving me 12 or 15 days to complete the trip in. 15 days means about 65 miles a day.

To further complicate things, that weekend is a Bank Holiday, so the cheap tickets have already been booked for Friday and Monday, which means the cheapest available is £124. So I can only return on the Thursday or the Tuesday. Tuesday would mean taking another unpaid day off work, in which case I might as well pay the £124 and come back earlier. So Thursday it is, for £36.

This means the trip has to take 11 days, plus half a day on Saturday, when I might be able to do about 30 miles (plus the 10 miles to cycle from Penzance to Land's End to start the trip) That means 85 miles a day. Experienced cyclists I've spoken to have said that would be quite arduous, as I'm not so experienced, I don't have the most appropriate bike, I'm unsupported, and I haven't built in any rest days.

Ah well, it wouldn't be a challenge otherwise.

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