Day 1. Halifax to Gatwick. 258.6 miles, 416 Kms
So those of you who know me well are probably aware that a lot of folk call me Big Bad Brad. However, for this bit of my life, the new BBB stands for Brad, his Bird, and the Bandit. That is because all three of us are on now well on our way to Monaco, and we will be spending a lot of time together over the next ten days. After months of planning and purchasing and patience (maybe not the last one for the bird), we set off this evening from a very rainy Halifax just after 6 pm.
I worked today, but Lena had taken Tuesday and Wednesday off, to prepare for the holiday. I got home just before 5, and we finalized our packing, loaded up the bikes and ate the last bits of fresh food in the fridge. It was really pissing down quite hard, just the perfect start to a summer vacation. Our bike gear is pretty good, but even so the prospect of a four hour ride in the pouring rain is not significantly attractive.
We have managed to fill every corner of each pannier that we have, so we have brought enough clothing and equipment for a small army. We decided not to plan on doing any washing on the way, so have ten days worth of clothes, socks, undies and deodorant (plenty of that one).
While planning our trip, having booked the time off from work, we realized that of we set of on the eve before our holiday started, we would gain most of a day on the continent. We found an offer online of a hotel room for 9 quid, near Gatwick, so we booked it there and then. I am now in that very hotel room, but without a wifi signal so I will type this up but post it next time we get near a signal.
We rode through about an hour or so of bad rain, then it cleared and we stopped for fuel (both for the bike and for our tummies). A burger and a cup of unleaded later, we set off into quite a clear evening, only for the rain to start up again within 20 miles. It rained on and off for the rest of the way, but not nearly as hard as the first stint. Yorkshire rain is much harder than the southern stuff.
The last hour was ridden in darkness. Motorway biking is boring, but we did it as we wanted to get here quick. We have about an hour and a bit ride in the morning to the Chunnel at Folkestone, and then a short train-ride later we will be in France. Le yippee!